November 18, 2021

COLE

Cole Carriage Co. (1908-1909)
Cole Motor Car Co. (1909-1925)
Indianapolis, Indiana


This is a Cole radiator emblem (1921-1925)     mjs
Size: 56mm diameter   MM: Unknown

Joseph J. Cole had a successful horse-drawn carriage business and decided to build his first high-wheeler buggy in 1908. It is said that Joseph Cole took his prototype high-wheeler for a test drive around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis in October 1908. The test drive apparently took longer than expected, because Cole had not yet installed any brakes on his car and he had to drive round and round the monument until the car ran out of gasoline.

Cole made and sold 170 high-wheeler buggies, called Cole Solid Tire Automobiles, and then, in 1909, he established the Cole Motor Car Company and introduced a conventional four-cylinder Model 30, which sold well. The Cole was successful in several racing and endurance events. A Cole Six followed in 1913 and, in 1915, Cole introduced a V-8 and all Cole cars thereafter were eight-cylinder models.

All Cole cars were assembled vehicles and the Cole Motor Car Company was proud of this and used the slogan "The Standardized Car" from 1912 until 1915. The Cole Aero Eight was introduced in 1918 with a change in styling. By 1919 the Cole was second only to Cadillac in production among America's high-priced automakers. Cole did well until the postwar recession started to bite and in 1925 Joseph Cole decided to close the business.

Emblems

The first two-cylinder Cole Solid Tire Automobiles, produced in late 1908 and early 1909, did not carry an emblem but did display the "Cole" name on a brass script attached to the radiator core. 

The following 1908 Cole Carriage Company advertisement shows a script on the radiator, although the detail is unclear:

Cole Carriage Co. advertisement (1908)  classicspeedsters

The following original period photo from 1909 shows a radiator script with "COLE" in capital letters. Original Cole scripts in this design are extremely rare.

This is a Cole Solid Tire Automobile with radiator script (1909)  dpl

Later in 1909, a new "Cole 30" script logo was introduced and appeared in subsequent Cole automobile advertisements. The first Cole 30 automobiles produced in late 1909 and in 1910, also did not carry an emblem, but displayed the "Cole 30" name on a brass radiator script, see the Cole 30 Flyer sheet music cover and original photo from 1910 shown below:

Cole 30 Flyer sheet music cover showing rad script (1910)

                                                                                   
Close-up showing the Cole 30 radiator script 

Cole 30 Flyer displaying radiator script (1910)       forums.aaca

The following is an example of a Cole 30 radiator script. Original Cole 30 radiator scripts are rare.
                                                                               
This is a Cole 30 radiator script (1909-1910)    mjs
Size: 250mm wide

The "Cole 30" name was also displayed on the brass hubcaps, see example shown below:

This is a Cole 30 hubcap (1909-1911)    kam

The following original period photos of Cole race cars taken in 1911 show the Cole 30 radiator script mounted in different areas on the radiator and, on the first photo below, the "Cole 30" script is also displayed on the side of the driver's seat.

Cole 30 Race Car (1911)    classicspeedsters

Cole 30 Race Car (1911)     classicspeedsters 

The Cole 30 was exhibited at the 1911 Chicago Auto Show and carried a large radiator emblem, see original photo shown below. The Chicago Auto Show was held in January-February 1911, so the emblem was most likely to have been attached to Cole 30 automobiles built in the latter part of 1910 for the 1911 model year.

This is a Cole car at the Chicago Auto Show (1911)   dpl

This emblem was a large deep blue and white enamel Cole 30 radiator emblem inscribed with "Cole Motor Car Co." and "Indianapolis", see example shown below. This Cole 30 radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Cole 30 radiator emblem (1910-1911)    imsm
Size: 85mm wide 54mm high   MM: Unknown

The following is a surviving Cole 30 from 1911 carrying this radiator emblem:

This is a Cole 30 showing radiator emblem (1911)   imsm

The following announcement published in August 1911 appears to refer to a Cole 30-40 model:

Cole 30-40 Announcement (Aug 1911)   tha 

However, there was no Cole 30-40 model. The Cole 40 was introduced for the 1912 model year, so the Cole 30-40 logo was probably an attempt to advertise the Cole 40 but maintain interest in the Cole 30, which may have continued into 1912 and certainly while existing Cole 30 models were still available for sale. 

