Cole Motor Car Company Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Cole automobile manufactured by the Cole Motor Car Company around 1915. The Cole Motor Car Company was originally the Cole Carriage Company. The Cole Carriage Company was founded in 1904 when Joseph J. Cole purchased the Gates-Osborne Carriage Company. The company reorganized into the Cole Motor Car company in 1909, and produced over 40,000 cars until the company liquidated in 1925. The black and silver emblem bears the image of a spread-winged eagle with a shield over its breast that reads “Cole” in silver. A white banner underneath the eagle reads “Indianapolis” in silver.
Radiator emblems are small, colorful metal plates bearing an automobile manufacturer's name or logo that attached to the radiators grilles of early automobiles. Varying in shape and size, the emblems served as a small branding device, sometimes indicating the type of engine, place of manufacturing, or using an iconic image or catchy slogan to advertise their cars make and model. This emblem is part of the collection that was donated by Hubert G. Larson in 1964.
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Hubert G. Larson
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Radiator Emblems
Road Transportation
America on the Move
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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