March 30, 2024


Kearns Motor Buggy Co. (1908-1909)
Kearns Motor Car Co. (1909-1916)
Kearns Motor Truck Co. (1912-1920)
Beavertown, Pennsylvania
Kearns-Dughie Corp. (1920-1928)
Danville, Pennsylvania

This is a Kearns radiator script (c1909-1916)     sam
Size: 246mm wide

The first Kearns motor car was an air-cooled 12 hp two-cylinder high-wheeler with a conventional hood. A three-cylinder model was added to the line in 1910. When popular demand for high-wheelers began to fall, Kearns moved into the manufacture of a light four-cylinder standard car. In 1914 automobile production centered on a cyclecar called the Lulu and in 1916 Kearns introduced the Trio, which was available as a runabout, touring or light delivery vehicle. Any of these bodies could be fastened to the same frame by the use of only four bolts.

After 1916 Kearns discontinued automobile production to concentrate on the manufacture of trucks and fire engines, the commercial side of the business having begun with a brewery wagon prototype model in 1909 with full production following in 1911. The Kearns Motor Truck Company was organized in 1912. In 1920 the company moved to Danville and became the Kearns-Dughie Corporation specializing in fire engine chassis. The plant closed in 1928.


The very first Kearns Motor Buggy Company high-wheeler motorized buggies displayed the "Kearns" name on a simple Kearns Motor Buggy Company nameplate/serial plate, see example shown below:

This is a Kearns Motor Buggy nameplate (1908-1909)   mjs
Size:77mmwide 38mm high

The Kearns Motor Car Company high-wheeler models, also displayed the "Kearns" name on brass scripts attached to the "radiator grille". Initially, the air-cooled Kearns had a small "radiator grille" and a large Kearns script that filled the space available, see original period photos shown below:

Kearns roadster with rad script (1909)    sahb

Kearns roadster with rad script (1910)    wiki

The following restored surviving Kearns Model G roadster shows a radiator script, which may be a reproduction script made for the restoration:

Kearns Model G roadster (1910)   rmsothebys

Close-up showing radiator script (1910)

The following is an original Kearns radiator script also shown above at the top of this post. Original Kearns radiator scripts are rare,

This is a Kearns radiator script (c1909-1916)   mjs
Size: 246mm wide

Later Kearns models displayed smaller Kearns radiator scripts, see examples shown below:

Kearns speedster showing small radiator script (1913)  psmh

This is a Kearns Model L Trio roadster (1916)   wiki

The following are examples of smaller Kearns radiator scripts:

This is a Kearns radiator script (1913-1916)    sam
Size: 155mm wide

This is a Kearns radiator script (c1916-1920)     sam
Size: 130mm wide

I do not have details of the later Kearns truck emblems but I believe the Kearns radiator script continued to be used. If you have confirmed information about the scripts or other emblem used on Kearns trucks, please let me know, in order to update this post.

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