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Mitchell radiator emblem

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Mitchell radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution
Mitchell radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Mitchell and Lewis had been wagon builders since 1834 before turning to auto building in the early 1900s. For the first ten years the company experimented with a variety of engines and body designs, but by 1917 they had settled into several models of little distinction. Their 1920 model featured a sloping radiator, quickly earning the nickname "the drunken Mitchell." They lost money on most models in the early 1920s. The factory closed in 1923, at which time Nash bought the facilities.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 4.2 L x 6.5 W x .3 D

Inscriptions: RACINE Mitchell WISCONSIN, U.S.A.

Materials: metal

Colors: blue, white, silver

Dates Used:
1903 - 1923
Racine, Wisconsin
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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