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Velie radiator emblem

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Velie radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

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

Velie radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Velie was a well known carriage builder prior to manufacturing automobiles. The Velie Corporation had the backing of the John Deere Plow Company, and their first cars were distributed through the Deere dealer network.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 6.0 L x 7.1 W x .7 D

Inscriptions: V Velie

Materials: metal

Colors: black, orange, white

Dates Used:
1909 - 1928
Moline, Illinois
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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