Emblem Manufacturers and their Marks

Early American auto emblems using glass enamel were most often produced by jewelry makers, who had moved into the production of metal emblem jewelry and related advertising novelties when this market began to grow in the late 1890’s.

One of the largest emblem manufacturers, the Gustave Fox Company of Cincinatti, started business in 1869 as a small maker of jewelry but by 1899 had a specialist emblem jewelry department, which later also produced auto emblems. D. L. Auld started as a jewelry store in Columbus, Ohio in 1870 and by the late 1910’s was making decorative enamel nameplates for automobile companies. D. L. Auld later claimed to have been making 80% of all automotive emblems in America in the 1920’s. The Whitehead & Hoag Company of Newark, New Jersey, went straight into badge making in 1892 and later became the largest US manufacturer of advertising novelties, particularly pin buttons, but also badges and auto emblems.

The main emblem manufacturers usually, but not always, placed their company name on the back of the emblem. An early exception was the position of the Whitehead & Hoag name on the front face of the 1908 Premier emblem. Another exception was the Ford Metal Speciality Company, which put its name around the lower, front edge of some of its emblems, for example the first enamel radiator emblem used by Buick in 1911 and the Hatfield radiator emblem used after 1916. The Gorham Company was yet another exception. The "Gorham Co." mark was placed on the thin side edge of the Waltham emblem made by this company in 1922.

It should also be noted that many original auto emblems have no manufacturer's mark at all.

There were many makers of auto emblems. The marks of over thirty different manufacturers have been identified on American auto emblems in the Murray John Shears emblem collection. Some of the most prolific emblem manufacturers used several different styles of their mark. Gustave Fox, for example, is known to have used at least 24 different marks on their auto emblems.

A study of the Murray John Shears emblem collection of original American auto emblems has shown the following breakdown of emblem manufacturer's marks:

25% Gustave Fox
20% D. L. Auld
9% Robbins    
7% Whitehead & Hoag
6% Greenduck
5% Bastian Bros
9% Other makers combined
19% No manufacture's mark.

A closer analysis of the emblem manufacturer's marks in the Murray John Shears emblem collection shows that this breakdown may be misleading, because it includes auto emblems made between 1908 and about 1940.

Whitehead & Hoag appears to have been the most prolific maker of auto emblems in the earliest years of the manufacture of enamel emblems, from around 1908 to the late 1910's. Greenduck, Robbins, Bastian Bros, Mayer and Cady & Staff were also active auto emblem makers at this time. However, D.L.Auld and Gustave Fox did not become very active in auto emblem making until about 1918 but they were the main auto emblem makers by the mid-1920's, probably because they succeeded in winning contracts with the major auto vehicle manufacturers.

A number of American emblem manufacturers are listed below, together with examples of some of their marks:

American Emblem Co., Utica, New York

A.E.Co. emblem makers mark    mjs

Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Co., Manitowac, Wisconsin

A.G.M. Co. emblem maker's mark   mjs

American Badge Co., Chicago, Illinois

American Badge emblem makers mark    mjs

The Henderson Ames Co., Kalamazoo, Michigan

Henderson Ames makers mark   ms

D.L.Auld Co., Columbus, Ohio

D.L.Auld emblem makers mark    mjs

D.L.Auld emblem makers mark   mjs

Bastian Bros. Co., Rochester, New York

Bastian emblem makers mark   mjs

Bastian emblem makers mark   mjs

Breadner Co., Ottowa, Canada

Breadner emblem makers mark   mjs

Cady & Staff, Detroit, Michgan

Cady & Staff emblem makers mark   mjs

S.D.Childs & Co., Chicago, Illinois

Childs emblem makers mark   mjs

Crowe, Chicago, Illinois

Crowe emblem makers mark   mjs

Day Name Plates Ltd., Toronto, Canada

Day Name Plates emblem makers mark   mjs

Dodge Chrysler Plymouth & De Soto, Detroit, Michigan

DCPD emblem maker's mark    mjs
(see also Metal Arts)

Ford Metal Speciality Co., Chicago, Illinois

Ford Metal Spec emblem makers mark    mjs

Ford Metal Spec emblem makers mark      sam

Ford Metal Spec emblem makers mark    mjs

Gustave Fox Co., Cincinnati, Ohio

Fox emblem makers mark    mjs

Fox emblem makers mark   mjs

General, Detroit, Michigan

General emblem makers mark   mjs

Gorham Co., Providence, Rhode Island

Gorham emblem maker's mark    mwc

L.F.Grammes & Sons, Inc., Allentown, Pennsylvania

Grammes emblem makers mark    mjs

Greenduck Co., Chicago, Illinois

Greenduck emblem makers mark    mjs

Greenduck emblem makers mark   mjs

W B Jarvis & Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan

Jarvis emblem maker's mark    mjs

Keil Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Keil emblem makers mark   mjs

Maier Lavaty Co., Chicago, Illinois

Maier Lavaty emblem makers mark   mjs

Geo. J.Mayer Co., Indianapolis, Indiana

Mayer emblem makers mark   mjs

Metal Arts Co., Rochester, New York

Metal Arts emblem makers mark   mjs
Metal Arts & DCPD emblem makers mark   mjs

Metal Etchers & Manufacturers Ltd., Toronto, Canada

Metal Etchers emblem makers mark    mjs

F.H.Noble & Co., Chicago, Illinois

Noble emblem makers mark   mjs

Rex 5th Ave, New York City, New York

Rex 5th Ave makers mark    mjs

Robbins Co., Attleboro, Massachusetts

Robbins emblem makers mark    mjs

Ross-Ad, Indianapolis, Indiana

Ross-Ad emblem makers mark    mjs

Ross-Ad Seal emblem makers mark   mjs

Shepard Mfg. Co., Melrose, Massachusetts

Shepard emblem makers mark   mjs

S. M. Spencer & Son, Boston, Massachusetts

Spencer maker's mark  khc

Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey

Whitehead & Hoag maker's mark on front of Premier emblem  sam

Whitehead & Hoag emblem makers mark   mjs

Whitehead & Hoag emblem makers mark   mjs

Other Emblem Makers:

American Emblem makers mark   mjs

Burwood emblem makers mark    mjs

Enamel Products emblem makers mark khc

Odel emblem makers mark   mjs

Unknown "PC" emblem maker's mark  mjs

Queen Stamp Works emblem makers mark  mjs

Unknown "S" emblem makers mark    mjs

Unknown "T" emblem makers mark   mjs

If you can identify the emblem makers listed above as "unknown" or if you have details of other emblem makers, please let me know, so that this page can be updated.

This note was written by Mike Shears
March 2017
Updated June 2021

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