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Locomobile radiator emblem

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Locomobile radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

Work and Industry
What is an emblem? — What’s under your hood? Is it steam?

Locomobile racecar

Locomobile steam automobile

Locomobile radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Locomobile marketed steam powered cars until 1903 when it switched to cars with gasoline engines. The Locomobile steam runabout had a 14 inch boiler under the driver's seat that had to be refilled with water every 20 miles. Locomobile trademarked more than a dozen "loco" vehicle names, including Lococycle, Locolaunch, Locoracer, Locotrap, and Locohack.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 1.0 L x 7.6 W x 1.2 D

Inscriptions: LOCOMOBILE

Materials: metal

Colors: black, white, silver

Dates Used:
1899 - 1929
Westboro, Massachusetts
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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