Few icons of American industrial design reached the ubiquity of the Moto-Meter. Indeed, from about 1914 to 1928, almost every new car make in America was driven from its factory bearing a Moto-Meter atop the radiator, the lollypop shape instantly familiar to motorists and pedestrians alike. With the logo of each particular make showing through its beveled glass front, it was as if the Moto- Meter was an exclusive feature of that car alone. And in a sense they were: each make of car had their own nameplate designed by an artist. From these artists' drawings were made the actual metal logo plates used in the Moto-Meter. These are those original artists' drawings. Ranging from the plain to the fancy, from the ordinary to the inspired, the automobile logos of those heady years reflected not only the artistic taste of the era, but also the ideas of the pioneers who built the cars. From the exquisite portrait of George Washington on the nose of the Washington automobile, to the wings of Duesenberg ... from the fierce eagle on the American to the irreproachable statement of Rolls-Royce's tableau ... here are the original finished renderings of the logos actually used on over two hundred makes of automobiles and trucks. Nothing like this collection exists in private hands. The only comparable body of original automobile indicia existed at the companies that made their radiator emblems. However, the makers of such emblems were several, and to assemble a comprehensive collection of the original artwork for the emblems for this many makes of cars would be impossible. (Not one such piece of artwork has ever been offered, to the best of our knowledge.) The display appeal of this archive is immense. Many bear the artist's initials or signature, many are dated, and many bear the job and die numbers. And the level of skill they reveal is remarkable. Considering the meager quantities of logo plates being used by some of these tiny automakers, such a business would be almost unthinkable today. These were the war years in many senses. The same World War that had stimulated many promoters and pioneers alike to produce an automobile bearing a new name, ultimately brought their downfall. Many of the new marques established between 1915 and 1917 would fail in the early Twenties, and the improvements in dash-mounted gauges together with growing tastes for flamboyant radiator mascots and figures, spelled the end for the Moto-Meter. By the Crash of 1929, Moto-Meters would no longer be specified for new cars, and their business would be reduced to selling replacement logo plates by mail. Few automotive collectibles offer the depth and breadth of this collection of vintage original artwork. And few things continue to capture the imagination of the public as do old cars. These nameplate renderings offer the curator or collector enough material to refresh display cases for a very long time indeed. Inspection by appointment Individually priced on http://abebooks.com, or inquire for price for collection. Most are individually priced below 500.00, many significantly less, certain important names somewhat more.
The Moto-Meter Archive (many pieces are similar in size and format)
1. Ace. Oct. 24, 1922. Overall board size 8" wide by 8-1/2" high. Ace drawn in white ink within black spade. Signed in full by artist A. Grossman on lower mount, "5-1/2 hr." Initialed by artist and two supervisors on verso. 2. Ajax Six. "Nash-Built." Nov. 10, 1926. 6 x 7-1/4.3. American. 'American Balanced Six, Plainfield, N.J.] Unusual suite of three pieces, comprising: June 26, 1918 finished master; pen- and-ink eagle; and Sept. 10, 1919 variant finished master in another size. 4. Apperson. "Jack Rabbit Cars." Undated but c. 1920. Retouched master. 