Empire Little Aristocrat Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a “Little Aristocrat” brand automobile that was manufactured by the Empire Automobile Company of Indianapolis, Indiana between 1911 and 1915. Originally founded as the Empire Motor Car Company in 1909 by Carl G. Fisher, Arthur C. Newby, Robert Hassler, and James A. Allison, the company operated until 1919 in Indianapolis, with some production occurring between 1912 and 1914 in Greenville, Pennsylvania. The company’s founders most notably built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founded the Indianapolis 500. The company was sold in 1911 and reorganized as the Empire Automobile Company, which produced a variety of Empire models until 1919. The emblem has a white enamel background with a blue “EMPIRE” in the center. Above is “THE LITTLE ARISTOCRAT,” below is “EMPIRE AUTO CO./INDIANAPOLIS, U.S.A.” all in silver lettering.
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


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