Chalmers Motor Company Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Chalmers-Detroit automobile that was manufactured by the Chalmers-Detroit Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan from 1908 until 1910. Bothe the automobile and the company dropped the Detroit from their name in 1910, as Chalmers-Detroit was reorganized into the Chalmers Motor Car Company. Chalmers produced very popular cars, with production rates hitting 20,000 units in 1915, but by the 1920s the auto industry was facing financial difficulties due to over-expansion and recession, and Chalmers was purchased by Maxwell, which was soon subsumed by Chrysler. This radiator emblem has a blue enamel background with a white interlocked “CD” in the center. The rim of the badge has gold lettering that reads “CHALMERS-DETROIT MOTOR CO./DETROIT, MICH. U.S.A.”
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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