Doble Steam Motors Co. Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Doble steam automobile that was manufactured by the Doble Steam Motors Company between 1924 and 1931. Doble was originally located in Detroit, but moved to California in 1921 before going out of business in 1931. During the early years of car production, gasoline, electric, and steam engines all competed in the marketplace for consumer preference. While gasoline powered internal combustion engines eventually proved to be the commercial winner, the Doble steam car was marvelously engineered. The Doble steam car was self-starting, under full steam in 40 seconds, operated silently, went zero to sixty miles per hour in 12 seconds, powerful enough to handle any hill, and lacking many of the moving parts (transmission, clutch, belts, etc.) that caused mechanical issues in gasoline engines. The black emblem simply reads “STEAM/DOBLE/MOTORS/CALIFORNIA” in silver.
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.
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
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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