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Franklin radiator emblem

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Franklin radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution

Franklin Automobile

Franklin radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
The H.H. Franklin Manufacturing Company originally produced die casts in the 1890s, but in the early 1900s Herbert H. Franklin was intrigued by designs for air cooled engines and began producing the Franklin automobile. For the entire duration of production, Franklins had air cooled engines.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 4.5 L x 8.1 W x 1.2 D

Inscriptions: Franklin

Materials: metal

Colors: gold, white, yellow

Dates Used:
1901 - 1934
New York
Syracuse, New York
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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