Emerson Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to an Emerson automobile that was manufactured by the Emerson Motors Company of Kingston, New York around 1917. The car was to be a four-cylinder touring model that sold for $395, undercutting the Model T as the most affordable vehicle. Not many vehicles were produced, and company officials were soon indicted for stock fraud through the mail, as they claimed an initial higher vehicle order to entice others to buy their stock. The emblem has a raised image of a centurion in a half-circle above the text “EMERSON.”
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
Radiator Emblems
Road Transportation
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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