5. Biddle. Dec. 15, 1919. Handsome crown and winged wheel logo of this costly marque. 6. Brockway. "The right way." Apr. 30, 1925 with changes made June 17, 1925, June 2, 1926 and Apr. 6, 1927. 7. Buick. The most elaborate piece in the collection, showing entire Moto-Meter device, with its base threaded through a radiator cap. Customized for Buick dealer E.A. Browne Auto Co., Paterson, N.J. Oct. 4, 1922. 8 x 12. 8. Buick. July 9, 1927. Evidently a custom design for Australian or South African agency. "Valve in Head / Motor Cars / ...Wagga Motor Garage Coy., Ltd." Marked "9-1/2 hours" by artist! 9. Buick. June 21, 1927. Highly unusual custom design for "Fox Bros. Buick Co.," with large hand-drawn fox atop Buick logo. 10. Buick. N.d. White ink on black ink nameplate, mounted over discarded printed template board of The American National Co., Toledo, Ohio. Probably for a Buick pedal car of the 1930's! Moto-Meter was purchased by this Toledo firm during the Depression; their work included emblems and dashboards for childrens' pedal cars, their automotive business having been rendered obsolete. 11. Bush. June 1, 1920.12. Cadillac. Feb. 2, 1924. Uniquely styled mediaeval knight with sword and shield, custom designed for Genessee (N.Y.?) Cadillac. Charming and unusual. 13. Cadillac. Feb. 10, 1920. "Standard of the World." Traditional crest; scroll beneath. Lacking blank lower left corner of black board. 14. Canadian Motors Limited. Apr. 13, 1928. Exquisitely rendered otter on a log. 5-1/2 x 6. 15. Carmer Motor Co. May 10, 1920. Centerville, Iowa.16. Carroll. Apr. 12, 1920. Flamboyant Coca-Cola-style script of this costly, distinctive, and short-lived Ohio car. 17. Casco Speed Truck. "Made in Maine." Mar. 8, 1922. 18. Chalmers. "The Master 'Six.'" Mar. 25, June 30, and Oct. 23, 1914. One of the earliest items in the archive; lettered in white on black. Corner defects.19. Chevrolet. May 16, 1928. Finished master of winged wheel and bowtie emblem. 5-3/4 x 6-1/4. 20. Chevrolet. Nov. 9, 1928(?). Finished master of bowtie-only variant. 21. Chevrolet. N.d. Nameplate, india ink, as item 10. Probably for a Chevrolet pedal car of the 1930's. 22. Chrysler Airflow. N.d. Original artwork for intaglio etched and enameled interior nameplate device. Two drawings, showing front and back, in maroon and black inks, and pencil, together with artist's tissue overlay with notes, and kraft overwrap. "1 bronze 'die]" pencilled on overwrap. Unusual. 23. Citroen. May 28, 1924.24. Clydesdale (Truck). Aug. 23, 1920.25. Colt Autosan. Bearing five dates between Mar. 18, 1926 and Jan. 3, 1927. A curious item: "Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford...Motoco...." Evidently a special logo to be used atop the radiators of Colt-owned vehicles, to prevent theft of their Moto- Meters! (The practice of branding spark plugs by utilities, bakeries, and others with large fleets was well underway.) 26. Commander. "Chicago, Ill. U.S.A." Aug. 22, 1923. Only one car was built. 27. Courier. Nov. 23, 1922. Exquisite miniature Mercury within their logo. 28. Craig Tractor. June 9, 1918. Large, bold logo of this Cleveland-built tractor, believed the only industrial or farm vehicle to sport a Moto-Meter.29. Crow Elk Hart. Oct. 9, 1919. 30. Cruse-Crawford. July 5, 1922. Birmingham, Ala. Unlisted in Kimes. 31. Cunningham. N.d. but c. 1922. Lovely white-on-black-ink scroll, "The Cunningham Car," on circular board. 32. D(etroit) A(ir) C(ooled). N.d. but probably 1922. Circular board. A curious inclusion, as the Moto-Meter, being by definition a water temperature gauge, albeit an ornate one, would be unexpected on an air-cooled vehicle! 33. D.T.M. N.d. but probably c. 1922. Circular board. Unlisted in Kimes. 34. Daniels. N.d. but probably c. 1922. Circular board. 35. Davis. June 6, 1919. 