Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Rickenbacker Motor Company radiator emblem

Enlarge Image
Rickenbacker Motor Company radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

Work and Industry
What is an emblem? — Introduction

Work and Industry
What is an emblem? — Without words

Eddie Rickenbacker in a Maxwell racecar

Rickenbacker Motor Company radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
The emblem for the car was taken from First Lieutenant Eddie Rickenbacker's flying squadron insignia, the "Hat in the Ring." Rickenbacker (1890-1973) was a well known race car driver and WWI flying ace. Three automobile executives from the EMF Company-Barney Everitt, William Metzger and Walter E. Flanders-offered Rickenbacker a position as vice-president and director of sales if he gave his name to the new automobile. The company was formed in 1922 and went out of business in 1927.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 5.8 L x 7.7 W x 0.9 D

Inscriptions: image of an upside down top hat in an oval

Materials: metal

Colors: blue, red, white, silver

Dates Used:
1922 - 1927
Detroit, Michigan
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.

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