Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
BackSearch
Kissel Kar radiator emblem

Enlarge Image
Kissel Kar radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Work and Industry
What is an emblem? — Before there were cars .


Kissel Kar radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Kissel Motor Company originally manufactured agricultural equipment, then stationary gas engines, before producing cars. Kissel manufactured almost the entire vehicle, something uncommon for early automobile companies. Most early auto manufacturers assembled parts bought from different companies rather than producing the entire car in-house. Kissel added the motto "Every Inch a Car" to their trademark in 1914, seven years after the first Kissel logo was trademarked.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 7.8 L x 7.8 W x .9 D

Inscriptions: KISSEL KAR EVERY INCH A CAR

Materials: metal

Colors: white, black, silver

Details
Dates Used:
1906 - 1931
Locations:
Wisconsin
Note:
Hartford, Wisconsin
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.


National Museum of American History About This Site | Sponsors | Buy the Book | E-mail Signup | Credits