In late 1911, the Cole emblem was changed to a "Cole 30-40" radiator emblem suitable for use on both Cole 30 and Cole 40 models, see original photo from 1912 shown below:

This is a Cole showing the Cole 30-40 radiator emblem (1912) dpl

This Cole emblem is the deep blue and white enamel Cole 30-40 radiator emblem shown below. The "Cole Motor Car Co." and "Indianapolis" inscriptions are absent. This Cole 30-40 radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Cole 30-40 radiator emblem (1911-1912)     mjs
Size: 85mm wide 53mm high   MM: Robbins

There was a further change in Cole emblem design to remove the model designation altogether, presumably to allow even wider and simpler use of the emblem. This change probably occurred in 1912 and may have continued in use in 1913, probably for the Cole 40, although I cannot confirm this. I have been unable to find an original photo of a Cole automobile with this radiator emblem.

This emblem is the deep blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblem shown below. This Cole radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1912-1913)    mjs
Size: 85mm wide 54mm high   MM: Unknown (poss Robbins)

The following shows an example of the large aluminum Cole radiator script seen in original Cole car photos. Original Cole radiator scripts are rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (c1911-1913)      mjs
Size: 450mm wide   

The following original photo shows a "Cole" script mounted on the top of the radiator of a Cole truck in Dayton, Ohio in 1913. This is particularly interesting, since I can find no reference to any trucks manufactured by Cole.

Cole truck displaying a Cole radiator script (1913)   tom

Some early Cole models carried kerosene lamps. These kerosene side lamps displayed the "Cole 30" or "Cole" name on small oval-shaped pressed metal emblems. The kerosene lamps and emblems were either brass or painted black with nickel trim in late 1911, see brass example shown below:

Kerosene lamp with a Cole emblem (c1910-1911) kfc

Close up showing Cole lamp emblem

The following are examples of Cole kerosene side lamp emblems. These Cole lamp emblems are rare:

This is a brass Cole 30 kerosene lamp emblem (1910-1911)  mjs
Size: 52mm wide 33mm high    MM: None

This is a painted Cole kerosene lamp emblem (c1911)  mjs
Size: 52mm wide 33mm high   MM: None

There was a complete change in Cole radiator emblem in late 1912 or early 1913, see original Auto Show photo shown below, which is annotated "c1912" and shows Cole automobiles displaying the new radiator emblem:

This Auto Show photo shows Cole autos with the new rad emblem (c1912) dpl

This new emblem has an eagle with a shield, which displays the "Cole" script logo, and has a descriptive ribbon below. The surviving 1913 Cole Model Fifty shown below displays an aluminum radiator script and also carries the new Cole emblem with the inscription "The Standardized Car":

This shows a Cole Model 50 with radiator emblem (1913)  kam

The following photo shows a close-up of the blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblem:

This close-up shows the Cole radiator emblem (1913)   kam
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

The following photo shows examples of Cole radiator emblems used in the period 1912 to 1920. There are three different sizes, large, medium and small, with other variations in detailed design, see below:

This shows the three different Cole radiator emblem sizes  mjs
Sizes: See details shown below

There are two different large sized Cole radiator emblems.

The following large sized blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblem is inscribed "Bonus Est", which means (Cole) "Is Good". This Cole radiator emblem was used on the 1912-1913 Cole Series 8. This Cole radiator emblems is very rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1912-1913)   mjs
Size: 71mm wide 69mm high   MM: Unknown

The following large sized blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblem is inscribed "The Standardized Car" and was used on the Cole Series 9 in 1913. This Cole radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1913)    mjs
Size: 73mm wide 70mm high    MM: Unknown

There are two different medium sized Cole radiator emblems.

The following medium sized blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblems is inscribed "The Standardized Car" and was used on the 1914 Cole 4-40 and 6-60 models. This Cole radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1914)      mjs
Size: 57mm high 54mm wide   MM: Unknown

The following medium sized blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblem is inscribed "Eight Cylinder" and was used on the 1915 V8 Cole 8-50 model. This Cole radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1915)   mjs
Size: 57mm high 54mm wide    MM: Unknown

There are two different smaller sized Cole radiator emblems.

