Unable to identify old hood ornament

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited January 2013 in OFF TOPIC
I have what I believe to be an old hood ornament and have not found anything like it during my 3 weeks of internet searching. It is a chrome bust of Mercury wearing a bronze helmet. The helmet has straight back wings. The item is approximately 5 inches long, 2 inches wide and 4 inches tall. The only lettering I can find is FMC A. It has a valley on the bottom as if it were to conform to a chrome strip down the center of a hood. The valley has an oblong hole on the front of the valley and a large screw at the back of the valley. I have searched Ford, ornament, mascot, vintage, rare, antigue, cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and even planes. I have also done an image search. Any one have any other ideas?

Thanks - Daryl


  • That looks like mercury, I wonder if it is from one?
  • I went there first. But did not find the item. I have probably looked at over 8000 hood ornaments in the past 3 weeks. Of course, some were repeats but my eyes hurt. I was wondering if it could be from a non-U.S. made vehicle.
  • Oh forgot to thank you for taking the time to comment ra4jumb. I appreciate it.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 2013
    FMC is "Fairbanks Morse Corperation" unless there was or is another company using those initials. Of course they may only be who cast it for the intended user. I seem to recall a marine engine and parts company using simmilar name too,
  • Thanks so much. I had assumed Ford Motor Company since the item looks so much like Mercury. But I also found a First Manufacturing Company but they have nothing to do with cars. So I will see if this information helps on any of my searches. Thanks so much for the information and taking the time to respond.
  • Richard E.Richard E. Posts: 801Senior Contributor
    Fairbanks Morse is a very old company, located in Vermont and they were well known for making safes, security vault doors, etc. They do have a museum in VT which you could probably find on the internet. They probably have a vast corporate archive and someone there to help you out. Good Luck!
  • Thanks for the information Richard. I will attempt to search for the museum today and contact them if possible. I appreciate your input.

  • PAULARGETYPEPAULARGETYPE Posts: 1,761Senior Contributor

  • Thanks Paulargetype! I worked for the old Chicago and Northwestern during my college summers in the early 70's. When I joined this forum group, I had no idea there were so many wonderful people who subscribed to this site. Thanks for the information. Even if I do not find out what this ornament is, I have learned a great deal.

  • They made lots of indudtrial engines and equipment,big diesel motors,big gas engines cranes and chains & equipment.
  • Well, I have spent the last two days trying to do searches on Fairbanks Morse and have come up empty. I sent an email to the museum with a picture but have not heard anything back from them. I would assume tho that they are busy. Any other ideas out there?

  • DocHublerDocHubler Posts: 980Expert Adviser
    The 1942 mercury had a somewhat similar, but lower profile hood ornament which formed part of an integral chrome strip down the center of the hood; I imagine the 46-48 Mercs may be similar, but didn't find any good pictures to show that. This looks like Mercury as they began to envision their logo in the 1950s. And it is the two tone gold/chrome. more common in the 1950s. So I would suggest looking at the 1950s era, and possibly see if this is from a Canadian Mercury vehicle. Of course, it may not be a hood ornament; what is the attachment on the bottom?
  • Thanks for the information DocHubler. This will help to narrow my search down. I have heard back from the Fairbanks-Morse museum and they will do some research as well. I will do as you suggest with my search concentrating on the 46 - 58 Mercurys. I also thought that maybe this wasn't a hood ornament but I have no idea of what else it might be. I am attaching another photo showing the bottom of the item. I think is shows how the item would fit on a chrome strip down the center of the hood and then get screwed on with the provided screw. Thanks again for your input.

  • DocHublerDocHubler Posts: 980Expert Adviser
    Hi Daryl,

    Well hope if you find out you let us know. Looking at the underside of this, it really doesn't seem like it would be hood ornament, so keep an open mind.
  • I received an email back from Fairbanks-Morse Museum and they do not have any record of ever using this logo. They referenced me to the International Mercury Owners site so I will do some research there. But I agree with you DocHubler that this may not be a hood ornament but I am at a loss to think what else it might be. However, I will continue to do some searching and will let you know what I find out. But with the way things are going on this, I would not expect that I will found out something in the very near future.

    Thanks again. I appreciate your help and your time.
  • Well it has been another two weeks and I have had many 'leads' provided by many good people. But, to this point, I have not found anything to match my item. I have also done a search on Franklin Mint Company (due to the FMC on the underside of the item) since they dabbled in hood ornaments for awhile. I have been told that it 'might' be from the Canadian line of Mercury trucks since the 1948 hood emblem looks very similar. I have also been told that it could very well be after market (as if from a JC Whitney-type of company) or sold as an accessory. But again my searches have come up empty. But I did want to keep those interested informed of my latest (and futile) efforts.

    Thanks again to everyone who provided input.
  • Well folks, I have exhausted all of the searches that I came think of and have come up with nothing. So if no one has another idea for me to check out, I am going to abandon the search for a match to this item. Thanks so much for all of your inputs and suggestions. Although I have not found this item, I have learned alot over the past 3 months.
  • DocHublerDocHubler Posts: 980Expert Adviser
    Maybe it is a Canadian large diesel truck if Mercury made any of those.
  • Thanks for the inputs. I also saw some Canadian Mercury emblems that had a similar flavor but not any of the ornaments. I guess abandon might have been too strong of a word. I will certainly continue on as you suggest with the occassional search for the item. And I may try again with a focus on the Canadian large truck area. Again, thank you both for your inputs. I do appreciate it.
  • James P.James P. Posts: 416Senior Contributor
    Guys, you should probably know that there was a large secondary market for radiator ornaments in the twenties. Many were made for the aftermarket trade and sold by Sears, Western Auto, J C Whitney and others. Even then, folks enjoyed accessorising and personalising their rides. These ornaments were a dress up item. I'm certain that this was on the market years before anyone at Ford Motors ever conceived of a Mercury brand. Another FMC, Federal Munitions Corp, (now Federal Cartridge) was a big employer in Anoka MN for years. I doubt, however, that it was them. I think that it's likely that the FMC in this case was nothing more complicated than "Fred Moore's Casting Co" (fictional) or something just as simple. The place to inquire about this ornament is on the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) "What is it" Forum. Those guys know so much, it's amazing.

  • DocHublerDocHubler Posts: 980Expert Adviser
    I think he already did check with the AACA site; thought I saw it posted there. True, there was quite an aftermarket in the twenties for radiator hood ornaments, but most of those tend to be of a little nature in their overall design. And this looks very much like the mercury logo used in the 50s and 60s. Well, who knows right now? It might possibly have nothing to do with vehicles. Maybe it was some kind of ornament from an FTD florist shop.
  • James P.James P. Posts: 416Senior Contributor
    Doc, I'm sorry to disagree with you, but I've seen some pretty gaudy ornaments in this catagory -- Airplanes with twin rotating props, didrgibles, cast busts and incredibly expensive Lalique goddesses, to name a few. Here's a link to a Google search of "aftermarket radiator ornaments". There may be more at "aftermarket hood ornaments".

  • Hello, Can anyone help me identify this part. It says Delco and I believe it's from the 30's. I was told it could be an early cruise control or possibly an airplane speedo but no one was really sure. Any help or thoughts would be appreciated. thanks
  • Looks like a remote radio control head . They would mount those under the dash or steering column. And it connected by cables to a big unit under the dash or on the firewall,
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