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Boyce Motometer

Long Island City, NY, USA
Filed under:  History | Type-Emblems
Comment(s): 73

The Boyce Moto-Meter, patented in 1912, was a thermometer that read the temperature of the radiator's vapor.

boyce motometer 1 sm

Boyce Motometer.

Before the hood ornament came the motometer, an ornate thermometer affair that screwed into the radiator cap; it was intended to keep the driver informed of the engine coolant temperature.

With improved, thermostatic cooling, the motometer went out the window in the late twenties, to be replaced by sometimes very elegant hood mascots. These were offered initially by accessory houses then, in 1930, by Cadillac itself. The first automotive motometer was introduced by a Mr. Boyce in 1912. The fashion soon caught on. Cadillac added its famous script and coat of arms to it. When the temperature gauge was moved to the instrument panel, an empty space was left atop the radiator; the hood ornament filled it adequately.

(text source: Car-Nection)

boyce motometer 3

Boyce Motometer, front and back. (source: Brass Works.)

boyce motometer 2 sm 1

Boyce Motometer.

boyce motometer 3 sm 1

Boyce Motometer Junior.

boyce motometer 4 1

Boyce Motometer detail.

ford model a deluxe town sedan boyce moto meter 1 29

Boyce Motometer from a 1929 Model A Ford Deluxe Town Sedan. (source: John Nichols)

ford model a deluxe town sedan boyce moto meter 2 29

Boyce Motometer from a 1929 Model A Ford Deluxe Town Sedan. (source: John Nichols)

motometer logo 1

Boyce Motometer logo.

Arthur Shoffner3368 days ago

Do you have a sourse for boyce moto meter parts ?
Thanks, Art Shoffner

George 3346 days ago

Moto Meter Parts below .

Dennis3169 days ago

I have just came across an original Boyce moto meter. Where can i get any information on its value/year of production Thanks Dennis Foran

steve hammatt3169 days ago

With the excellent reproduction pieces available, the cost of a typical motormeter isn't too terribly high. Having said that, some of the more unique fancy senior models (3-3/8") o.d. with original marque inserts can be more valuable. I'm interested in a senior original nickle plate (not brass). Tell me more what you've found.

Charles Kaplan3161 days ago

I hae a rather large Motometer. it has a pair of Verticle wings with large turned up feathers on the ends.
It is marked Motometer Company of Canada Hamilton Ontario,
Other than some easily cleanable oxidatioin, appears to be in great shape. The sensor and the cork gasket are complete. The outside of the dial assembly is 2 5/8 inches and the wingspread is 6 1/2 inches
Do you have any idea of what I could sell this for/
Your help would be appreciated.
Thanks Chaz.

Terry Lakey3156 days ago

I have an motometer also, havent been able to place the make of car that it was installed on. It is sliver, the top is hinged from the screw cap. The "side bars" have a round glass incert of a union pacfic railroad emblem. On the back of the top round peice is the word "standard". On the front the regular stuff as far as reading the temp. At the very bottom is; Patented Mar. 17-18, Aug. 13-18. Any thoughts would help. Thanks, Terry

Dennis 3145 days ago

Steve the O/D on the moto meter i have is 2 7/8 " , on the front its says Chevrolet but below the gold wings it has My great grandfather's name, i have not been able to find out if this was a common practice, any ideas where i could find out that information.... as for the other gentlemen sorry guys Steve seems to have the most knowledge Thanks Dennis

Dave D.3117 days ago

I have a Boyce Motometer with a heavy brass screw on base that has a large "R" on a shield shape locking catch. The locking catch keeps the motometer unright and when flipped open the motometer is tilted back to allow water to be pored in to the raditor. The base is dog bone shape with a glass shiftknob at the end. The motometer has a screw cap with a light bulb under.
What does the "R" stand for and what is it value??
Thanks, Dave

William A. Bates3092 days ago

I found a Boyce Moto Meter that is 2 3/16 inches. I checked for replacement parts,like gaskets,and new glass,but they listed only Junior and senior models. Mine says on it it's a Midjet model. Any info where I may get parts?

Claudia 3039 days ago

I have a Boyce "Standard" with the ornate front. It looks something broke off the front, was it an angel? or Ram head? I believe that this is a radiator gage. I think it is brass under the tarnish. Can anyone know the value of this item? or where I can find more information?

Lil3036 days ago

I have a Boyce MotoMeter Junior hood ornament.I would like to get a value on this item. It is silver with a wreath around it. Any help would be appreciated.

Robert3001 days ago

How do you actually read the temperature on one of these?

