Cadillac Hood Ornaments From a Neccessity to a Piece of America

The historic Cadillac hood ornament was born arising from the need to know the temperature of a car's radiator vapor.

The earliest of the Cadillac hood ornaments were known as Moto-Meters. The Moto-Meter not only allowed the driver to be aware of coolant temperature but also gave manufacturers a space at the front of the car to display their company logo.

In 1912, Cadillac scripted their name and logo on a very early Moto-Meter model. This evolved through the years with Cadillac eventually dropping the scripted name to using a crest in 1922.
By the year 1928 Moto-Meters were replaced by an internal gauge to read a cars temperature, located on the dashboard. In this now empty space upon the car's hood, Cadillac decided to premier their first official hood ornament known as the Cadillac Harold. The boy trumpeter, dressed in a tunic, was made of polished nickel and was announcing the arrival of Cadillac's 1929 models.

From 1930 until 1932 Cadillac used a heron eventually dropping that for the well known Goddess in 1933. The Cadillac hood ornament remained some form of that 1933 Goddess until 1956. The goddess ornaments were made from chrome-plated zinc with many different finishes.

In 1957 the Cadillac hood ornament would change again to a pair of upright wings except on one model the Eldorado Brougham. This model held an ornate Goddess reminiscent of the 1940 models.

By the early 1970's the Cadillac hood ornament had become the company's crest, leaving the beautiful goddess a thing of the past.

The Cadillac hood ornament has been a small part of Americana for many years. So naturally there is a large market for these items. Most of the original hood ornaments are stamped with a patent number or the serial number of the original car.

Cadillac hood ornaments have been copied and reproduced many times over the years so careful research on any markings is warranted before purchasing anything claiming to be authentic.

Petty Cadillac Hood Ornament

Image by Roy's World via Flickr

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