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Standard Steel Car Company radiator emblem

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Standard Steel Car Company radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


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


Standard Steel Car Company radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
Standard Steel had been in the railroad industry, manufacturing steel and composite railway carriages and wagons, before turning to automobiles.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 7.5 L x 7.5 W x 0.4 D

Inscriptions: STANDARD STEEL CAR CO. STANDARD PITTSBURGH PA

Materials: metal

Colors: blue, red, white, bronze

Details
Dates Used:
1912 - 1913
Locations:
Pennsylvania
Note:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Credit:
Gift of Hubert G. Larson
History
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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