Abbreviation for "Bayrische Motorenwerke", German for "Bavarian Motor Factory".
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For many years, it was believed that the blue and white parts of the BMW logo symbolize the sky, seen through moving propeller blades, as seen on the cover of a 1929 BMW aircraft engine magazine. But the logo first appeared in the 1918 Bayern-Flugmotor manual, and was the first time the BMW logo appeared in a printed publication. This logo came from the original Rapp Motor aircraft engine manufacturer logo, the compnay that grew into BMW as we know it today.

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BMW logo (1917-2020).

BMW (Germany) 1916 to date.

Karl Friedrich Rapp, an engineer, founded an engine company named Rapp Motoren Werke on October 28th, 1913. The first plant was in Schleissheimer Strasse 288 in Milbertshofen, Munich. Rapp worked as a subcontractor to aircraft concern Gustav Otto Flugmaschinefabrick (later called Bayerische FlugZeugwerke).

During the World War I, the two companies were negotiated by Austrian Franz Josef Popp to supply V12 aircraft engines to the Hapsburg empire. On 7 Mar 1916, Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH was formed with the additional finance from Camillo Castiglioni. BMW AG came on 13 Aug 1918.

The History of this brand starts in 1916, when a Munich (the capital of Bavaria) factory began making aircraft engines. Afterwards it switched to the manufacture of truck and motorcycle engines. From 1923 the company organized the production of motorcycles and after 1928, automobiles. But its main specialty motors was reflected in the name: Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW).

The abbreviation BMW stands for "Bayerische Motoren Werke" the Bayerische motor factory. The company was founded in 1916 in Munich and at first exclusively produced aircraft engines.

The image has its origins in World War I, when the Bavarian Luftwaffe flew planes painted in Bayern blue and white, affording the pilot a view through his propellor of blue and white segments. It was believed that the blue and white parts of the BMW logo symbolize the sky, seen through moving propeller blades, which first appeared in the 1918 Bayern-Flugmotor manual, and was the first time the logo appeared in a printed publication. BMW did not make any serious efforts to discourage this myth. In fact, it continued to represent the BMW emblem
as a propeller, like the 1942 illustration from the company’s works magazine (below).

The truth however is that the quarters of the inner circle on the BMW badge display the state colors of the State of Bavaria – white and blue. But they are in the inverse order (at least as far as heraldic rules are concerned, where you read clockwise from the top left). The reason for this was that the local trademark law at the time forbade the use of state coats of arms or other symbols of sovereignty on commercial logos.

The first engine to bear the BMW name was the Type IIIa water-cooled six-cylinder aircraft engine. This was short lived as the WWI ended with the Versailles Treaty forbidding Germany from building military aircrafts.

In 1923 the company released its first motorcycle, the R32, for the first time, with the BMW logo, but it started making cars in 1932.

The 1929 Dixi became the first vehicle to carry the famous BMW logo.

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New BMW logo on 2020 i4 concept.

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2020 BMW logo refresh.

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2007 BMW logo.

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1979 BMW logo.

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1974 BMW logo.

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1954 BMW logo.

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1933 BMW logo.

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1917 BMW logo.

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BMW logo in black and white.

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This was the emblem that BMW used to present itself at the motor show in Berlin in 1924.

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BMW emerged from the firm Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH (1913-1917). This can also be seen in the first BMW logo from October 1917, which continued Rapp’s tradition of having a black ring around the company logo bearing the company name.

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The BMW logo appeared on the streets for the first time in 1923, on the fuel tank of BMW’s first motorcycle, the BMW R 32.

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BMW logo with "The Ultimate Driving Machine" tagline.

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Since this BMW publication from 1929, the myth that the BMW logo is a propeller has endured.

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BMW did not make any serious efforts to discourage this myth. In fact, it continued to represent the BMW emblem as a propeller, like this 1942 illustration from the company’s works magazine.

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The John Cooper Works brand was sold to BMW in January 0f 2007. Mike Cooper, son of John Cooper the Formula One engineer, joined with BMW six years ago to help relaunch the MINI with his own John Cooper Works brand, which provided high performance options for MINI fans. Mike Cooper will continue to provide kits for first generation BMW MINIs.


The origin of the BMW logo.

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THE "1900's" BOOK.
Each decade seems to have its own stylistic language, and this issue showcases logos, ads, cars, companies and products (and their typographical sensibilities) from the early 1900s.

Jrop Roadside
Car Shipping Companies
Auto Transport Quotes
Vehicle Transportation


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