36. Dart Truck. Apr. 8/9, 1927.37. Deering Magnetic. June 27, 1918. Three swans' wings propelling a modernistic cam. 38. Defiance Trucks. Mar. 15, 1929. Heavily inked master artwork. Perhaps the latest item in the archive. 39. Delage. Feb. 4, 1929. It is believed that the 1928 Marmon Roosevelt was the last American car to use the Moto-Meter as standard factory equipment.40. Derby. Oct. 24, 1923. "Built of the Best / Winnipeg, Canada." Imprint of Moto-Meter of Canada. In all, six hours spent by artist on this charming oval. 41. Detroiter. N.d. but not later than 1917. Handsome eagle on shield, "Made in Detroit USA." Circular board. 42. Denby. Feb. 28, 1921.43. Dependable Truck and Tractor. July 28, 1919. Splendid simulated serrated seal with ribbon. "Galesburg, Ill." 44. Diamond. July 10, 1922. St. Joseph, Mo. 45. Dominion. Mar. 22, 1928. Canadian. 5-1/2 x 6-1/4. 46. Dorris. Sept. 1, 1916. Circular board.47. Dort. "Own a Dort / You Will Like It." N.d. 48. Drexel. N.d. Circular board. Successor to Farmack of Chicago. 49. Drummond. Sept. 1, 1916. Circular board. Omaha, Neb. "...precious few of them were built...."--Kimes. 50. Duesenberg Straight 8. Nov. 2, 1921. This is the original, finished, signed artwork for the logo of the first commercially-produced Duesenberg, the Model A. No other exists. "Indeed, it would be the 1922 model year before the car was available...."--Kimes. Initialed twice by artist C. F(ranz), and by two supervisors. Executed in white ink over black, depicting the vaunted eagle, as used on radiator and cowl emblems as well. 51. Du Pont. June 11, 1925. Elegant "dP" in heavy circle. 52. Durant. Apr. 24, 1922. "Sold by Toronto Durant Co...."53. Durant. Apr. 17, 1928. Small, Junior style, with retouched gargoyle-and-wreath emblem. 54. Edwards. Mar. 8, 1920. Unlisted in Kimes. 55. Elcar. Feb. 2, 1920. "Elkhart Carriage & Motor Car Co...." Handsome. 56. Elcar 8. Jan. 19, 1927. Highly modernistic. 57. Elcar. Nov. 21, 1927. Superlative sea monster rendered in miniature, in white and black inks, above "Elcar" banner, on shield, "A Well Built Car." 58. Elgin Six. July 7, 1919.59. Empire. Nov. 30, 1917.60. Essex. Dec. 22, 1919.61. Essex Super Six. Mar. 8, 192762. Erskine. Nov. 29, 1927. Small logo photoprint on ornate board. 63. Falcon Knight. Dec. 16, 1927. Small retouched, assembled photoprint on ornate board. Extraordinary detail and precision. 64. Falcon Knight. June 16, 1927. Larger size. 65. Falcon Knight. June 15/16, 1927. Largest size. 66. Fageol. Nov. 29, 1927. Makers of trucks and flamboyant parlor coaches. 67. Federal. Truck. Feb. 25, 1926.68. Fergus. Nov. 29, 1920. Only three cars made, costing up to $8,500! 69. Fiat. "The Master Car." Dec. 21, 1925. For use in Australia. 70. Fleet Arrow 'Pierce-Arrow]. Aug. 7, 1928. Commercial model range of the maker of high-grade cars. 71. Flint. Aug. 24, 1923. Charming logo incorporating two flint arrowheads. 72. Ford. "For the Model A Ford Car." Mar. 9, 1928-Oct. 31, 1929. Two pieces, one on board, 5-3/4 x 6-1/4, black on white, and one on paper, silhouetted by hand by artist, 2 x 2-3/4 irregular, found clipped to kraft flap, evidently as an alternate style. (Because of Moto- Meter's inability to reach an agreement with Henry Ford, the Ford Moto-Meter design is believed to have been offered as an aftermarket accessory. It is nonetheless a desirable and important artifact of one of the most significant automobiles of its era.) 73. Gardner. Sept. 16, 1920. Customized for "Granville Motor Co., Distributors, Oxford, N.C." 74. Gary. Truck. July 17, 1924(?). One of the more unusual designs in the collection, depicting stylized factories behind the Gary logo, with tall stacks spewing plumes of smoke. "Efficiency - Reliability - Durability - Simplicity - Economy." 