November 19, 2020


Dayton Motor Car Co. (1904-1910)
Stoddard-Dayton Div., U S Motor Co. (1910-1913)
Dayton, Ohio

This is a Stoddard-Dayton Thirty radiator emblem (1911-1913)  mjs
Size: 62mm diameter    MM: Whitehead & Hoag

The Stoddard family business had been manufacturing farm implements for many years and in the mid-1890's Charles Stoddard began to experiment with an automobile. A pilot model was ready by the summer of 1904 and production began soon after. The Dayton Motor Car Company was incorporated in December 1904. The first Stoddard-Dayton was a 26 hp four-cylinder side entrance touring car and was available for 1904 and 1905. The Stoddard-Dayton was a well made, large and luxurious automobile. "As Good as it Looks" was the company slogan in 1905.

The Stoddard-Dayton was a success with 125 units built in 1905, 385 in 1906 and 2,000 in 1907. A 50/60 hp six-cylinder model appeared for one year in 1908 alongside a range of four-cylinder models. Stoddard-Dayton gained a reputation for winning track races and hill climbs and in 1909 a Stoddard-Dayton won the first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with an average speed of 57.3mph. Stoddard-Dayton was also the pace car at the first Indy 500 race in 1911. In 1909 the Courier Car Company was established to manufacture a less expensive car called the Courier as a separate marque (see Courier (1)).

Stoddard made a fatal mistake in 1910 when it agreed to become the Stoddard-Dayton Division of the United States Motor Company being put together by Benjamin Briscoe. In 1911 Stoddard-Dayton acquired a license to use the Knight sleeve valve engine and introduced a Knight-engined 70 hp six-cylinder model in 1912. Stoddard-Dayton also entered the commercial vehicle market with 1-ton and 2-ton trucks offered in 1911 and a light delivery van and truck continuing into 1912. 

Benjamin Briscoe's U S Motors conglomerate collapsed taking down Stoddard-Dayton and all the other companies in the group except for Maxwell. The last Stoddard-Dayton cars appeared in 1913.


The Stoddard family business had made agricultural equipment, including horse drawn hay rakes and baling forks before moving on to build motor cars, see advertisement shown below for the "Tiger" rake in the 1890's:

Stoddard Tiger rake advertisement (1890's)

Even though the Stoddards understood the importance of advertising their products, the first Stoddard-Dayton motor cars in 1904-1905 did not carry an emblem or any external identification at all. However, it is likely that they did display the "Stoddard-Dayton" name on a small maker's nameplate or serial plate attached to the body of the car.

The following Stoddard-Dayton advertisement from 1905 shows a photo of a Stoddard-Dayton car with no emblems or radiator scripts. 

Stoddard-Dayton advertisement (1905) earlyamericanautomobiles

The more usual Gothic style of "Stoddard-Dayton" script logo appeared in 1906 and was use in later advertisements, see example shown below:

Stoddard-Dayton ad with Gothic script logo (c1906)  ms 

This Gothic style script is frequently seen on brass radiator scripts on restored surviving Stoddard-Dayton cars but it is rarely seen in original period photos of Stoddard-Dayton cars. In fact, relatively few original photos of Stoddard-Dayton cars show any radiator script at all. This suggests that Stoddard-Dayton radiator scripts were not factory fitted but were available as optional accessories.

This view is supported by Stoddard-Dayton advertisements, which do not show radiator scripts, see example from 1907 shown below:

Stoddard-Dayton ad with no rad script (1907) ms

Original period photos of Stoddard-Dayton cars also do not show any clearly visible external identification before 1908, see examples shown below:

This is a Stoddard-Dayton on the Glidden Tour (1906)   dpl

This is a Stoddard-Dayton with no emblems or scripts (1907) dpl 

The first Stoddard-Dayton radiator scripts seen on original period photos are in 1908, see example shown below:

This is a Stoddard-Dayton on the Glidden Tour (1908)   dpl

Close-up showing Stoddard-Dayton radiator script (1908) 

The following photo of early race car driver, Fred Wiseman, in a Stoddard-Dayton race car in 1909 is an exception in showing the Gothic style radiator script:

Fred Wiseman driving a Stoddard-Dayton racer (1909) santarosahistory

The "Stoddard-Dayton" name was also displayed on cast brass sill plates, foot pedals, serial plates and hubcaps, see examples shown below:

This is a Stoddard-Dayton sill plate (c1908)    mjs
Size: 247mm wide 32mm high

Stoddard-Dayton Model K foot pedals with "SD" monogram (1907) cartype

This is a Stoddard-Dayton Model 9K serial plate (1909)  mjs
Size: 70mm wide 32mm high

