Columbia Motor Car Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to an automobile manufactured by the Columbia Motor Car Company of Hartford, Connecticut between 1909 and 1913. The Columbia Motor Car Company is the fifth name of a company with a complex heritage that descended from the Pope Manufacturing Company. The company began production in 1897, and folded in 1913. Columbia initially sold electric vehicles including busses, taxis, and police vehicles. The company began to introduce gasoline powered vehicles in 1899. This radiator emblem has a rim resembling a gear cog, with the text “THE COLUMBIA MOTOR CAR COMPANY/HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT” in black around the edge. The center of the emblem is divided into thirds, with an image of a balance, calipers, and a retort.
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 emblems 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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