Austin Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to an Austin automobile that was manufactured by the Austin Automobile Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan from about 1912 until 1920. Not to be confused with the more successful British manufacturer of the same name, only about 1000 American Austin’s were produced from 1901 to 1921. The automobile was called the Highway King, because with a wheelbase of 142 inches, it was much larger than its contemporaries until 1915, when the company also began offering smaller and cheaper cars. Austin sold its cars on their style and smoothness, advertising them as “The Pullman of Motor Cars and “the most beautiful cars in the world.” The emblem has a white background with a gold, blue and red crown with blue ribbons at the top and around the bottom rim. The emblem reads “AUSTIN/THE/HIGHWAY/KING” in the center and “AUSTIN AUTOMOBILE CO GRAND RAPIDS.MICH. U.S.A.” around the rim.
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.
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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