October 31, 2023


Grout Brothers (1898-1903)
Grout Brothers Automobile Co. (1903-1908)
Grout Automobile Co. (1909-1912)
Orange, Massachusetts

This is a Grout maker's nameplate (c1903-1908)    mjs
Size: 100mm wide 43mm high

The Grout brothers are believed to have made an experimental steam car in 1896. They began experimenting again in 1898, and built several gasoline cars and most likely a steam car prototype. When car production began in 1900, it was a light steam car. The Grout Brothers Automobile Company was established in 1903 by their father, William L. Grout. Further steam car models followed and production reached 18 steam cars each week by 1904. For the 1905 model year a four-cylinder gasoline model was also available and from 1906 on only four-cylinder gasoline automobiles were produced.

The Grout brothers also built steam powered trucks from 1901. Grout trucks came in several sizes up to 5-tons capacity but Grout truck production ceased in 1905.

The Grout Brothers Automobile Company came into difficulties in 1907 through arguments between the Grout brothers and their father, who took over control of the business. However, William L. Grout died in 1908. The business was reorganized in 1909 by local businessmen as the Grout Automobile Company and gasoline automobile production continued. But, there was a shortage of capital and it was all over by 1912.


The earliest Grout steamers did not carry an emblem but did display the "Grout" name on a small brass maker's nameplate mounted at the rear of the vehicle and on a small brass serial plate mounted under the driver's seat, see examples shown below. Original Grout serial plates of this period are extremely rare. 

The following cast brass Grout serial plate is particularly interesting, as it has a maker's mark on the reverse:

This is a Grout serial plate (1902)   khc
Size: 88mm wide 56mm high   MM: Spencer

The following Grout plates are seen on a surviving 1902 Grout Model H steamer: 

This is a Grout serial plate (1902)    rmsothebys

Grout nameplate (c1903)    rmsothebys

The cast brass Grout maker's nameplate shown above is attached to the rear of the surviving 1902 Model H, but is inscribed "Grout Bros. Automobile Co.", which was established in 1903. It is possible that this Model H was produced late in 1902 and had the maker's plate attached in 1903. This Grout maker's nameplate may have been used for a short time and is very rare.

The brass Grout maker's nameplate shown above at the top of this post and again below is seen at the rear of some surviving 1903 Grout steamers, although I cannot confirm that the plate was fitted at the time of manufacture. This Grout nameplate is rare.

This is a Grout maker's nameplate (c1903-1908)      mjs
Size: 100mm wide 43mm high

The Grout serial plate was changed after 1903 to a painted serial plate similar to the example shown below. Original Grout serial plates with this design are very rare.

This is a Grout serial plate (c1906)   sam
Size: 65mm wide 32mm high

Some surviving Grout steam cars display "Grout" scripts on the front of the dash, but it is most unlikely that these were fitted at the time of the vehicle production. It is believed that these scripts were added later during restoration.

A possible exception is the surviving 1903 Grout steamer shown below, which carries a wooden side panel with the "Grout" name apparently displayed by a brass script:

Grout Steamer with body side name panel (1903)  wiki

Close-up showing Grout name panel (1903) 

It is possible that the "Grout" name on this side panel was originally displayed using a decal or was hand painted but I cannot confirm this.

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

This is a Grout steamer hubcap (c1905)    mjs

The a12 hp two-cylinder Grout steamer from 1904, shown below, had the appearance of a steam locomotive complete with an imitation cowcatcher:

Grout 12 hp 2-cylinder steamer (1904)    wiki 

This Grout model displays the "Grout" name on cast brass nameplates attached to the leading edges on both sides of the entrance to the driver's seat, see below:

Close-up showing brass Grout side nameplates (1904)

The following shows an example of the left-side Grout nameplate facing forwards:

This is a Grout side nameplate (c1904)   mjs
Size: 263mm high 57mm wide 

The Grout four-cylinder gasoline powered automobiles introduced in 1905 are believed to have displayed the "Grout" name on a brass script attached to the radiator core. I cannot confirm the 1905 date but the Grout radiator script was certainly used from 1906, see original period photo shown below. 

Grout touring car with radiator script (1906)   dpl

This is a brass Grout radiator script. Original brass Grout radiator scripts are rare.

This is a Grout radiator emblem (c1905-1909)   mjs
Size: 307mm wide   

This Grout radiator script continued in use until about 1908, see original photo of Grout cars at a trade show in 1908:

Grout gasoline car at trade show (1908)    dpl

A smaller brass Grout script was used on the radiator from about 1909, see example shown below. 

Grout gasoline car with radiator script (c1909)   dpl

The Grout script logo is still seen on Grout advertisements in 1912, see example shown below, indicating that Grout radiator scripts may have continued in use until the end of production, although I cannot confirm this.

Grout advertisement showing script logo (1912)   ebay

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