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Commonwealth Motors Company radiator emblem

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Commonwealth Motors Company radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution
Commonwealth Motors Company radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Commonwealth Motors assembled cars from various parts distributors rather than manufacturing the entire vehicle. Its most famous model was the Checker taxicab.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 5.8 L x 9.6 W x .8 D

Inscriptions: COMMONWEALTH MOTORS CO COMMONWEALTH CHICAGO ILLINOIS

Materials: metal

Colors: white, blue, red, silver

Details
Dates Used:
1917 - 1922
Locations:
Illinois
Note:
Chicago (Joliet), Illinois
Credit:
Gift of Hubert G. Larson
History
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
Donor
Hubert G. Larson
In 1964 Hubert G. Larson donated a collection of 278 radiator emblems to the Smithsonian.


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