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Auburn Automobile Company radiator emblem

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Auburn Automobile Company radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

Work and Industry
What is an emblem? — Introduction

Auburn Automobile Company radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
In 1900 Frank and Morris Eckhart of the Eckhart Carriage Company began experimenting with hand-built cars and selling them around Auburn, Indiana. The first production car, a single-cylinder chain-driven runabout, appeared in 1903. A touring model was added in 1904, and 2-cylinder models were introduced in 1905. In 1919, the company produced the Beauty-Six, featuring streamlined bodies with bevelled edges on the side. In 1921, this car became the 6-51 sports model. E.L. Cord bought the Auborn Company in 1924, pushing it to a leading position among American auto makers. Although the company continued to produce well-built vehicles, it eventually collapsed during the Depression.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 5.0 L x 8.0 W x 0.8 D


Materials: metal

Colors: white, blue, gold

Dates Used:
1900 - 1937
Auburn, Indiana
Gift of Hubert G. Larson
Radiator emblems were colorful metal plates with a manufacturer's name or logo that attached to the radiators of early automobiles. Varying in shape and size, but never more than a few inches across, the emblems were small branding devices. As vehicles became more popular in a national market, people began associating the company name and logo on different vehicle models with a specific manufacturer. Radiator emblems sometimes indicated the type of engine or place of manufacturing. Other times they appealed directly to a driver's sense of style and class by using iconic images or a catchy motto.
Related People, Places, and Events
Hubert G. Larson
In 1964 Hubert G. Larson donated a collection of 278 radiator emblems to the Smithsonian.

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