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Roosevelt radiator emblem

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Roosevelt 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

Americans Adopt the Auto:
Americans Adopt the Auto — Building and Selling Cars

Roosevelt radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
Do you recognize the 26th president (1901-1909)? Naming a car after a president can imply a general notion of power and leadership. It may also reflect some of personal characteristics of a specific president. In the case of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), it might be his sense of adventure and sportsmanship.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 5.5 L x 4.8 W x 0.5 D

Inscriptions: image of portrait of Theodore Roosevelt

Materials: metal

Colors: brown, white

Dates Used:
1929 - 1931
Indianapolis, Indiana
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.

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