Maxwell Motor Company Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a vehicle manufactured by the Maxwell Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan between 1914 and 1925. Jonathan Maxwell and Benjamin Briscoe teamed up to produce vehicles as the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company from 1904 until 1914. In 1910 Briscoe founded his United States Motor Company, and corporation producing several different makes and models. When the USMC collapsed in 1914, Maxwell reorganized as the Maxwell Motor Company and moved production to Detroit. Maxwell produced a variety of cars in various body types until the company merged with Chrysler and ceased producing Maxwell makes in 1925. This red, white, and blue shield-shaped emblem has a blue upper and red and white-striped lower. The white stripe in the center reads “Maxwell” in black, encircled by a white band that reads “MOTOR/COMPANY” 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.
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
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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