Serial Numbers

Serial Numbers Assigned to Milburn Light Electric Automobiles 1915-1924

For model years 1915-1916, the Car ID or chassis number is stamped into the front chassis cross-member under one of the hood latches. For model years 1917 and up, the number is stamped into the chassis on the topside of the right front spring knuckle and on an oval brass plate affixed to the center of the rear wooden body cross-member under the rear hood.

Milburn also stamped its bodies with ID#s.  These #s did not match or track the car chassis S/N except roughly with the Model 15 and 22 cars.

Model Yr. Model No. Body Style Seating Capacity Serial # Range
1915 15 Coupé, 100" chassis 4 Veh ID: 15-101 to 15-702 *
Body ID: 3 digit, near, but not typically the same as VIN

[* NOTE: 2/2016 Update --- review of California and Connecticut State vehicle registrations shows 2 vehicles with S/N beyond 15702: 15838 (California, first registered in 1918) and 15894 (Connecticut, 1920).  This suggests that instead of 602 Model 15's, there must have been 794 of them made.]
1915 - 1916 151 Roadster 3 151-101 to 151-139 *

[* NOTE: 2/2016 Update --- California registrations for 1921 show Roadster # 151-567.  If more higher number vehicles are similarly confirmed, this would suggest much greater volume of Roadsters made---467 vs 39.  It's easier to believe that the California Roadster above was misread and was instead, e.g. 151-367 or 151-167.  If more than 100 of these were made, we'd expect to see at least 1 that still exists---yet none have surfaced.]
1915-1916 22 4-pass Brougham,
105" chassis
4 2-101-2 to 2-590-2 *
Body ID: 101 thru 590 (presumably)

[*NOTE: 02/2016 Update --- 3 Model 22's have been found in early registrations with S/N's beyond 590 and in 3 different States:
* 2-603-2 Massachusetts, exists today
* 2-731-2 Connecticut, 1918
* 2-856-2 California, 1921
If confirmed with more, this suggests rather than 490 cars, more than 756 Model 22 cars may have been produced.]
1917 30 Touring, 118" chassis 6 3-101-0 to 3-139-0
1917-1918 27 4-pass Brougham,
105" chassis
4 2-101-7 to 2-899-7
BodyID: XXX or 5XXX
1919 27L 5-pass Brougham,
105" chassis
5 2-900-7 to 2-1899-7
BodyID: 9XXX
1920
1921 2-1900-7 to 2-2900-7
BodyID: 16XXX
1922 2-2901-7 to 2-3199-7
BodyID: 17XXX
1922 thru May 1923 27L Brougham 5 2-3200-7 and up ?
BodyID: 18XXX ?
27F 4
1923, May thru 1924 27L Brougham 5 27D01 and up (numbers shared
with Milburn's Model 27D 1/4-ton truck chassis).
Only one (#27D12) known to exist

Based on and expanded from Serial Number Book for U.S. Cars 1900-1975.

Analysis:

All Milburn car models started with base S/N of 101 (except the post-GM Model 27L's of 1923+)

Beginning with Model 22, the S/N system went to a split numbering system, e.g. Model 27: 2-"veh#-7

Model 22: 2 - veh# - 2 with veh# running from 101 thru 590 Model 30: 2 - veh# - 0 with veh# running from 101 thru 139 Model 27: 2 - veh# - 7 with veh# running from 101 thru 899 Model 27L: 2 - veh# - 7 with veh# running from 900 thru 3099 (beginning 1919)

Mod 27L/F: 2 - veh# - 7 with veh# running from 3100 and up (beginning 1923)

This scheme seems consistent with the S/Ns we see on the remaining cars, specifically that the S/N's for all the post-1915 Milburns all end in #7 digit (except for the 1923/24 Model 27L with 27D chassis: 27D12).

This S/N interpretation also makes the later model S/N's consistent with the earlier Model 15 and 151 S/Ns which supposedly also started with a veh#101, but with a number scheme of 15-veh# and 151-veh#.

*Note: There were probably no 1924 models per-se, but considering that the Milburn body plant was bought by General Motors in February of 1923, Milburn was unable to easily produce its enclosed bodies.  Ads for its trucks focused on selling "chassis" and that bodies could be made to fit.  By 1923, Milburn did not actively advertise its Model 27L's, though its dealers did have a few ads that year, transitioning into Used Car ads.  It is surmised that after GM purchased the body plant, all of the 105" chassis made by Milburn were tagged "27DXX" since they were no longer advertising the Broughams, but instead the 1-ton, 1/2-ton and 1/4-ton (Model 27D) trucks.  Based on the existence of a 27L Brougham stamped 27D on its chassis AND its S/N plate, they used the "27DXX" ID for Model 27L's after that point also.

Note: NOT included in the above table are the Milburn trucks or deliveries (Models 16 (1915-16) or Models 40/43/27D (1922+)), Taxi (33?) or Limousine (36?).  Not a single one of these models are known to exist today.  For that matter, neither do we know of any remaining Model 151 Roadsters, Model 27F Broughams or Model 30 Touring models.