REO Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to an REO automobile manufactured in Lansing, Michigan between 1905 and 1936. This vehicle takes its name from the initials of its founder, Ransom Eli Olds, who left Oldsmobile to start his new company named after his initials. REO made a variety of cars, which were steady sellers up through the Depression. Although the last private car was manufactured in 1936, trucks and buses were made sporadically through the 1950s as a division of White. This white oval emblem bears the black vertical letters “REO.”
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
ID Number
accession number
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Credit Line
Hubert G. Larson
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Radiator Emblems
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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