Friday, May 11, 2012

Boyce Motometer Styling For 100 Years

Model A cars turn up quite often around here for some reason. Recently a restored A parked for display at a local festival. This hood ornament comprised of a Boyce Motometer made in Long Island City, New York. The device measures the radiator vapor temperature via a liquid that rises vertically in a tube. Since the engine was not on, the temperature did not register. The patent for the motometer was granted in 1912 making the concept a hundred years old. This one was made by the Motometer G&E Company. In the design around the face parameter you can see the stylized G and E. A variation to the standard watch shape motometer is the inclusion of the wings atop the radiator cap. In the Roaring 1920s automobile designers took styling seriously. Know that.


  1. Goodness, so it's FUNCTIONAL as well as ornamental! That's a sharp hood ornie!

  2. Hate to burst bubbles here, but the motometer that you are looking at is a reproduction made by the Vintique Company of Orange, California. These repros are not made any where near the quality or size of the original Boyce Moto-Meter engine heat indicator instruments, nor in New York! While based upon the principles of the original patent, everything shown here - meter, cap and wings are NOT ORIGINAL. The Ford emblem is also non authentic to the original "Especially Made for the Ford" Boyce Moto-Meter type.

    Also, the device never measured engine coolant temperature via a tube. An extended metal temperature sensing probe conducted heat and transfered it to the thermometer contained within, which would then register relative and calibrated transfered heat. Residual engine heat would still register on the gauge even if the auto's engine was shut off.

    Further more, the Motometer Gauge & Equipment Company of Lacrosse, Wisconsin came into being in 1926 when the Moto-Meter Company, Inc. of Long Island City, New York (now Queens) bought the controlling stock of the National Gauge & Equipment Co. of Lacrosse and renamed it. it stayed in business until 1934.

    The Vintique people are keen to bandy about their version, particularly, of Ford, Chevrolet and a few other logo nameplates on their motometers which never actually existed.

    Trust me the original, authentic, genuine Boyce Moto-Meters in excellent survivor condition are a sight to behold. Sorry so many people get fooled by these cheap knockoffs. (No real disrepect to the Vintique Company, but facts are facts. And, new/amateur Motometer collectors should especially beware of what they are buying.

    1. Can you help with identifying a repro vs an original?

  3. Anyone know any for sure signs of a authentic moto meter radiator cap? Mine is all mostly brass made in long island NY USA. FORD