This is a Stoddard-Dayton hubcap (c1908)    mjs

The most frequently seen radiator script in original Stoddard-Dayton photos is seen below on a 1910 photo of a Stoddard-Dayton, which also carries a radiator emblem:

Stoddard-Daytn showing radiator script and emblem (1910)  dpl

Close-up showing radiator script & emblem (1910) 

The following Stoddard-Dayton radiator script is similar in style to that seen in the photo above:

This is a Stoddard-Dayton radiator script (c1909)   cartype

The following show some of the several other radiator scripts seen on surviving Stoddard-Dayton cars. It is likely that these scripts are mostly reproduction scripts made to decorate restored Stoddard-Dayton cars. 

Stoddard-Dayton radiator script (c1910)   conceptcarz

Stoddard-Dayton radiator script (1911)    imsm 

Stoddard-Dayton radiator script (1910)   bonhams

Stoddard-Dayton radiator script (date unknown)     cartype

Stoddard-Dayton radiator script (c1911) macsmotorcitygarage

The very different "Stoddard-Dayton" script shown immediately above is also seen in a 1911 Stoddard-Dayton advertisement, see below:

Stoddard-Dayton advertisement (1911)   ms

Original period photos of Stoddard-Dayton cars at auto shows in 1910 and 1911 show cars with the radiator emblem but without any radiator script, which again indicates that the Stoddard-Dayton radiator scripts were not attached at the factory, see example below:

Stoddard-Dayton cars at a trade show without radiator scripts (1910) dpl

The first Stoddard-Dayton radiator emblem appeared in late 1909 for the 1910 model year. This emblem is seen in the original 1910 photos shown above. This is the white enamel Stoddard-Dayton radiator emblem shown below. This Stoddard-Dayton radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Stoddard-Dayton radiator emblem (1909-1913)  ms
Size: 62mm diameter   MM: Greenduck (some Robbins)

Emblem collectors should beware as there are reproduction Stoddard-Dayton radiator emblems, see example shown below. Reproduction Stoddard-Dayton emblems are difficult to identify from the front but have flat shiny backs with a threaded stud and no maker's mark. 

This is a reproduction Stoddard-Dayton emblem   ms

The following is a Stoddard-Dayton hubcap from the c1910 period:

This is a Stoddard-Dayton hubcap (c1910)    dkc

Stoddard-Dayton also used radiator emblems showing model designations for some models, see examples shown below. 

The following white enamel "Stoddard-Twenty" radiator emblem is extremely rare:

This is a Stoddard-20 radiator emblem (c1911-1912)    mjs
Size: 62mm diameter   MM: Robbins

The following is a Stoddard-Twenty hubcap:

This is a Stoddard-Twenty hubcap (1911-1913)    dkc 

The white enamel "Stoddard-Thirty" radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below is extremely rare:

This is a Stoddard-30 radiator emblem (c1912-1913)    mjs
Size: 62mm diameter   MM: Whitehead & Hoag

The following is a different Stoddard-Thirty emblem, but I cannot confirm that this is an original emblem. If it is an original Stoddard-Thirty radiator emblem it would also be extremely rare.

This appears to be a Stoddard-Thirty radiator emblem (c1912-1913) kmc
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown 

The following is a Stoddard-Forty emblem but I cannot confirm that this is an original emblem. If it is an original Stoddard-Forty radiator emblem, it would be extremely rare. 

This appears to be a Stoddard-Forty radiator emblem (c1911)  kmc
Size: 63mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The following shows the radiator of a surviving Stoddard Special model introduced in 1912. This radiator carries a Stoddard-Dayton radiator emblem and a Stoddard-Dayton Special radiator script:

This is a Stoddard-Dayton Special radiator (1912)   flickr

The Stoddard-Dayton radiator emblem shown above appears to be finished in pale blue enamel but I do not know, if this is correct. It may be a result of the lighting affecting the photo. If the original Stoddard-Dayton Special radiator emblem was indeed pale blue, this emblem would be extremely rare. 

The Stoddard Knight also appeared in 1912 and carried a Stoddard Knight radiator emblem, similar to the white enamel Stoddard Knight emblem shown below. The emblem shown below has a threaded stud on the back and is believed to be a reproduction emblem. Original Stoddard Knight radiator emblems are very rare.

This may be a reproduction Stoddard Knight radiator emblem (1912-1913)  mjs
Size: 63mm diameter    MM: None

No comments:

Post a Comment