One of the great achievements America boasts of is the manufacture of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It was way back in 1903 that William Harley and Arthur Davidson built their first motorcycle.
The small wood shed that was the birthplace of the first Harley has been simulated in the Museum that houses all of the vintage models.
The beginning of the enterprise of Harley and Davidson, did not take a long time to get off the ground. They found a dealer in Chicago. Soon after, 18 employees had joined the operation.
From its beginning, the company was destined for a long and productive history. The timing of events and circumstances worked in its favor.
It is not surprising that, early on, Harley-Davidson entered the racing circuit with great success. Because of the great number of races won, the “wrecking crew” became the name attached to the racing department of the company.
During World War I, Harley-Davidson shipped many of its F-Twin model overseas. This probably marked the beginning of real prosperity for the company.
The company moved into the position of being the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world.
When World War II came along, all of America’s efforts moved into production for the war. Some manufacturing was converted from cars to tanks and airplanes. All Harley needed to do was produce more bikes.
Almost all of the motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson were for the war. Commercial production was very limited until after the war.
Harley saw some competition from the British in the 1950s and the Japanese in the 1960s. Because Harley-Davidson riders are so dedicated to the brand, huge prices are paid for vintage models.
After 105 years of operation, the Harley-Davidson museum was finally opened in Milwaukee. The models it displays are quite breathtaking. The oldest model is encased in glass. This is the one that is housed in the replica of the original Milwaukee workshop.
This company has to be considered one of the greats in our history.