Bill Neven2963 days ago

I have a thermommeter thats says piecre arrow on it. I would like to find out the year +model it is from. Can you help me. Thank You,Bill .

Robert2956 days ago

I Have a motometer its got on it the MG symble with the hexagon round the MG then it has written Commonwealth classic cars Fullerton, CA
Can someone tell me if this is worth anything, I have held on to it for so many years and don't even know where it come from,
I think it must of been a few hand me downs

Jay2939 days ago

The origional Moto Meters in decent shape are much more valuable than the new reproduction one's. You can easily tell the new from the old by, (Old ones) the stem on the bottom is nickle plated, they always used red fluid in them, they were always nickel plated pot metal, never brass. The end of the stem also had a disk plug in it like the freeze plug on a car. The first 4 pictures above are repops.

The best way to tell what you have is go to eBay and enter motometer then try moto meter (with space) and you will soon get a very good idea what they are worth. The unusual name plate ones sometime bring a lot of money regardless of condition. Hope this helps.

ABS2888 days ago

This is the first time that I have seen this and I am quite impressed. Thanks for sharing these kinds of stuff.

ca2846 days ago

The Motometer is a genius device for the car indeed... checking the temperature of the radiator's vapor is an important thing for the car and having such is really important for every car.

Ed Blehschmidt2845 days ago

I have a motometer that is a cast metal with the letters FLT on the face. I found thic in about 60 feet of water on a old car! Would sure like to know what car this was from. Thanks

2840 days ago

oh yeah, it's a genius device, i love it.

2840 days ago

oh yeah, it's a genius device, i love it.

stick2840 days ago


ron osborne2820 days ago

While attempting to clear out this old garage I came across something I had never seen before: a "Boyce Moto Mete"r for a "Jordan?" At least that's the name on the face plate, beneath which is an image of a red arrow pointing downward. The meter body is 2 15/16 wide X 5 3/16 long including the stem. It is not decorated, i.e., there is no "wreath" around the casing; and the meter itself is not present, i.e., there is no evidence of the "tube" that held the fluid. As one screw is missing I'm led to believe that the mechanic who operated this garage must have disassembled the meter at some point, maybe because the tube/meter was broken and then re-assembled it and tossed it on the floor where it then accumulated decades of dirt and grime. Both glass elements are intact albeit with a few light scratches and minor chips, on the back piece. What I assume to be the original gasket is still attached to the stem. Can anyone help me determine a value on this piece of automotive history or is anybody interested in purchasing it. I'm helping to liquidate an elderly gentleman's fathers estate. The father was the aforementioned mechanic and never thre anything away.

JACK B. WATJE2785 days ago

Boyce Moto-Meter
Patented, May 13-13: March 17-14; July 15-18; August 19-18
It is 12 inches wide and 6 inches high. It looks like it is nickel plated and has an "A'' on front of temp. gauge. Would appreciate any information as to value and history of this radiator cap.

Sergio Derossi2771 days ago

Mr. Ron Osborne, if you are interested in selling your Jordan motometer, please, contact me by e-mail ( Thank you very much.

Erik Dekkers2753 days ago

I have a Boyce moto meter (patent dates1913-1914 ) to Fit Nash.

dan rockwood2752 days ago

i ran across a boyce motometer as a decoration very dirty i dont want to polish it 4 patent dates from 1913 to 1918 says boyce motometer then standard i assume maybe its an aftermarket from back then i have no doubt that it is not a reproduction curious if there is a market for it and what its worth

dan rockwood2752 days ago

Robert McCracken2739 days ago

Several years ago, my father's uncle died. While cleaning out his garage, we found two Boyce Motometers stuck down between the wall joists.

The first on is obviously from a Buick. The front plate say, "Pacific Northwest" and has a mountin/forest scene (Gold writing on black background). It has a wreath around the edges. The base has a large screw type fitting. The glass seems to be in good shape.

The second says "Atterbury" across the name plate and a crest in the background that reads, "Motor Trucks of Maximum Value". Some research showed me that Atterbury Motor Car Co. was based out of Buffalo, New York. The started in 1911 and continued into the 30's.

