Ames Radiator Emblem

During the early 20th century, many carriage builders ended up converting their horse-drawn carriage frames to be used in automobiles. The Carriage Woodstock Company was originally founded by Frederick Ames in 1891 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The company was soon producing frames not only for carriages but for automobile bodies. In 1911 the company reorganized to become the F.A. Ames Company and the Ames Motor Company. The former would continue to manufacture bodies for other automobile makes, while the latter produced its own vehicles. This radiator emblem belonged to an Ames Motor Company vehicle, which were manufactured from 1911 until around 1920. The circular emblem has a white background in the center with red script that reads “Ames.” There is an outer red rim that reads “THE AMES MOTOR CAR COMPANY/OWENSBORO, KY.” in silver lettering.
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
emblem, radiator
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Radiator Emblems
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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