February 01, 2023


Searchmont Motor Co. (1900-1902)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fournier-Searchmont Co. (1902-1903)
Searchmont Automobile Co. (1903-1904)
Delaware Co., Pennsylvania

This is a Searchmont maker's nameplate/serial plate (1903)  mjs
Size: 77mm wide 39mm high

Late in 1900, Theodore C. Search together with other businessmen bought out the Keystone Motor Company of Philadelphia and the 5/10 hp single-cylinder Keystone Wagonette became the Searchmont, which was produced through 1902. But the Searchmont people had grander ambitions and when the then famous French racing driver, Henri Fournier, came to America for a holiday, he agreed to lend his name to Searchmont. The company was renamed Fournier-Searchmont in 1902 and the new car was a 12 hp two-cylinder car offered as a runabout or touring model. It was the first in America to use force-feed lubrication.

Much of the design was the work of  Lee Sherman Chadwick, who was a talented engineer. Chadwick also designed a 32 hp four-cylinder model and preliminary work began but production did not proceed. The Fournier connection soon faded and by 1903 the company was renamed Searchmont Automobile Company. Financial problems led to the demise of the overpriced Searchmont in 1904. The remaining Searchmont cars were sold and Lee Chadwick bought the parts for the four-cylinder prototype car, which he then used to develop the Chadwick car (see Chadwick).


The Searchmont did not carry an emblem but the "Searchmont" name was displayed on a cast brass nameplate/serial plate, see example above at the top of this post.

The following photo shows a rare surviving 1903 Searchmont Model VII in "as found" condition:

This is a Searchmont Model VII (1903)  sealcoveautomuseum  

This Searchmont car was restored and is on display at the Seal Cove Auto Museum. The restored car displays a small brass "Searchmont" script attached to the radiator core, see below:

Searchmont Model VII with radiator script (1903)  gene leachman

However, it is most unlikely that such a radiator script was used in 1903. This "Searchmont" script was most likely made for the restored car based on the "Searchmont" script logo used in advertisements, see example shown below, and on the maker's nameplates, as shown earlier above:

Searchmont ad with script logo (1903)  ms

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