During the early 20th century, many bicycle and carriage manufacturers experimented with adding engines to their vehicles. The Chelsea Manufacturing Company in Chelsea, Michigan produced Welch automobiles from 1901 until 1903 that were designed by brothers A. R. and Fred Welch. The brothers soon set up a factory for their Welch Motor Car Company in Pontiac, Michigan and began producing several different models of automobiles including a roadster, runabout, and a touring car. In 1910 the General Motors Corporation took over the Welch Motor Car Company, and in 1911 the last of the Welch automobiles were manufactured. The circular metal emblem reads “WELCH” in raised letters in the center, with the raised text “WELCH MOTOR/CAR CO.” above and “PONTIAC,/MICH.” below.
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.
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