I'm curious to know what they're worth. If anybody is interested or if these would go for a project you, or someone you know, is doing. Feel free to contact me. (


nima2671 days ago

How mach this is? (moto meter)

tom j 2664 days ago

have moto meter with star symbol and star written on it will be for sale would like to know what it fits lee center ny

tom j 2664 days ago email for above

Rod2661 days ago

I have a moto meter winged cap in perfect condition. it has the ford emblem and flips open. i dont know much about it, but would like to know what its worth or where i could find out. thanks

SALLY COHICK2611 days ago

I have a moto-meter with oldsmobile emblem on it, I believe it is nickle plated and the patient is may,13-13 march,17-14 July,16-18 Aug,13-18, I have really no idea what I have, I found this in my dads stuff and am just curious as to what it might be worth and if anyone is ever interested in buying these. Its glass is beveled around edge and is in great shape, I would appreciate any info you could give me, thanks

mike Owen2592 days ago

I started collecting moto-meters back in 1957 . I have about 50 with a wide variety of car brands represented,most are mounted to winged/or bar caps. I would like to see this collection go to a museum that would display them. Contact me @ I will forward photos and entertain offers

MOTOMETER Fan2570 days ago

Do you know exactly the date when MOTOMETER was founded? I know it was 1912 but when exactly? Is there somebody or a company who can help me with this problem? Thanks for your help! MOTOMETER Fan from Germany

steve pondo2537 days ago

I also have a MOTO METER with the name NASH printed on the face
and Kenosha Wisconsin with the nash name. any one have an idea of where I can sell this unit. It works, I have tried it against my own temp guages.

bruce houdek2427 days ago

i found in my dads basement a cool Cadillac motometer. From the 1912-17 era. The whole complete thing, its nice about 6 inches long and 3 1/2 wide with chain both glasses in tack. Shes a nice one.. Of course its made by boyce, its writing tiny not likesome of them you can read there name a mile away. Laterr

Mtgibson2406 days ago

I have a Boyce Moto Meter Temperature Gauge - don't know how I came to have it, but have been carting it about from house to house for years. Have not attempted to clean it up at all -
it's 3 1/2 " wide; 5 1/2" long. Has a wreath around the thick beveled glass face on both front and back. Front has words "danger - steam" at top; then "Summer - Average"; back has the word "Standard" surrounded by ornate markings. No patent dates, just name/address of maker: "THE MOTOMETER CO INC,
L. I. CITY, N. Y., U. S. A. I can't seem to find this exact one in all the photos I've looked at on line. Anyone know anything about it?

Paul Bray2361 days ago

I have a Ford Motometer with wings the wings span approx. 9 inches height approx. 4 inches Much the same as Mtgibsons . THE MOTOMETER CO INC. OF LONG ISLAND.N.Y. U.S.A. I am on the Gold Coast in Australia
and was wondering if anyone can give me any information on this.
Does anyone know any whereabouts in Australia that I can contact with this item and is it of value.
regards Paul

bob2353 days ago

i have a 1924 motometer tire tester i curious to what it might be worth.

michael gaffaney2348 days ago

i would say about $100

Michael Gaffaney2348 days ago

Paul Bray
if it is working (place in a mug and add hot water and see if red mercury rises up the tube) then probably $100 to $200

Steve Jansen2344 days ago

I have several cars with Boyce motometers and would like to find someone who makes custom marque inserts with the car logo printed on it. These are all junior meters. Looking for Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Oakland, Rollin. Thanks, Steve

robert fleck2309 days ago

have a boyce motormeter with the fireman emblem in it (AmericanLaFRANCE) FOUNDED 1845 ELMIRA N.Y. ANY INFO WOULD BE GREAT THANK YOU ROBERT

Donald Haman2272 days ago

I have a Boyce motometer,universal model with turned up wings and patented dates on front. It has leaves embossed all around front and back. also temp. gages on back Summer and Average. From Long Island City, NY. USA. Any one that can tell me the value of this Model?

I have Boyce Motor Meter made especially for Ford Car and it is for sale. Thanks Ken.

Paul Lipscomb2234 days ago

I have a 1920s Buick Boyce Moto-Meter radiator cap with some damage to the base(small crack). Just out of curiosity I would like to know what it is worth. Please email me if you have any idea.

Ed priest2233 days ago

What year were motometers used on MGTD's?

Michael Austin2183 days ago

My father in law recently died and I found a DeLuxe MotoMeter in his house. It is still in its box. Box is a little ragged but still has its sleve. Does not appear to have been used. Box is stamped May 12, 1926. Would like to sell it.

Claudio Julio2126 days ago

I have a motometer really old is in perfect condition I seld or I can change for another thing. If your are Interesting Please contact me on my mail address. Thanks so moch.

JANICE2107 days ago

Boyce Moto-Meter, Patented May 13-13, March 17-14, July 18-18, Aug 13-18
Black paint on outer most part, stainless on circular plate with screws, Black screws, red theremometer glass.

Could someone please tell me what year is this would be from and what car it might have been on.

