November 28, 2021


Sanford-Herbert Motor Truck Co. (1909-1911)

Sanford-Herbert Co. (1911-1913)
Sanford Motor Truck Co. (1913-1939)
Syracuse, New York
Sanford Fire Apparatus Corp. (1969-c1980)
East Syracuse, New York

This is a Sanford Greyhound truck radiator emblem (1923)  mjs
Size: 76mm diameter   MM: Unknown

The first truck produced by Sanford-Herbert Motor Truck Company was called the Sanbert and was a 1-ton capacity open truck. The company continued to produce the 1-ton truck only for some years. In 1911/1912 the only Sanbert was the 1-ton engine-under-the-seat Model J open truck, which was powered by a 25 hp three-cylinder air-cooled engine and had double chain drive. 

In early 1913 the company was reorganized as the Sanford Motor Truck Company and the truck became known as the Sanford. The original 1-ton truck was replaced by four-cylinder 1-ton and 1-1/2-ton Sanford trucks. By 1916 there were five models in the Sanford truck range from 3/4-ton to 2-ton capacity. The driver-over-engine layout had been replaced by a conventional hood and worm drive had been introduced. A 6-ton model was added in the 1920's. The 1923 models included the 1-1/2-ton Greyhound which was a speed truck with pneumatic tires.

Six-cylinder engines were introduced in 1924 and also during the 1920's fire engines became an important part of the Sanford product range. Sanford production faded through the late 1920's and by 1930 truck production had ceased and the company concentrated exclusively on building fire engines and related apparatus, including the popular Sanford Cub model introduced in 1929. In the 1930's the demand for fire engines began to fall and the Sanford business finally closed in 1939. 

In 1969 a related company called Sanford Fire Apparatus Corporation was revived in East Syracuse to build fire trucks and apparatus on custom chassis. This company faded out in the 1980's.


There are no early original photos or illustrations of Sanbert trucks showing an emblem and no specific logo is seen in Sanbert advertisements, see example shown below:

Sanbert truck ad (1911)  catj

It is possible that the Sanbert truck displayed a "Sanbert" script on the front of the radiator but I cannot confirm this.

Early Sanford advertisements did show a "Sanford" script logo, see example shown below:

Sanford truck ad showing script logo (1912)

It is likely that this "Sanford" script was displayed on the front of the radiator but, again, I cannot confirm this. 

Photos of Sanford trucks used in Sanford advertisements from about 1915 are not clear enough to show a radiator emblem. It is possible that a "Sanford" radiator script continued to be used in this period, although this cannot be confirmed. However, the "Sanford" name is seen displayed on nameplates mounted on the sides of Sanford trucks by the driver's seat.  See the Sanford Model M photo in the advertisement shown below:

Sanford ad showing side nameplate (1915)  atj

The "Sanford" side nameplate is more clearly seen in the following truck advertisement and appears to be in the style of the "Sanford" script logo shown earlier above.:

Sanford truck with side nameplate (1919)  ms

The following is an example of an early "Sanford" body side nameplate. This Sanford nameplate is rare.

This is a Sanford body side nameplate (c1915-1919)   lktec
Size: 250mm wide 75mm high

The following "Sanford" nameplate is similar but may have been used on a much later Sanford model:

This is a Sanford side nameplate (date unknown)    lktec
Size: 204mm wide 65mm high

The lack of clear photo evidence of the use of emblems on Sanford trucks makes dating of known emblems difficult.

The following blue enamel Sanford emblem inscribed "The Sanford Motor Truck" appears to be an early Sanford radiator emblem used sometime after 1913. This Sanford radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is believed to be a Sanford radiator emblem (dates unknown) sam
Size: 107mm wide 107mm high    MM: Unknown

The following blue and white enamel Sanford radiator emblem is inscribed "The Sanford Geyhound"  and was used for the Sanford Greyhound speed trucks, which were introduced in 1923. This Sanford radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Sanford Greyhound radiator emblem (1923-1929) mjs
Size: 76mm diameter   MM: Unknown

The following blue and red enamel Sanford radiator emblem has been reported as being used around 1929, but I cannot confirm this. This Sanford radiator emblem may have been used for heavy duty trucks. If you have details of the use of this Sanford radiator emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post. This Sanford radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Sanford radiator emblem (dates unknown)    mjs
Size: 88mm wide 75mm high    MM: None

Advertisements in late 1928 for the junior Sanford Cub small truck and fire engine model introduced in 1929 used a tiger to emphasise the "latent power" of this model, see example shown below:

Sanford Cub truck ad (1928)   ebay

However, the specially designed radiator emblem for the Sanford Cub featured a bear cub rather than a tiger cub, see the green and red enamel Sanford Cub radiator emblem shown below. This Sanford Cub radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Sanford Cub radiator emblem (1929-c1933)   mjs
Size: 78mm wide 44mm high    MM: Robbins

There is also a red enamel only example of the Sanford Cub radiator emblem, see example shown below. This Sanford Cub radiator emblem is also very rare. The central hole in the emblem shown below is not original.

This is a Sanford Cub radiator emblem (1929-c1933)   mjs
Size: 78mm wide 44mm high     MM: Robbins

The following photo shows a larger Sanford fire engine from 1929 with a radiator emblem impressed into the aluminum radiator tank top. This style of Sanford radiator emblem was likely to have continued in use for heavier duty Sanford fire trucks through the 1930's.

Sanford fire engine with radiator emblem (1929)   eli d gill

Close-up showing Sanford radiator emblem (1929) 

The following cast aluminum Sanford nameplate may have been use on some Sanford fire truck models:

This is a Sanford nameplate (1930's)    lktec
Size: 205mm wide 55mm high

A Sanford fire engine at the Hudson Firefighting Museum is labelled 1942 but may one of the final 1939 models delivered in 1942. It shows the "Sanford" name on a chrome strip at the base of the hood, see close up view shown below:

Sanford fire engine hood emblem (c1939)  hudson firefighting museum


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