Rickenbacker Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Rickenbacker automobile manufactured by the Rickenbacker Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan between 1922 and 1927. The emblem for the car was taken from First Lieutenant Eddie Rickenbacker's flying squadron insignia, the "Hat in the Ring." Rickenbacker (1890-1973) was a well-known race car driver and WWI flying ace. Three automobile executives from the EMF Company-Barney Everitt, William Metzger and Walter E. Flanders-offered Rickenbacker a position as vice-president and director of sales if he gave his name to the new automobile. The emblem resembles as stars-and-stripes top hat orbited by a white ring.
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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