75. General Motors Truck. With "GMC" logo. Dec. 15, 1927.76. Geronimo. N.d. but c. 1917. Circular board. Superlative illustration of Chief Geronimo in profile, in shield, with wreath. "...Enid, Okla." Geronimo automobile items of any description are virtually uncollectible; one of the foremost literature collectors had only one piece, torn and incomplete, in his lifelong collection. The original artwork for this logo is a remarkable item. 77. Ghent. N.d. but c. 1916. Exquisite coat of arms, with three rampant lions. Lovely. 78. Godin. Feb. 20, 1914. Believed the earliest item in the archive. Evidently for use in France. 79. Gotfredson. "Walkerville." Dec. 11, 1926. Canadian truckmaker.80. Gramm. Oct. 7, 1926. Splendid white and black ink logo, featuring knight on shield bearing a heart. 81. Gramm Kincaid. "Pioneers." July 22, 1925. Trucks. 82. Gray. Oct. 9, 1922. 83. Gray Dort. Sept. 17, 1927. Canadian. Heavily retouched assembled master. 84. Hudson. "Super Six." N.d. Retouched assembled master print on board. "Made Especially for Hudson Motor Car Co...." 85. Hudson. "Super Six." Feb. 2, 1920. Larger image than above, customized for St. Louis Hudson Distributor. 86. Hahn. "Motor Trucks." Sept. 2, 1924.87. HAL Twelve. N.d. but c. 1916. Circular board. A striking piece, with bird's-eye view of a V-12 engine block, encircled with "The HAL Motor Car Co. / Cleveland - Ohio." 88. HAL Twelve. Oct. 18, 1915 (prototype of car was not introduced until Jan. 1916)-July 1, 1918. Evidently the first of two completely different style logos for this high-grade car. 89. Hall. "Made Especially For Lewis-Hall Motors Corp. of Detroit...." Oct. 19, 1921. Unlisted in Kimes. 90. Halladay. Owl, with words on its breast, "Not Asleep"; "Not Born But Raised Here." Sept. 16, 1919. Junior size art master. 91. Halladay. Original pen-and-ink for above, large size. Feb. 10, 1919. Superb artistry, employing white and black inks. Halladay in earlier years was the employer of three of the Fisher Brothers, and a very young Eddie Rickenbacker. 92. Harroun. N.d. but c. 1917. Circular board. 93. Hassler. N.d. but prob. 1917. Circular board. Lasting less than one year, their total production is believed to have been the few cars exhibited at the Chicago Show that summer. 94. Haynes. "America's First Car." May 5, 1922. 95. Haynes. Style as above, but medium size, and apparently intended to be customized with motorist's name! May 19, 1921. 96. Haynes. Style as above, but jumbo size. May 19, 1921. 97. Haynes Junior Six. Different style logo. N.d. but 1917. Circular board. 98. Henderson. Feb. 7-Sept. 3, 1914. Excessively early, highly attractive Maltese Cross logo, executed in white ink on heavily inked black background, on double-thick board. Signed in white ink. The Henderson family later became prominent as motorcycle manufacturers. 99. Highlander Six. Mar. 17, 1919. "Made Especially For Midwest Motor Co., Kansas City, Mo." Few cars built. 100. Hispano-Suiza. N.d. but circular board suggests c. 1917-1919. Magnificent drawing in white and black inks of the winged propeller logo.101. Howard. "Quality / The A. Howard Co. / Galion, O. U.S.A." N.d. but believed 1916. Made for one year only. 102. Houghton. July 12, 1916-May 28, 1917. Unlisted in Kimes. 103. Huffman Six. Jan. 19, 1920. Handsomely rendered bearskin-H logo, "...Elkhart, Indiana." 104. Hulsebus. Feb. 9, 1920. Highly ornate. 105. Ideal Service. Mar. 8, 1920. Probably of the company which had discontinued manufacture in 1915, but continued to place a special logo on vehicles they serviced. Unusual. 106. Illinois Super Drive. Jan. 16, 1919. 107. Indiana Motor Trucks. Apr. 30, 1926, and revised Apr. 8, 1930 -- exceptionally late for use of the Moto-Meter on new vehicles. 