Thank you for your expertise! :)

Dan Baker2098 days ago

I have a meter nickle plated, under the name Boyce Moto Meter it says Midget Model patented,Iam interested in selling it.

jeff2097 days ago

I have a 1913/1918 nash radiator cap/hood ornament where can i find out what it would be worth it has an eagle head and wings you pull the head forward and it opens the top where a temp gauge sets.

jason stolis2062 days ago

I have a column mounted Boyce Mototmeter reads For Model A Ford I would like to know any info on this from how to hook it up to what it could be worth

Martha levy2062 days ago

I am looking for a 1929 model A radiator cap that is a thermometer. Any ideas on where to get one?

I am looking for a motometer for the car Ämerican La France, of Motometer Co.Inc.Long Island, Peatented July 16-19 and Aug.13-18,
On the other side Patented May 12-13 and May 17-14.
The temperature-measurement is broken. I need only that part,

We hope to hear from somebody
To n van Heesch
The Netherlands

D.Torii1937 days ago

Have Boyce MotoMeter Midget Model Interested?

Barry Zalane1933 days ago

Looking for a NASH insignia Motor Meter for my 1927 Nash Special Six. Radiator Fill threaded spout is 2" O D.

Ken Lenox1927 days ago

I have come across a FAGEOL Moto Meter. Very hard to find any info on the current value if any. It is in decent shape and apears to work as well. The glass is a little chipped on one side but all in all looks like a perfect restoration part. I have pictures if anyone wants to see it.

Ross Best1860 days ago

I watch the American Pickers show, they brought them for 100.00 ea.
They were made at the Moto Meter factory in Hamiton Ont. Canada

James1731 days ago

Is there a phone number where someone can be reached, for me to inquire about a Boyce Moto Meter for a 1927 Chrysler Model 50?

GARRY WILLIAMS1727 days ago

I have a boyce motometer with a American Lafrance logo on it. i want to know aprox. value and year of use.

Darlene Hudson1705 days ago

I have Motometer by Boyce , from 1928-29 Ford, Heavy, chrome, totally great condition, cap all working, bi-lateral wings with tips turning up, black on wreath on back and chrome on front, standard size, in Oregon.
Saw one like it on American Picker. = >$250 - $1000

Joanna1701 days ago

I have a 1918 moto meter. It has airplane art on the back. It also says patented 1913,1914. I am confused. What is it for? Car? What could it be worth?

John Carney1699 days ago

Have Boyce Motometer with the inscription Capital Cap. It has a casted image of the capital building on the front. The dome on the capital is missing. The motometer is flanked by straight wings on each side, turned up onthe end. The wings fold back and the cap opens for access to fill or check the radiator. There is a number one stamped on the underside of the capital casting boss. Anyone know what it fits? No patent dates or other in formation noted. weighs about 4lbs. with threaded mounting to radiator.

Jon Schapiro1462 days ago

I have a Buick Motometer. It is chrome plated and has a pressure washer attached that says "General Automotive Corp Chicago. It hae the Patented May 13-13, Mar 17-14,July 16-18 and Aug 13-18. It is an original one; not repro and in very nice condition. What would this be worth? I can send pictures to anyone interested.

kelly brawley1030 days ago

i have a royals royce motor meter thats really old

Frank Quillin1003 days ago

Any recommendations for someone that restores the moto meters and or somewhere to get restoration parts.

Jay Ross883 days ago

I have a Boyce Moto Meter that I believe is nickel plated with the John W.Henney & Company faceplate,do you know what this could be worth?

jason876 days ago

I have a boyce moto meter. Out says the moto-meter company., inc. Long island city.ny. U.S.A. that i would like to know if its a replica or original. The stem is brass but the heat indicator has red dye. There is a wreath engraved around it. It says Danger steam Summer average

john273 days ago

I have a very ornate moto-meter cap for 1920's Buick. Does anyone know its value and are there any buyers? Contact me if there is an interest.

John Nichols260 days ago

I just wanted to let you know the "Boyce Motometer from a 1929 Model A Ford Deluxe Town Sedan, (source: John Nichols)", shown above, is not a reproduction, This Boyce Moto Meter was added to this Model A Ford in 1929. I wish I could find someone to repair, not refurbish, this gauge.

Bill Porteous235 days ago

Wow. Interesting stuff. I had no idea about these things when I purchased mine. It measures 3 3/8" across and I think the outside portion is silver colored plating with a grey metal underneath. The inside ring with Motometer script on it is definitely brass under the plating. It says Patented April 27, 1915 and is from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Is there any way to date this one specifically? It does not have a manufacturer's name on it, just says Boyce MotoMeter Standard on the front. At the same time I purchased this, I also bought a hubcap from an old Paige automobile. It has a hexagon center with PAIGE on it. Could they be from the same vehicle? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.

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