Oldsmobile Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to an Oldsmobile model automobile that was manufactured by Olds Motor Works of Lansing, Michigan during the early 20th century. Ransom Eli Olds began the Olds Motor Works in 1891 when he built a three wheeled, steam powered car. He also experimented with electric vehicles before building the Curved Dash Runabout, the first mass produced vehicle. In 1904 Ransom Olds left the company to found REO. Oldsmobile is one of the few companies whose history spans the initial experimental period of automobile manufacturing up through recent production.
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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