108. Imperial Omnibus. Jan. 9, 1922. Delightful scroll design. 109. International Motor Trucks. Mar. 22, 1928. The original finished artwork for the famous three-diamond logo. 110. Jackson. N.d. but pre-1923. Circular board.111. Jacquet Flyer. May 24, 1920. Unusual stylized lettering.112. Jeffery. Sept. 24, 1914, with five additional dates to Dec. 12, 1917. Curious glue remnants in blank margins, suggesting that when Jeffery ceased production, the draftsman, not wanting to discard the backing, reused it for a Marmon logo! 113. Jewett. May 23 and June 16, 1923. "6-1/2 hours" beneath artist's signature. 114. Jewett. "A Thrifty Six Built by Paige." Apr. 7, 1923. A custom design for Paige Wisconsin, their Milwaukee-based distributor. 115. Jordan. Mar. 5, 1927. Dramatic, exceptionally pristine original artwork for one of the most talked-about marques of the Roaring Twenties.116. Kelsey. "Friction Drive." Oct. 31, 1921. Remarkably rendered motif suggesting the dynamic movement of his friction drive. 117. La Salle. Apr. 27, 1927. Inspired by the Hispano-Suiza, the first La Salles had just been introduced in March of that year. 118. Lincoln. Mar. 9 and June 26, 1923. Magnificently rendered emblem, with hand-lettered panel pasted below, to customize for "Walter M. Murphy Motors Co. / Distributors." A choice item. 119. Lincoln. "Leland Built." N.d. but job stamp and markings on verso. 120. Maibohm. June 9, 1919. 121. Marmon. May 10, 1920. Large artwork for their aviation-inspired logo. "Champion Liberty Motor Builders / Nordyke & Marmon Co...."122. Marmon. N.d. but near date. The entire Moto-Meter rendered in color atop the radiator cap, in midnight blue, persimmon, black and white, with Dutch blue surround and genuine gold leaf wings, ribbon, background behind plane, and logo. Brilliant luster, and the only piece in the archive thus. Evidently prepared for approval by Marmon directors. 123. Marmon. Aug. 4, 1919. Custom design: "Manufactured Especially for Marmon Chicago...." 124. Martin. Apr. 28, 1915. Perhaps the obscure Chicago marque, of which manufacture is doubted. 125. Master Trucks. Apr. 11, 1921. Dramatic, powerfully styled logo.126. Maxim. Apr. 29, 1921.127. Mercedes. "Made Especially For Mercedes Repair Co., New York." Oct. 19, 1921.128. Merit. Dec. 13, 1920. Short-lived marque. 129. Meteor. (Piqua, Ohio). Aug. 11, 1919. Superb, with meteor theme. 130. Meteor. (Philadelphia). Sept. 2, 1919. Fleetwood-bodied, Duesenberg-powered luxury car. 131. Mitchell. Mar. 16, 1922.132. Moline-Knight. N.d. but believed c. 1914.133. Monroe. Nov. 4, 1921. Pasted over Cleveland logo!134. Monte Stone Special. N.d. but pre-1920. Circular board. Unlisted in Kimes. 135. Moon. Aug. 25, 1926. Customized for Moon of Philadelphia. 136. Nash. May 11, 1920.137. "Canadian Oakland Six." Aug. 23 and Sept. 28, 1927. Unusual. 138. Ogden. Mar. 17, 1919.139. "Old Hickory." Mar. 14, 1919.140. Overland 4. Nov. 10, 1919.141. Overland 6. May 6, 1925.142. Overland Whippet. Nov. 29, 1927.143. Overland. May 2, 1921. Canadian.144. Paige. Aug. 8, 1927. One of the most delightful pieces in the archive: an india-ink drawing of the "Pa(i)ge boy," holding the Paige emblem. The artist has pencilled in a miniature hand the various colors desired, comprising brass, silver, blue, and black. Charming and unusually elaborate. 145. Pan American. Mar. 11, 1919. Elaborately styled twin hemispheres, spanned by an eagle, with patriotic shield in center. 146. Paterson. "Made in Flint." Aug. 5, 1918. 147. Peerless. May 27, 1924.148. Penn. Dec. 8, 1921.149. "Automobiles Peugeot / Paris." "Peugeot Auto Import Co. / N.Y." N.d. but c. 1920. Charming, magnificently executed white ink on black ink Art Nouveau-style logo.150. Pierce Arrow. N.d. but prob. 1930's. Curious item, possibly for nameplate in a dash instrument. 