Stearns Radiator Emblem

Stearns Radiator Emblem

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This radiator emblem belonged to a Stearns automobile that was manufactured by the F. B. Stearns Company of Cleveland, Ohio between 1901 and 1929. Stearns produced a variety of vehicles throughout its history, but has a claim to fame as the first American company to license the Knight engine for production in its vehicles in 1911. Charles Yale Knight invented a new, quieter engine that used sleeve valves instead of the poppet valves commonly used. Many companies during this period licensed Knight Engines and used knight imagery to advertise their engines. This Stearns radiator emblem has an image of a knight with sword and shield standing above a banner that reads “STEARNS.”
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
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