February 08, 2023


W G Hahn & Brother Carriage & Wagon Works (1907-1913)
Hahn Motor Truck & Wagon Co. (1913-1920)
Hahn Motor Trucks, Inc. (1920-1926)
Hamburg, Pennsylvania
Hahn Motor Truck Corp. (1927-1930)
Selden Hahn Motor Truck Corp. (1930-1931)
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Hahn Motors Inc. (1931-1989)
Hamburg, Pennsylvania

This is a Hahn fire engine radiator emblem (1932-1937)     mjs
Size: 109mm wide 63mm high   MM: None

William. G. Hahn established the Hahn Wagon & Carriage Works in 1898, but was joined by his brother a few years and the company was renamed W. G. Hahn & Brother Wagon & Carriage Works.

After building one truck and one automobile in his wagon works in 1907, W. G. Hahn decided to build trucks as well as wagons but truck production was minimal before 1913, when the company name was changed again to the Hahn Truck & Wagon Company. Early Hahn trucks were conventional chain driven models powered by four-cylinder engines. Five models up to 3-!/2-ton capacity were offered in 1915, when Hahn also began to build fire apparatus. The model range increased to 5-ton trucks by 1916 and 6-ton trucks by 1920. The first six-cylinder models were introduced in 1926 and passenger bus chassis of various sizes were also offered.

Hahn fire apparatus business expanded and included a range of pumpers, hose and chemical fire engines, as well as long-wheelbase city service hook and ladder trucks. The company was sold to a group of bankers in 1927 and renamed Hahn Motor Truck Corporation, with William G. Hahn retained to manage the business. 

Hahn took over the former Bethlehem plant in Allentown in 1927 but also kept the Hamburg plant. A merger with Selden (see Selden Truck) in 1929 lasted only 16 months during which time some Hahn models were offered under both names. The company failed in 1931, as a result of the Great Depression. 

William G. Hahn immediately started a new company, Hahn Motors Inc., using the Hahn factory in Hamburg, and was soon offering commercial truck models from 1-1/2-ton to 10-ton capacity available with a full range of Hahn built bodies, including fire apparatus. In 1938, Hahn introduced a stylish new truck with a "butterfly" grille design. In the early 1940's, the main Hahn business was in commercial trucks with fire apparatus only a small part of the business. 

Hahn built special military fire apparatus, trailer pumps and other vehicles for the US Army during the Second World War. When civilian production resumed in 1945, Hahn decided to concentrate on fire apparatus exclusively. An entirely new fire apparatus chassis was introduced in 1946 with a high rounded hood and vertically themed grille replacing the previous "butterfly" design. In the late 1940's and early 1950's, Hahn began mounting its fire apparatus bodies on commercial truck chassis. Hahn continued to build fire apparatus vehicles until 1989.


Early Hahn motor trucks had the "Hahn" name embossed on the top of the radiator, see the photos shown below of a surviving Hahn truck from 1915:

Hahn motor truck (1915)   bmhv

Close up showing Hahn radiator emblem (1915)   bmhv

Hahn motor trucks and fire engines in the mid-to-late 1920's had conventional flat fronted radiators with rounded tops and hood and carried a wide horizontal, rectangular radiator emblem with rounded ends displaying the "Hahn" name, see example shown below:

Hahn 500 gpm pumper showing radiator emblem (1925)     wmcc

Hahn fire trucks built from about 1927 to 1932, appear to have had flat fronted aluminum radiators with painted cast Hahn radiator emblems, either separate emblems or embossed into the radiator tank top, see example shown below:

Hahn fire engine showing radiator emblem (1930)   bhfc

Close up showing radiator emblem (1930)

There was a change to a separate oval-shaped emblem mounted on the top front of the radiator from 1932 to 1937, see example shown below:

Hahn fire engine with oval radiator emblem (1936)  flickr

The radiator emblem is the chrome metal Hahn radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Hahn radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Hahn fire engine radiator emblem (1932-1937)    mjs
Size: 109mm wide 63mm high   MM: None

The unique Hahn "butterfly" radiator grille design, which was in use from 1938 to 1942, did not carry a radiator emblem but did display the "Hahn" name on a red painted hood side nameplate, see examples shown below:

Hahn butterfly grille fire truck (1942)    jacques leretrait

Hahn fire truck showing hood side nameplate (1939) lehighvalleylive

This Hahn hood side nameplate continued in use after 1946 with the new rounded hood and vertically themed radiator grille that replaced the "butterfly" grille design, see example shown below:

Hahn fire truck with hood side nameplate (1947)  jacques leretrait

This is the red painted Hahn hood side nameplate. This Hahn hood side nameplate is scarce.  

This is a Hahn hood side nameplate (1938-c1946)    mjs
Size: 280mm wide 56mm high    MM: None

The following photos show two different Hahn hood side nameplates. If you have details of the dates of use of either of these Hahn nameplates, please let me know, in order to update this post.

This is a Hahn hood side nameplate (date uncertain)   dkc
Size:140mm wide 54mm high   MM: Unknown

This is a Hahn hood side nameplate (date uncertain)  mjs
Size: 216 mm wide 40mm high   MM: None

Some surviving Hahn "butterfly" grille fire engines from about 1940 display the "Hahn" name on a Hahn Rooster hood ornament, which was more widely used on rounded hood Hahn fire engines from 1946, see example shown below. The Rooster was used as a Hahn logo, because the name "Hahn" is German for "rooster".

This is a Hahn fire engine hood ornament (1941) david patterson

The Rooster is more commonly seen on a cast chrome Hahn rooster grille emblem after about 1950, although I cannot confirm a date for the first use of this emblem, see example shown below:

This is a Hahn rooster grille emblem (c1950-1970)  flickriver
Size: 143mm diameter

The following oval shaped, painted cast metal Hahn radiator emblem is a mystery. It has "Hahn Motor Truck Co." across the top but I can find no evidence that there ever was a "Hahn Motor Truck Company" maybe this is for the Hahn Motor Truck Corporation from 1927-1930, but I cannot confirm this. If you can identify this Hahn emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.

Hahn radiator emblem (date unknown)  ms
Size: Unknown

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