March 17, 2022


Dearborn Motor Truck Co. (c1916-1917)

Dearborn Truck Co. (c1917-1924)
Chicago, Illinois

This is a Dearborn nameplate (1919-1924)   pnwtm
Size: Unknown

The Dearborn Truck Company of Chicago grew out of the Dearborn Motor Truck Company, also from Chicago. 

The Dearborn Motor Truck Company manufactured a truck attachment unit to be fixed to a Ford motor car to make a 1-ton truck. This Dearborn truck was called a Ford-Dearborn and is first seen in advertisements in 1916, see example shown below:

Dearborn Motor Truck Co. ad (1916)   atj

By 1917, the company had changed its name to the Dearborn Truck Company. There appears to have been a change in direction of the Dearborn Truck Company around 1918 or 1919, when the manufacture of Ford truck conversions had ceased and the company began to build its own complete trucks.

The Dearborn Truck Company produced 1-1/2-ton and 2-ton capacity trucks from 1919 using Buda, Continental and Hercules engines. The company emphasized the light weight of their trucks and claimed, for example, that their 2-ton Model 48 truck was 500 lb to 2000 lb lighter than other worm drive trucks of the same capacity. 

It is reported that a 1-ton model using pneumatic tires was built in the last two years before production of the Dearborn truck ceased in 1924. I can find no detailed information about this 1-ton model, but there is a surviving 3/4-ton Dearborn truck from 1922, which may have been similar to the 1-ton model.


It is likely that the only place where the Dearborn Motor Truck Company name appeared externally on the early Ford-Dearborn truck conversions was on the hubcaps, see example shown below:

This is a Dearborn Motor Truck Company hubcap (1916-1917)  dkc

By 1917, after the company had changed its name to the Dearborn Truck Company, Ford Dearborn advertisements showed a "Ford Dearborn" logo, see example shown below:

Dearborn Motor Truck Co. ad (1917)  ebay

Dearborn Motor Truck Co. logo 

It is possible that this logo appeared on some hubcaps but I cannot confirm this.

A similar logo but without the "Ford" name was introduced around 1919 when Dearborn Truck Company began to build its own complete trucks, see 1920 Dearborn advertisement shown below:

Dearborn Truck Co. ad showing logo (1920)  ebay

This advertisement shows a Dearborn Model 48 2-ton capacity truck with a cast iron radiator carrying a radiator emblem and a hood side "Dearborn" nameplate. see close up shown below:  

Dearborn Model 48 2-ton truck showing radiator emblem & hood side nameplate (1920)   ebay

A surviving 1922 Dearborn 3/4-ton capacity truck shows the cast iron radiator in more detail and the "Dearborn" name cast into the radiator tank top, see photos shown below:

Dearborn 1500 lb capacity truck with radiator emblem & hood side nameplate (1922)   pnwtm

This is the Dearborn truck radiator emblem (1922)   pnwtm

The Dearborn truck hood side nameplate is shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Dearborn nameplate is very rare.

This is a Dearborn truck hood side nameplate (1919-1924)  pnwtm

The same radiator emblem and hood side nameplate is expected to have been used on the other Dearborn truck models built from 1919 to 1924.

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