Lafayette Motors Co. Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Lafayette automobile that was manufactured by the Lafayette Motors Company of Indianapolis, Indiana from 1921 until 1924. Lafayette was owned by Charles Nash of Nash Motors, and designed the Lafayette to be an upscale luxury car model, and named the care after the Marquis de la Fayette. LaFayette was only produced in Indiana for a little more than a year before Nash moved production to his Wisconsin factory to save on costs, and its poor sales led to its production end in 1924. The emblem has a black background with a silver rim. The center of the emblem has white stylized interlocking letters “LF.” The silver rim reads “Lafayette Motors Company/Indianapolis” in raised text. The Indianapolis attribution dates the emblem to around 1921 or 1922.
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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