January 10, 2021

FEDERAL

Bailey Motor Truck Co. (1910)
Federal Motor Truck Co. (1910-1952)
Federal Motor Truck Div. Federal Fawick Corp. (1952-1954)
Detroit, Michigan
Federal Motor Truck Co. Div. Napco Industries Inc. (1955-1959)
Minneapolis, Minnesota


This is a Federal radiator emblem (1926-1932)    mjs
Size: 225mm wide 66mm high     MM: D L Auld


The Federal was an assembled truck throughout its long history. Everything Federal did was in line with industry practices and met their slogan "Never an experiment". The Bailey Motor Truck Company was formed in 1910 but the company was soon reorganized as the Federal Motor Truck Company and the first truck built was called a Federal. The first models used four-cylinder engines and double chain drive. The Federal was very successful and had built its 1000th truck by 1913 and was exporting to twenty countries. By 1923 Federal truck production totaled over 27,000 units. Bus chassis for 18 and 25 passengers were also offered.

In June 1924, Federal introduced the Willys-Knight engine to the motor truck industry and six-cylinder Federal truck models appeared in 1926.The Federal Knight model was continued until 1928. All Federals were conventional trucks until cab-overs were added to the range for 1937. By the mid-1930's, the era of streamlining had arrived and the Federal fleet had the latest styling and the full Federal range included 18 models with 99 different wheelbases. The largest Federal was a 6-ton unit. By 1935, Federal had a Canadian factory in Windsor, Ontario. 

Federal trucks continued to develop over the years following the Second World War, reaching a peak production of over 6,000 units in 1947 but then production began to reduce with changes in the market. Federal production came to an end in March 1959 with a lifetime production of about 160,000 trucks.

Emblems

Whereas many original period photos of the earliest Federal trucks from 1910 to 1912 show no external identification, some early Federal trucks did display the "Federal" name on the front of the brass radiator tank top, see examples shown below:

Federal truck showing radiator emblem (1910)   dpl

Close-up showing Federal radiator emblem (1910) 

Federal truck showing radiator emblem (1912)    dpl

The Federal radiator emblems shown above are slightly different in style and, as stated earlier, they not appear on all Federal trucks in this period, so were not an integral part of the radiator. These radiator "emblems" were presumably made using decals or by painting through stencils.

Early Federal trucks would have displayed the "Federal" name on small maker's nameplates and serial plates attached to the body of the vehicle and also on the hubcaps, see hubcap example below:

This is an early Federal hubcap (c1911)     dkc

Seen in Federal truck advertisements from 1911 and in original photos from 1912, Federal trucks from this period also displayed the "Federal" name on what appear to be cast alloy body side nameplates mounted below the seat, see example shown below. These Federal body side nameplates were used from 1911 to about 1915.

Federal truck showing body side nameplate (1912)     dpl

Federal truck advertisements from 1913 and original photos show Federal trucks displaying the "Federal" name on brass radiator scripts with the capital letters of the word "FEDERAL" linked together, see examples shown below. This script style was a registered trademark and was used as the Federal logo.

Federal truck ad with radiator script (1913)   atj

Federal truck showing a radiator script (1914)  worthpoint

The following small Federal nameplate uses the logo and was likely to have been displayed inside Federal trucks from about late 1913. This Federal truck nameplate is rare.

This is a Federal truck maker's nameplate (c1913)    mjs
Size: 58mm wide 22mm high

From about 1915 to 1925, Federal trucks had a new radiator with the "Federal" name cast into the radiator tank top, see example shown below:

Federal truck with cast in radiator emblem (1916)    hatm

Close-up showing cast in radiator emblem (1916) 

Some Canadian Federal models in the period about 1916 to 1925 had "Another Federal" stenciled in white letters on the upper hood panels, see example shown below:

Federal truck displaying hood side nameplate (1919) 
searcharchives.vancouver.ca

This slogan was used to advertise Federal trucks from as early as 1913, see 1914 example shown below:

"Another Federal" advertisement (1914)  detroitfreepress

Some Federal models in the period from about 1916 to 1925 displayed the "Federal" name on pressed metal body side panels below the driver's seat, see example shown below:

Federal truck displaying body side nameplate (1922)   pnwtm

The "Federal" name was also displayed on a Federal nameplate mounted on the rear chassis cross member from about 1915 to 1925 and possibly later, see restored example shown below:

Rear chassis cross frame nameplate (c1915) 

The following is a different rear chassis cross frame Federal nameplate. This Federal nameplate is scarce.