151. Pontiac. Mar. 29-Apr. 7, 1926. Early.152. Pontiac. Nov. 29, 1927. Junior size.153. Pontiac. N.d. but prob. 1930's. As item 150.154. Pirsch. May 3, 1926.155. Plymouth. Apr. 16, 1935. Unusual full-size rendering of Plymouth speedometer, in black, white, red, and grey wash, on ivory illustration board. Signed and dated. A contemporary pencil notation: "Add mile lines." Plymouth ship logo at top. 156. Premier. N.d. but c. 1920. Outstanding oak-leaf logo, Premier's script and details of leaf inked in white. Circular board. 157. Preston. Sept. 2, 1919. Birmingham, Ala.-built marque, a.k.a. Premocar. Choice. 158. Purity Jones. July 8, 1925. Splendid artwork of a young girl, curtseying in billowing dress. "Motoco." 159. R & V Knight. Jan. 22, 1923. 160. Ranger. July 26, 1921. Controversial Houston-built marque; "Government charges alleged that the Ranger Six had not been built at all...the factory...was an elaborate stage set on the outskirts of town...."--Kimes. 161. Regal. N.d. but c. 1915. Circular board.162. (Renault). "Agencia Renault / Enrique Abal & Cia. / Buenos Aires / Montevideo." Sept. 9, 1920. 163. Reo. May 18, 1927.164. (Reo Flying Cloud). Nov. 9, 1926 and Apr. 7, 1927. Art master depicting famed clipper ship on a stormy sea. 165. Reo Flying Cloud. Apr. 7 and May 13, 1927. Variant of above.166. ReVere. July 29, 1918. Dramatic artwork of Paul Revere. Early: production was not under way until the following year. 167. Reynolds. Apr. 17, 1920. Unlisted in Kimes.168. Richelieu. Jan. 16, 1922. Intricate logo of this costly, Duesenberg-powered car, lasting only til the following year. 169. Roamer. Sept. 1, 1916.170. Rollin. Nov. 9, 1922 and Apr. 16 and June 5, 1924. Lower right corner lacking, not affecting logo. 171. Rolls-Royce. May 26, 1919. Predating the purchase of their Springfield plant by some six months, and a full eighteen months before production of the first American Rolls-Royce. The only original artwork for the Rolls-Royce logo of this early period in private hands. Some soiling and dampspotting, else highly satisfactory and eminently displayable. Easily a centerpiece for an automotive exhibit. 172. Ross Eight. Apr. 17-Oct. 9, 1917.173. Rugby. Dec. 24, 1924.174. Ruggles. Truck. Mar. 1, 1925.175. Saxon. Oct. 17, 1916. Circular board. Dramatic artwork of their Saxon warrior logo, splendidly executed and signed. 176. Saxon. Mar. 16, 1920. Different, star-filled shield-style logo, topped with acorns. 177. Scripps-Booth. May 7, 1921.178. Selden. "In Built Quality / Motor Trucks." Aug. 11, 1919.179. Seneca. "...Built for the Owner." Aug. 8, 1922. "13 hours" in hand of artist! 180. Standard. May 3 and 10, 1928. Similar design seen on sales literature of Pittsburgh-built marque, though here dated several years after cessation of production. This may have been prepared in response to requests from owners of Standards still in service. 181. Standard. Nov. 16, 1926 and Apr. 19, 1930. Variant of above design. 182. Star. Nov. 29, 1927. Junior size. 183. Sterling Knight. Oct. 29, 1923. Delightful logo, showing large Pound-Sterling symbol inked in white against vertical bars. 184. Studebaker. Aug. 20, 1926.185. Stutz. "The Car That Made Good In A Day." Dec. 4, 1922. 186. Summit. May 14, 1923. Curious logo of kangaroo and duck, with legend "Advance Australia" in miniature ribbon. Unlisted in Kimes. 187. Sun. N.d. but prob. 1916. Heavily inked.188. Washington. Jan. 16, 1922. Portrait of George Washington in white ink on black and white diamond. 189. Victor. "Victor Motors Co." Aug. 13, 1926. Elaborately styled logo with ribbons, scroll, and wreath. Unlisted in Kimes. 190. Westcott. N.d. but from Springfield, Ohio location. 191. Wills Sainte Claire. Aug. 20, 1926. 192. Willys Knight. Nov. 30, 1927.
