Welch Motor Car Company Radiator Emblem

Welch Motor Car Company Radiator Emblem

Usage conditions apply
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
emblem, radiator
Other Terms
emblem, radiator; Road; Automobile
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Hubert G. Larson
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Radiator Emblems
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Fred Welch was my great great uncle. very proud to have that in my family's history. My zsa zsa's name was Mary Hamilton. Her aunts husband was Fred.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.