Handley-Knight Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Handley-Knight automobile that was manufactured by the Handley-Knight Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan between 1921 and 1922. The company was founded by J. I. Handley, who used Knight engines that were manufactured by the Willys plant Elyria, Ohio. Charles Yale Knight had invented a new, quieter engine that used sleeve valves instead of the poppet valves commonly used. The Handley-Knight used a four-cylinder sleeve valve engine for two years; in 1923 Handley reorganized as Handley Motors Inc. and used its own engine in both four and six cylinders. This shield shaped emblem has a red background with a stylized “HK” in the center and a knight’s helmet at the top. Below the “HK” is the text “Bona Fides” in silver, Latin for “good faith.”
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.
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Radiator Emblems
Road Transportation
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National Museum of American History


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