Miscellaneous Artwork from the Moto-Meter Archive
193. (American eagle). Feb. 1, 1927. Superlative bald eagle, clutching olive branches and arrows, stars-and-stripes shield between his claws. Possibly used for a patriotic Moto-Meter insert. 194. (American eagle). Feb. 1, 1927. White-on-black, finished version of above, in Moto-Meter surround. 195. "American." Curious lettering, n.d. but 1930's, possible for a children's pedal car. 196. Elks. N.d. but c. 1919. Heavily retouched large elk's head, for use on cars of members of the fraternal B.P.O.E. Circular strawboard. 197. Hi-Speed Fan Belts. N.d. but early 1930's. Christmas red and green watercolors, with fine red onlay. Probably a design for retail display.198. Imperial Clock Corp. June 7 and 12, 1935. Splendid pencil design prepared for this Illinois clock maker, with fine period filigree between each numeral. Accompanying correspondence indicates price, for one hundred dials, 12-1/2" diameter, was just 44 each! 199. Nash. Pair of original renderings of Art Deco instruments for Nash dashboard, n.d. but c. 1935. Each 5" diam., red and white on chocolate brown watercolor. Speedometer, and Fuel/Temperature/Oil/Amp gauges. Highly attractive. 200. (Pedal cars?). C. 1935. Astonishly realistic original artwork of a miniature dashboard, 3 x 8-1/2, robin's-egg blue, black, white, and red gauges, on walnut-grain background. Speedometer shows 75 m.p.h. Label on verso. 201. (Pedal cars?). C. 1935. Litho on metal variant of above miniature dashboard, here the speedometer at 65, and the gauge designs changed. In simulated walnut, red, and black. Same dimensions as preceding. Highly unusual. 202. Pratt & Whitney. July 9, 1942. Magnificent eagle on flight, on diamond nameplate, "Pratt & Whitney, U.S.A. / Dependable Engines / Nash-Kelvinator / Maker...." Job markings on verso. 204. Nash design study. N.d. but c. 1935 pencil drawing of instrument cluster for Nash. Multiple Art Deco chevrons in bullseye, with fuel, temperature, amp, and oil gauges arrayed around circle in ovals. Spiderweb glassine overlay. 203. Speedometer design study. N.d. but early 1930's. 5-3/4 x 7-1/4. Rendered in mocha, warm brown, white, and red pigments. Showing an unidentified but highly styled speedometer, with integral oil, temperature, amp, and gas gauges. 204. Speedometer design. Original glossy photograph of dashboard in actual though unidentified car, gauges sporting lovely, quintessential Art Deco gauges, designed by Moto-Meter. Probably c. 1935. 205. "Truck and Tractor Model." Apr. 20, 1927. Unidentified but found in original file between "Buick" and "Bush" artwork. Perhaps the most beautiful eagle in the entire archive, this in flight, clutching the American flag in its beak. Executed in white on black inks. 206. Group of original Moto-Meter sales literature, suitable for display with original artwork, and for historical reference.
General Information about the Moto-Meter Archive
What these are: These renderings represent the actual, finished master artwork for the emblems ordered by the respective auto factory. From these finished pieces were made the zinc dies, to mass produce the logo faceplates. These faceplates were then assembled into Moto-Meters, and shipped to the auto factories, for installation atop the radiators of new cars. Because of the domination of the auto industry by Moto-Meter _ at their zenith, they were used as factory-installed standard equipment on over 200 makes of cars and trucks _ and because of the amount of work they produced, there are some exceptions to the above within the archive. There are a small number of logos specially designed for dealers, such as the Lincoln faceplate to which Murphy's name was added. And there were a few special designs, such as an American eagle, or one for the fraternal Elks. Virtually all items are drawn in 3:1 scale, that is, three times larger than the actual logo. This allowed the artists to work within a larger area, to capture detail and hand-letter the text, which was frequently stylized. Artwork is in three principal sizes: smallest, about 6 x 6" overall; medium, about 8 x 8"; and large, about 10 x 10". Notwithstanding these differences in the sizes of the overall boards, the logos remain in the 3:1 scale, so that displayability is equally good, and depends upon the appeal of the logo itself. The earlier items frequently bear purple job handstamps on the backs, within which the draftsman has written the date, job number, die number, signed with initials or in full, and one or more supervisors initialed his work. Later items frequently bear printed job labels, which have this same information, together with measurements of the finished logo plate. Many, many logos are entirely created by hand: their artistic content is nearly 100%, the design being drawn from scratch. Because this was often an inordinately time consuming process -- sometimes a full day for a single logo -- Moto-Meter eventually acquired a photographic camera. Consequently, some logos are either a combination of pen-and-ink work and a working print, or a print with retouching and fitting by hand. These examples have had a lower value assigned to them, however they remain the only available example of that logo -- no other survives. Indeed, they may have made a photographic print towards the end of a design job, because the original was so heavily encrusted with inks and scarred with knife marks that it would have been damaged in handling as it made its way to other departments in the plant. Condition varies from showing considerable evidence of shop handling, to some which were probably never handled after the first die was made, and are remarkably choice. Invariably, that automaker had gone out of business, or their requirement was so tiny that the first order for one or several hundred faceplates satisfied their entire production life! These constitute the only collection of original artwork of automobile emblems that has, or is likely to, come on the market.