Kissel Kar Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Kissel Kar manufactured by the Kissel Motor Company of Hartford, Wisconsin between 1914 and 1919. Kissel Motor Company originally manufactured agricultural equipment, then stationary gas engines, before producing cars. Kissel manufactured almost the entire vehicle, something uncommon for early automobile companies. Most early auto manufacturers assembled parts bought from different companies rather than producing the entire car in-house. Kissel added the motto "Every Inch a Car" to their trademark in 1914, seven years after the first Kissel logo was trademarked, and dropped the “Kar” as a brand name in 1919 to avoid the appearance of German sympathies after World War I.
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


Add a comment about this object