Thomas Flyer Radiator Emblem

This radiator emblem belonged to a Thomas Flyer automobile that was manufactured by the E.R. Thomas Motor Car Company of Buffalo, New York from between 1904 and 1917. The Thomas Flyer was made world famous in 1908 for winning the New York to Paris race. The global fame helped sales of the expensive car (different body models sold from $4,000 to $7,500) but the lack of engineering development doomed the car. The company was sold in 1913, mass manufacturing ceased by 1916, with the last built to order cars being shipped in 1918. The circular emblem has a globe in its center with a gold line that shows the path from New York to Paris. A red shield with a white “T” is in the middle of the emblem. A red rim encircles the emblem that reads “THE THOMAS FLYER/ E.R. THOMAS MOTOR CO./BUFFALO. N.Y.” in gold 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.
Object Name
emblem, radiator
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Radiator Emblems
Road Transportation
Road Transportation
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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