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Cole Motor Car Company radiator emblem

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Cole Motor Car Company radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution

Cole 30-40 sales shop

Cole Motor Car Company radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
The Cole Motor Car Company was originally the Cole Carriage Company.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 5.8 L x 5.8 W x 1.0 D

Inscriptions: COLE INDIANAPOLIS (with image of an eagle)

Materials: metal

Colors: black, white, silver

Dates Used:
1909 - 1925
Indianapolis, 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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