JUNE 2017 FEATURED EPHEMERA
This month of June’s featured ephemera is a very rare original BOYCE MOTO-METER Replacement Dial Name Plate and Pamphlet Mailer with corresponding customer envelope.
Persons that wanted to take advantage of the Motometer Company’s personalized or replacement dial plate program begun in 1917 would complete a replacement dial offer card that came with their brand new BOYCE MOTO-METER at the time of purchase, return the card indicating the type of stylized plate that they wanted. Personal stylized dial plates could be a single initial, customer’s name (up to 13-characters); their BOYCE product dealer’s name; automobile marque logo; professional or social association logo.
This Free Dial and Replacement Offer program was immensely successful. This program invigorated product sales interest as it created an atmosphere and impression of affluence and high social status upon its automobile owner.
The free/no cost replacement extended to purchasers of the De Luxe or Standard BOYCE MOTO-METER model types only. New or earlier purchasers of other BOYCE MOTO-METER types - such as the Universal, Junior, Midget, Made for the Ford Car or Truck and Tractor, were required to pay $0.50 for their sent replacement dial plate.
Countless Universal type BOYCE MOTO-METER owners purchased replacement dial plates especially between 1926 and 1934 to upgrade the appearance of their indicators. More of these are in current BOYCE MOTO-METERs than their owners know, but can be readily identified by their distinctive appearance if you know what to look for.
The Replacement Dial Plate Pamphlet as you can observe featured a circular cutout window to view the new dial in a simulated setting.
This and presumably all customer-mailed Replacement Dial Plates included both the Pamphlet/Plate Holder and an exterior mailing envelope as accompanies this particular example.
This example is marked as having been sent to a Mr. “Wyclif Taylor” in California. (sic)
Subsequent research finds that Mr. Wycliffe Taylor, (note difference in first name spelling) must have been a man of some means and success as he is a member of the California Artist Hall of Fame. While the envelope lists a rather generic street address of “Ridge Road, Riverside Cal,” (no Zip code for either the sender or intended recipient is provided) his specific street address was 3864 Ridge Road Riverside, Riverside, California according to the 1940 U. S, Census report.
It would appear that the replacement dial plate was inserted into the Moto-Meter on Mr. Taylor’s automobile and that in turn he put the originally received one back into the brochure holder and envelope for safekeeping where it has resided ever since. That seemingly original Universal dial plate is in remarkably excellent condition and is like new.
At the time of the 1940 U. S. Census, he reportedly was about 58 years of age (born in 1882, New York City, New York, though some say 1879 in Medina, NY) at the time and lived there with his mother and brother. During World War II he served as a draftsman at the San Bernardino Air Force Depot.
Indication exist that he passed away in Portola Valley, CA on Oct. 10, 1966. The following two paintings are said to be examples of his work, according the AskArt.com website. The second resides with the Princeton University Art Museum (http://artmuseum.princeton.edu/collections/objects/39630).
The envelope is wonderfully Motometer Company hallmarked on its front and rear flap sides in keeping with the early 1917 period.
At MotometerCentral™ we research every detail possible to uncover the full factual basis of our collection and to identify the provenance of each item.
The stamp on the envelope directly corresponds to a circa 1912 President George Washington United States Postal Service One Cent stamp on the above shown Replacement Dial Name Plate and Pamphlet Mailer customer delivery envelope. According to the Wikipedia source this stamp was in authorized circulation issuance until 1917 when the price of a stamp rose to five cents and it was re-colored to blue. (Stamp information source -
Identifying the period in which this stamp was in printed and in public circulation assists us in identifying when the envelope and Replacement Dial Brochure was issued.
Mr. Taylor may have been one on the first persons to receive such a brochure and replacement dial plate by mail as the program began at the end time of the stamp's circulation run.
The brochure/pamphlet is an incredible issued document with no other similar brochure example known to exist especially with its original envelope and the customer’s original dial plate. The exact auto that Mr. Taylor placed his replacement dial plate onto is not at this time known and may never be. It is nonetheless a wonderfully preserved piece of rare, unique and well-preserved ephemera.