The following smaller sized blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblem is inscribed "The Standardized Car" and is believed to have been used on the 1915 Cole 6-50 model, but I cannot confirm this. This Cole radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1915)      mjs
Size: 54mm wide 52mm high    MM: None

The following smaller sized blue and white enamel Cole radiator emblem is inscribed "Eight Cylinder" and was used from 1916 to about 1920. This Cole radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1916-c1920)    mjs
Size: 53mm wide 52mm high    MM: Unknown

The first eight-cylinder Cole cars introduced in 1915 were sometimes given a figure "8" to go with the "Cole" radiator script, see the following 1915 Cole Eight advertisement:

This Cole Eight advertisement shows the radiator script (1915) ms

These first eight-cylinder Cole cars also displayed the "Cole 8" name on small round emblems attached to the hubcaps. The first of these Cole 8 hub emblems appeared for 1915 and were inscribed with the "The Standardized Car" slogan, see black enamel example shown below. This Cole hub emblem is scarce.

This is a Cole 8 hub emblem (1915)   mjs
Size: 43mm diameter   MM: Unknown

Some examples of the 1915 black enamel Cole 8 hub emblem inscribed with "The Standardized Car" slogan shown above have been found with an Auld mounting cup on the reverse side. The Auld mounting cup was not used until about 1918. It has been suggested that this was likely to have occurred during the final year for Cole in 1924, when Cole made two final production runs utilizing remaining parts and may have fitted Auld mounting cups to some left over hub emblems from 1915.

The following is a blue and white enamel version of the same Cole 8 hub emblem.  This Cole hub emblem is rare. I do not know which Cole model carried this hub emblem or the precise dates of use. If you have further details of the use of this Cole hub emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.

This is a Cole 8 hub emblem (c1915)     dnc
Size: 43mm diameter   MM: Unknown

The Cole management wanted to put more emphasis on the "8" and from 1916 the Cole V8 had a new radiator script with a unified "Cole 8" design, as shown in the following Cole advertisement for 1917:
This is a Cole Eight ad showing rad script (1917)  ms

The following is an example of an aluminum unified Cole 8 radiator script introduced in 1916:

This is a Cole Eight radiator script (1916-c1919)     ms
Size: Unknown

The Cole hubcap design was also changed to make the "8" more prominent, see the black painted Cole Eight hubcap shown below:

This is a Cole Eight hubcap (1916-1918)  worthpoint

The Cole Aero Eight introduced in 1918 had new styling and the hub emblem was changed back to the earlier small round black enamel emblem, but this time inscribed "Eight Cylinder", as shown below. These Cole Eight hub emblems are scarce.

This is a Cole Aero Eight hub emblem (1918-c1923)   mjs
Size: 43mm diameter    MM: Unknown (some D L Auld)

The following is a Cole Aero Eight hubcap showing the separate hub emblem:

Cole Aero Eight hubcap with hub emblem (1918-1923) hubcapcollector

Cole advertisements for the Cole Aero Eight introduced in 1918 included a representation of a new trademark in the style of a circular emblem containing the eagle, shield and ribbon as depicted on the earlier Cole radiator emblem. The ribbons had either "EIGHT CYLINDER" or "INDIANAPOLIS" inscriptions, see examples shown below:

Cole Aero Eight ad with new trademark (1918) getty

Close-up showing "EIGHT CYLINDER" trademark

Cole Aero Eight ad showing trademark (1918)  ms

Close-up showing "INDIANAPOLIS" trademark

The "Indianapolis" trademark shown above became the basis for a new Cole radiator emblem, which seems to have been used from 1921, see the round, black and white enamel Cole radiator emblem shown below. This Cole radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Cole radiator emblem (1921-1925)     mjs
Size: 56mm diameter   MM: Unknown

From 1924, the Cole hub emblem continued the "EIGHT CYLINDER" design as shown earlier but impressed into the face of the hubcap rather than on a separate hub emblem, see example shown below:

Cole Aero Eight hubcap with impressed face (1924-1925)  dkc






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