Federal rear chassis cross frame nameplate (c1915-1925) mjs
Size: 532mm wide 112mm high   MM: None

The Federal Knight introduced in 1924 carried an oval shaped, blue and white enamel radiator emblem, see example shown below. This Federal Knight radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Federal-Knight radiator emblem (1924-1926)  mjs
Size: 78mm wide 51mm high    MM: Unknown (poss D L Auld)

Federal models using conventional engines in the same period carried an oval shaped blue and white enamel Federal radiator emblem, see example shown below. This Federal radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Federal radiator emblem (1924-1927)    mjs
Size:78mm wide 51mm high   MM: Unknown (poss D L Auld)

Federal trucks in this period also displayed the "Federal" name on hood side nameplates showing the model names, such as Federal Knight, Federal Scout and others. The first "Federal Scout" and "Federal Big Six" hood side nameplates were finished in blue and white enamel but later examples are in painted thin metal nameplates, see examples shown below:

This is an enamel Federal Big Six hood side nameplate (c1926) ms
Size: Unknown

This is a painted Federal Big Six hood side nameplate (c1928) mjs
Size: 550mm wide 64mm high

This is a Federal Scout Six hood side nameplate (c1928)  mjs
Size: 383mm wide 42mm high

A new aluminum radiator shell was introduced for the 1926 model year with the "Federal" name impressed into the radiator tank top, see example shown below:

Federal truck with aluminum rad & embossed emblem   flickr

Federal radiator top showing embossed emblem (1926-1927)   ms

This radiator was also used on some Federal Knight models in 1926-1927, which also displayed "Federal Knight" hood side nameplates.

Federal-Knight logo (1925)    ms

A new Federal radiator emblem was used from 1926 to 1932 on most medium and heavy duty Federal truck models. This is the large blue and white enamel Federal truck radiator emblem shown below. This Federal truck radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Federal truck radiator emblem (1926-1932)  mjs
Size: 225mm wide 66mm high   MM: D L Auld

A smaller version of this Federal truck emblem was used on lighter duty Federal truck models, including some 1926-1927 Federal Scout models, see example shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Federal truck radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Federal truck radiator emblem (1926-1932)  mjs
Size: 159mm wide 51mm high   MM: D L Auld

The following shows the size difference between these emblems:

Federal truck radiator emblems size comparison    mjs

The "Federal" name was also displayed on painted Federal hood side nameplates with rounded corners, see example shown below:

Federal truck showing hood side nameplate (1932) heritagepark.ca

Close-up showing hood side nameplate (1932)

There was another change in the Federal truck radiator emblem design in 1933, see the black and white enamel Federal radiator grille emblem shown below. This Federal radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Federal truck radiator emblem (1933-1936)   mjs
Size: 83mm wide 33mm high    MM: D L Auld

The following is a black and white painted version of the previous Federal truck radiator emblem. This Federal truck radiator emblem is believed to have been used for 1936 only and is rare.

This is a Federal truck radiator emblem (1936)    mjs
Size: 81mm wide 33mm high    MM: D L Auld

The "Federal" name was also displayed on hood side nameplates, see examples shown below:

Federal truck with hood side nameplate (c1935)  lktec

This is a Federal hood side nameplate (1933-1935) lktec
Size: 305mm wide 52mm high   MM: Unknown

This is a Federal hood side nameplate (1936-1937)   ms
Size: 295mm wide 45mm high   MM: Unknown

Federal trucks did not carry a radiator emblem or 1937 but did display the "Federal" name on a die-cast pennant hood ornament, see example shown below. This Federal hood ornament was also used on Federal cab over engine models for 1938-1940.

This is a Federal truck hood ornament (1937-1940)    ms

Light and medium duty Federal trucks displayed the "Federal" name on a die cast chrome trim strip emblem on the upper front of the radiator grille from 1938-1950, see examples shown below. There were some variations in detail over the period.

Federal flat bed truck with grille emblem (1947)   mecum

Federal grille emblem (1938-1950) lktec
Size: 145mm high 22mm wide  MM: Unknown

The following Federal truck detail from a Federal advertisement shows a different style of the Federal grille emblem:

Federal heavy duty truck grille emblem (1938)     eBay   

From 1939, heavy duty Federal truck models displayed a die cast hood ornament mounted on the top of the radiator grille, see example shown below:

Federal heavy duty truck hood ornament (1939-1953)  ms

From 1939, the "Federal" name was also displayed on a round emblem mounted on the leading edge of hood side panels on light and medium duty models to 1950 and heavy duty models to 1953, see example shown below:

Federal truck hood side emblem (1947)   mecum

This is the circular pressed metal, painted Federal hood side emblem shown below:

This is a Federal hood side emblem (1938-1953)   mjs
Size: 112mm diameter    MM: None

Some heavy duty Federal military recovery vehicles carried a cast metal radiator grille emblem, see example shown below:

Federal Model C-2 wrecker truck with rad emblem (c1945) wiki

This is the painted Federal radiator grille emblem shown below. This Federal radiator grille emblem is rare.

This is a Federal radiator grille emblem (c1940-1945)  lktec
Size: 157mm wide 46mm high   MM: Unknown

From 1950 to 1954, restyled Skyliner Federal models displayed a painted die cast "F" grille emblem, see example shown below:

Federal Skyliner truck with "F" emblem (1954)   brc

Close-up showing Federal "F" emblem (1950-1954)



 




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