November 19, 2020


W W Shaw Livery Co. (1913-1914; 1918-1921)
Chicago, Illinois

This is a Shaw radiator emblem (1918-1921)    sam
Size: 67mm high 58mm wide    MM: Unknown (some Noble)

The Walden W Shaw Livery Company started in the automobile business in 1908 by selling passenger cars. Walden Shaw hired John Hertz, initially as a salesman, but then to help organize and run the company. Initially John Hertz bought second-hand automobiles to sell and raise capital and to turn into taxis. By 1910 Hertz had raised enough capital to buy nine new Thomas cars, paint them yellow and put them out as taxicabs. By 1913 the company was building its own taxi chassis and in 1915 the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company was formed to deal with the taxicab business (see Yellow Cab). In 1918 Shaw built a prototype 2-ton truck but production did not proceed.

Shaw then decided to build a passenger car. The four-cylinder Shaw was introduced in February 1920. But very quickly Shaw decided to change the name of the car to Colonial. Then there was a complete change of engine size and by July 1920 the Shaw/Colonial was powered by a twelve-cylinder engine. All this was to try to improve sales but it did not work. Very few Shaw cars were sold and by February 1921 John Hertz was in full charge of the company and the same car was now called the Ambassador. John Hertz then went on to build the Hertz car (see Hertz). Some records suggest that no more than twelve Shaw cars were made.


The Shaw taxicab business had a logo, see Shaw Taxicab advertisement from 1914 shown below. This Shaw logo was displayed using decals on the side doors of their taxicabs and may have been used as a radiator emblem, although I cannot confirm this. 

Shaw Taxicab ad with logo (1914)

Close-up showing the Shaw Taxicab logo (1914) 

The Shaw motor car emblem used the same garter design seen in the Shaw taxicab logo. see the black and white enamel Shaw radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This Shaw radiator emblem is extremely rare. 

Emblem collectors should beware, as there are reproduction Shaw radiator emblems with flat shiny backs and no makers mark. Most reproduction Shaw emblems can be recognized by the lack of symmetry in the design of the emblem and sometimes the color. Original Shaw emblems are finished in black and white enamel, the following unbalanced reproduction Shaw emblem is finished in dark green and white enamel:

This is a reproduction Shaw emblem   ms

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