February 11, 2021


Selden Motor Vehicle Co. (1913-1919)
Selden Truck Corp. (1919-1928)
Rochester, New York
Selden-Hahn Motor Truck Corp. (1929-1932)
Allentown, Pennsylvania

This is a Selden truck radiator emblem (1927-1932)     mjs
Size: 109mm diameter    MM: None

In 1877 George Baldwin Selden designed an automotive vehicle to be powered by an internal combustion engine and in 1879 he applied for a patent, which was eventually granted in 1895. The Selden Motor Vehicle Company was established in Rochester in late 1906 and began to produce passenger cars, which continued until 1914 (see Selden). Selden had commenced commercial vehicle production in 1913 and decided to concentrate on commercial vehicles only after 1914.

The first Selden trucks were conventional shaft-driven vehicles powered by four-cylinder engines of 20 hp and 40 hp with a range of sizes from 1-ton to 3-1/2-ton capacity. By 1917, Selden was advertising a range of trucks from 3/4-ton to 5-ton capacity. As well as becoming successful in America, Selden trucks were also exported in large numbers. During the First World War, Selden was one of the most important manufacturers of the Class B Liberty truck for the US Army. Selden built 3,700 Liberty trucks.

After the war Selden continued to build civilian trucks from 1-1/2-ton to 3-1/2-ton capacity. The company was incorporated as the Selden Truck Corporation in 1919. By 1924, the largest Selden truck was a 5/7-ton capacity model and in 1928 a new range of trucks was introduced including the 1-1/2-ton and 2-1/2-ton Pacemaker and the 3/4-ton Roadmaster. The heaviest Selden truck by that time was the 7-ton capacity Model 77. 

There were financial problems and in 1929, Selden merged with Hahn Motor Truck Corporation     (see Hahn) and moved to Allentown where they were joined by Maccar. Limited production of Selden continued until 1932.


From 1913 to about 1919, Selden truck advertisements, original period truck photos and surviving trucks show a small round radiator emblem and most display the "Selden" name on a brass script attached to the radiator core and on brass nameplates mounted on the sides of the truck by the driver's seat, see examples shown below:

Selden truck with small radiator emblem & body side nameplate (1914) hatm

Close-up showing radiator emblem (1914)    hatm

Selden truck ad with logo, small rad emblem, script and nameplate (1917)  ms

Selden truck ad showing emblem & nameplates (1917) ebay
Selden truck ad showing truck photo (c1918)  atj

Close-up showing small rad emblem, script and nameplate (c1918)

The small radiator emblem is the same red and blue enamel Selden radiator emblem as used on Selden passenger cars, see example shown below. This Selden radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Selden truck radiator emblem (1913-c1920)   mjs
Size: 46mm diameter    MM: Unknown (some Robbins)

The following is a painted metal Selden hood side nameplate. Original Selden hood side nameplates are rare.

This is a Selden hood side nameplate (dates)    lktec
Size: 230mm wide 80mm high

The following close-up of an original period photo of a Selden passenger car shows the same radiator emblem and a similar radiator script to that seen on Selden trucks:

This shows the Selden radiator emblem and script    dpl

The following is a different Selden radiator script:

This is a Selden radiator script (dates unknown)    dkc
Size: Unknown

From about 1916, Selden advertisements and sales literature include a Selden logo, see example shown below:

Advertisement showing Selden truck logo (1916) atj

From 1918, the Selden truck logo changed slightly as shown below:

Ad showing new Selden truck logo (1918)
automobile topics

Close-up showing the Selden truck logo (1918)

The small Selden radiator emblem shown earlier above was used up to 1918. There was a change in 1919, when Selden trucks from 1-1/2-ton capacity and above were given a heavier cast radiator with the "Selden" name cast into the top of the radiator, see examples shown below:

Selden truck ad showing cast-in emblem (1919) atj

Close-up showing cast-in Selden emblem (1919)     atj

Selden 3-1/2-ton truck showing cast-in emblem (1920)

Selden cast-in truck emblem (1920)   hatm

The following original photo shows a Selden truck with a non-ribbed radiator top and different cast in emblem:

Selden truck showing cast in radiator emblem (1920's)  lktec

The following, very different Selden radiator emblem is seen on a restored 1925 Selden truck but I cannot confirm that this emblem is original:

Restored Selden with a cast truck emblem (1925) genessesun

The following 1926 Selden truck has a painted brass radiator emblem and hood side nameplates:

Selden truck with painted brass emblem & nameplate (1926) genessesun 

This painted brass Selden truck emblem is shown below and is rare:

This is a Selden truck radiator emblem (1926)   mjs
Size: 206mm wide 74mm high   MM: None

From 1927, Selden Pacemaker and Roadmaster trucks carried a large round emblem on the radiator, see Selden Roadmaster illustration shown below:

Selden Roadmaster truck showing rad emblem (1927)  tad burness

This emblem is the red, blue, black and white enamel Selden truck radiator emblem based closely on the 1918 Selden logo, see example shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Selden truck emblem is rare.

This is a Selden truck radiator emblem (1927-1932)   mjs
Size: 109mm diameter   MM: None

The following show examples of Selden hood side nameplates:

This is a Selden Pacemaker hood side nameplate (c1928) lktec
Size: 290mm wide 100mm high   MM: None

This is a Selden Roadmaster hood side nameplate (c1928)  mjs
Size: 290mm wide 100mm high   MM: None

This is a Selden Pacemaker hood side nameplate (1928)   dkc
Size: 300mm wide 80mm high    MM: None

The following painted cast Selden nameplate may have been used as a radiator emblem but I cannot confirm this:

This is a cast Selden truck nameplate/emblem (date unknown) mjs
Size: Unknown      MM: None

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