February 22, 2023


Wayne Automobile Co. (1904-1908)
Detroit, Michigan 

This is a Wayne nameplate/serial plate (1906)    mjs
Size: 88mm wide 38mm high 

The Wayne automobile was designed by William E Kelly based on an experimental car he had built in 1901. The Wayne was initially offered as a 16 hp two-cylinder five-passenger touring car but was later offered in a variety of two-cylinder and four-cylinder models with engine sizes up to 50 hp. Wayne cars were recognized as well-built and solid automobiles. 

In 1908, Wayne merged with the Northern Manufacturing Company and a managing interest in the company was acquired by Barney Everitt and Walter Flanders, who teamed up with William Metzger to produce the E-M-F, also designed by William Kelley. Production of the Wayne ceased in the summer of 1908.


Original period photos of Wayne cars and advertisement illustrations show no evidence of an emblem and a logo style for the "Wayne" name had clearly not been established before Wayne production began, see example advertisements shown below:

Wayne advertisement (1904)   ebay

Wayne advertisement (1905)  alamy

The "Wayne" name was displayed on a small cast brass maker's nameplate/serial plate mounted on the dash or under the driver's seat, see example shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Wayne maker's nameplate/serial plate is very rare.

This is a Wayne nameplate/serial plate (1906)   mjs
Size: 88mm wide 38mm high

The Wayne automobile was named after the Revolutionary War General "Mad Anthony" Wayne and a logo depicting General Wayne was published in the MoToR magazine in January 1905, see below: 

General Wayne logo (January 1905)    mm

The Standard Catalog of American Cars says that "a portrait of General Wayne appeared on the Wayne car emblem". I have never seen such an emblem, although the General Wayne logo appears on Wayne car brochures from about 1906. It is likely that the Standard Catalog meant to say that the portrait of General Wayne appeared on the Wayne logo rather than the emblem. However, if you have any details of such an emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.

A brochure showing the Wayne Model B, which appeared in 1905 and 1906, includes an illustration of the transmission system with the "Wayne" name in a Gothic style embossed on the transmission cover, see below:

Wayne Model B transmission (1905-06)  sfam

Close up showing Wayne script logo (1905-1906)

However, this Wayne script logo is not seen in Wayne advertisements but a Wayne script logo seems to have been finalised by 1906, as seen on 1906 Wayne brochure cover sheet, which also depicts the General Wayne logo, see below:

Wayne brochure with logos (1906)

Wayne advertisements for 1906 also show the Wayne script logo and still show no sign of an emblem, see example shown below:

Wayne advertisement (1906)   ebay

A surviving Wayne Model N carries a "Wayne" radiator script, see photo shown below, but it is likely that this is a reproduction script added during restoration.

Wayne Model N showing radiator script (1907)  rmsothebys

The Wayne radiator script may have been fist used in late 1907 but the earliest original period photo of a Wayne car showing a Wayne radiator script that I have seen dates from 1908, see below. Original Wayne radiator scripts are very rare.

Wayne car with radiator script at motor show (1908)  dpl

The "Wayne" name was also displayed on the hubcaps, see example shown below:

This is a Wayne hubcap (c1906-1908)  dkc

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