Jul 22 2019

Mystery Foto #29 Partially Solved: A Homan Motor Vehicle Trophy Owned by Henry Austin Clark, Jr.

Automotive historian Walt Gosden still needs your assistance to identify this weekend's Mystery Foto of a trophy given to him by Henry Austin Clark, Jr.

Answers to the Mystery Photo questions:

  • Who was the manufacturer of the trophy?

Homan Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of pewter, Britannia metal and German Silver.

When and where was the company founded? What was its last year of business?

The company started in 1847 in Cincinnati. Homan's last year in business was 1941.

  • This trophy was given to the winner of which race? Note: Answer is currently unknown.

Currently still unknown.

Comments (6)

Congrats to Art Kleiner, Gary,  and Sam Berliner III for identifying Homan as manufacturer of the trophy. No kudos this weekend.


Howard Kroplick

Walt Gosden received this trophy as a gift when he worked for Henry Austin Clark.

Walt: "A few details on the winged wheel trophy: 20 Inches high, top edge is 6 inches, larger center edge is 13 inches  wheels are 6 1/2 inches and weighs at least 10 pounds. Perhaps made of pewter and silver plated."

The trophy's markings on the bottom of the cup:Quadruple plate   Homan Mfg. Co,  made in USA  3088 special metal


Jul 21 2019 Art Kleiner 6:42 AM

Originally named Flagg & Homan, the company was founded in 1847 by Henry Homan and Asa Flagg in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Homan ran the business as Homan & Co. until 1887.  The named changed 1896 to Homan Silver Plate Co.  Somewhere between 1904 and 1915 the name changed to the Homan Mfg. Co.  The Company closes in 1941. 

More research needed about the actual research shown.

Jul 21 2019 Gary 8:44 AM

No special insight on nickel plate, I just looked up the marking on base.  HOMAN Manufacturing Co. of Cinn.OH.

Started 1847 in Cinn.  NYC address 32 Park Place in 1898. 
Last mention 1940.

Pieces like tea pots and servers for sale, very reasonable.  I believe this trophy’s value rests with auto racing fans, so hope you can identify the race event.  HAC history helps too.

Well done Mr.Gosden!

Jul 21 2019 Howard Kroplick 12:10 PM

Robert R.

Austie’s trophy is wonderful!
So glad you showed it.

All the best, Robert

Jul 21 2019 Howard Kroplick 12:13 PM

Richie Krause

Howard,,, “i’ met Mr Clark , a few times when I worked for the Town of Oyster Bay!  I was a real young Man, ( About 18/19 ) And he was a good friend of Harold Kraft, A deputy Town engineer!  Mr Kraft ,had many old Cars also!  “Austy” Clarks Museum in South Hampton…Was fabulous!  And I have been told, By Friends from the East end of L.I.  Mr Clarks family had sugar plantations in Cuba!  And the Fidel Castro, take over Caused them a Huge $$$$$ disastor!    Mr Clark was a great guy…. And His visits to O.B. Town hall , where always fun for everyone!  That was in the very early 1960s…... And I have always wished I were a bit older , so I could have fit in more with those Fine, fine people!  But no matter what…I am grateful, for having had the chance to meet them! 
Richie Krause
Shelter Island

Jul 21 2019 S. Berliner, III 2:27 PM

Homan Mfg. Co., mfts.of Britannia ware (electro-plated silver) started in Cincinnati in 1847 as, or became, Flagg & Homan, also Homan & Co., then joined International Silver around September 1898.  Was still doing business as Homan in 1905.  Sam, III

Jul 22 2019 Howard Kroplick 2:14 PM

Florence Ogg (former curator of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Musuem:

The photo of the trophy in your latest newsletter seems to be for a motorcycle.
race. Did Willie ever compete in any of those races? I remember seeing him on a motorcycle in a photo.
Thanks for the newsletter.

Jul 22 2019 Brian D McCarthy 7:10 PM

*Manufacturer of Trophy: Homan Manufacturing Company

*When, where was this company founded. Final year of business: Cincinnati, Ohio 1847 thru 1941. Henry Homan b. 1826 d. 1865 and Asa Flagg both managed this company until around 1851, Henry continued to manage until his death, still a young man. Asa was enlisted in the Civil War, and passed a few years after Henry. So maybe they were both casualties due to the war. The Homan family continued to operate the business until 1941. I read that the company manufactured items for World War 2 and may have provided the military until 1950.

*What vehicle race/event was this trophy awarded: I failed to locate. The Henry Ford Museum has 3 inscribed trophy/cups that the Homan Company provided. None of them are similar to Walt Godsen’s. Going by the item# on the bottom, I feel that the race that Walt’s trophy was awarded was during the 1920’s. I don’t see inscriptions around this winged trophy, where as the 3 in the museum do. For all we know, the trophy may have been awarded for a bicycle or motorcycle event.

Jul 22 2019 Brian D McCarthy 7:59 PM

Howard, I sent to your email 2 links. This is an screenshot of trophies manufactured by The Homan Company, from 1 of the links I sent to your email. I find it curious that this winged trophy isn’t inscribed like the 3 from the Henry Ford Collection.

Jul 22 2019 S. Berliner, III 8:57 PM

Easy, folks.  Those are wood-spoke wheels (complete with valve stems, no less!).  Not too many bicycles or motorcycles with wood wheels.  Sorry, Florence and Brian.  Of course, it could be just artistic license, but highly unlikely on such a detailed and expensive trophy.  Suggest focus should remain on autos.  Sam, III

Jul 22 2019 Brian D McCarthy 9:21 PM

A correction to my comment: I previously felt that Walt’s trophy was awarded during the 1920’s. 2 of 3 of the trophies within The Henry Ford Collection are dated 1909 - bottom inscribed 3052, and dated 1933 - bottom inscribed 4164. Walt’s is inscribed 3088. So know I feel his winged 2 wheeled trophy was awarded from 1910 thru 1920.

Jul 23 2019 frank femenias 2:03 PM

I’m with Sam, the bulging tire/spokes configuration more resembles a car than motorcycle. What a toughie, and great homing into the model # Brian.

Jul 23 2019 Walt Gosden 4:37 PM

Austin had two of these trophies in his basement at his home in Glen Cove. Neither on display, just a place to put/keep them . He never mentioned where he got them to me, the other one did have a name and date engraved on it, last name of the person on the other one that was engraved was Rouse, date was 1909. It most likely mentioned the race but I do not recall that as it was over 40 years ago. That trophy went to a friend in Utica , NY with the same last name , but we don’t know if they were related. Eventually it wound up in Ct. someplace with a relative of my friend in Utica after he passed away.  It is silver plate not nickel plate.
THANK YOU to all who commented and to Howard for posting this. It is one of my favorite items just from the standpoint of being a great sculpture, the proportions etc. Another item in my collection that this trophy sits under is a non automotive item but interesting none the less - a framed towel out of the Graff Zeppelin with an image of the Zeppelin in the center. Came from a fellow who flew on the Zeppelin numerous times and just liked the towel so took it home after a trip! Walt

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