This Lincoln radiator emblem belonged to a Lincoln brand automobile manufactured by the Lincoln Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan between 1922 and 1920. Lincoln was originally established in 1920 by Henry Leland to help build engines for airplanes to assist the war effort, but the war ended before mass production could begin. Leland decided to use his factory and manpower to produced engines for automobiles. While the Lincoln’s had impeccable engineering, their styling was unpopular, and the company soon faced bankruptcy. In 1902 Leland had produced the Cadillac from the failed remains of Ford’s first automobile company, and Ford may have had some pleasure in purchasing Lincoln in 1922. Lincoln operated as an independent subsidiary until 1940, and has remained a Ford brand to this day. This emblem has the U.S. shield surrounded by an oval with the text “Leland-Built” at the top of the shield and the text “Lincoln” in the center. Leland was undoubtedly banking on his name recognition to help boost early Lincoln sales.
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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