Willys Six Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Willys Six automobile manufactured by the Willys Corporation of Toledo, Ohio during the 1930s. In 1907 John North Willys, an automobile dealer, became a partner in the Overland Automotive Division of the Standard Wheel Company. The Willys company tree is very complicated, emblematic of the many merges and separations that occurred among automobile companies during the early 1900s, but in general the Willys Corporation was founded by John North Willys to produce Willys, Willys-Overland, and Willys-Knight vehicles. A variety of Willys automobiles with six-cylinder engines had been manufactured since 1909, but the “Willys Six” model that this radiator emblem likely belonged to was produced during the 1930s. The blue emblem has a large red six in the center, with the silver text “Willys” on top of it. In smaller text on the rim the emblem reads “REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.”
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
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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