Chevrolet Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to an early Chevrolet vehicle from the 1920s or 30s. Prior to the 20th century William Durant was a partner in the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, one of the largest carriage companies in the world. During the early 20th century, Durant changed his focus to automobiles, and was involved in a litany of companies around Flint and Detroit from 1904 until 1933. Durant founded General Motors in 1908, but was forced from the company by creditors in 1910. The Chevrolet Motor Car Company was incorporated on November 3, 1911 in Detroit, Michigan and its success allowed Durant to amalgamate the best parts of his other car companies into Chevrolet in order to strengthen Chevrolet’s weaknesses. In order to facilitate all these mergers, Durant moved the company to Flint in 1912, Louis Chevrolet left, and Durant began the process of re-taking control of GM. The emblem is the blue Chevrolet bowtie with a white rim and the white letters “CHEVROLET” in the center.
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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