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c.o.
04-05-2008, 12:47 PM
I was thumbing through the Spring 1995 issue of The Antique Motorcycle this morning and found this picture of Andy Anderson with a Warwick taken at the Hebron meet. It was a very small picture and this is the best I could do with it. Does anybody have any info on the Warwick? So far I've found that they were built in Springfield, Mass with a 1903 year model only. It also got me to wondering how many manufacturers used the Indian style camelback gas tank. Now that I've seen this Warwick I can include it's style with early Thor's, Ramblers, and of course Indian. Was the tank another item farmed out by Indian to a third party and was available to other paying customers as well? How many bikes used it???

HarleyCreation
04-06-2008, 11:17 AM
During the Creation research I brushed up against the whole early Indian thing and its many imitators. Seems like there were French motorcycles before the Indian with that same configuration: cylinder in-line with seatpost, bicycle-frame, and tank over rear fender, lightweight, etc. We owe a lot to the French.

As I remember, the Warwick was a close copy while some of the others were looser copies. (Thor is a whole other can of worms.) My conclusion was that Indian was early, good handling, reliable, and produced and distributed widely. For awhile the rest of the industry basically followed the Indian design as the proper way a practical modern motorcycle was supposed to look. That was in 1902-03-04. After that a different style increasingly superceded the Indian type, which in the years 1905-06-07-08 became increasingly obsolete altho Indian stubbornly stuck with it.

That early period is real interesting. Somewhere around here I have a 1903 Model Review I'll try to dig out. Don't know who Indian was making stuff for, but probably anything for anybody with cash money or good credit, don't you think?

c.o.
04-06-2008, 11:07 PM
That early period is real interesting. Somewhere around here I have a 1903 Model Review I'll try to dig out. Don't know who Indian was making stuff for, but probably anything for anybody with cash money or good credit, don't you think?

Yes it is all very interesting. I guess that the earliest of publications of the time are probably the only true means to find answers this many years later. I most definitely think that there are possibilities that manufactured parts could have been sold to other companies to bring in a little more revenue for Indian in it's infant days. I think it would be quite interesting to have a look at an early Indian vs. Clone bike and figure out the differences. I wonder how often this Warwick surfaces at the eastern meets??

Thanks for the response Herb, it's good to have a historian around.

HarleyCreation
04-09-2008, 11:32 AM
I found both a 1901 and 1905 Model Review. Thought I had a 1903, but maybe not.

Predictably, the 1901 bikes are rather primitive, some bizarre, with French influence all over the place. Indian does not show at all. The closest to that type bike is the Hafelfinger: motor inline with seatpost, tank over rear wheel, & diamond bicycle frame. But it's only a crude line-drawing, and shows an incomplete bike at that.

By 1905 Indian is of course present with several copies of varying build closeness. The already mentioned Warwick was by then extinct, but there were plenty to take its place, including the Thor (Aurora), the Manson, the America, the Moto-Racycle (Miami), the Thor-Bred (Light), the Rambler (Pope), and the Thouroughbred (R-S).

All of these were very Indian-like in general appearance. The rest of the field (and there were several) were a variety of diamond, loop, cradle, and other frames styles but didn't follow the distinctive Indian pattern.

H-D shows up as the famous "line drawing," which some have interpreted as a racer due to the low handlebar, etc.

c.o.
04-09-2008, 07:39 PM
I have a copy of the '02 Indian brochure and I think it was the first time the motorcycle appeared in Indian's advertising literature. It's really wild how things unfolded in that era. I mean really could Oscar Hedstrom in a roundabout way be credited for the design of Thor and all the other clones? I've got to start collecting the early periodicals.

Here's an old Warwick bicycle advert..........

HarleyCreation
04-11-2008, 02:42 PM
Somewhere I have a Warwick motorcycle ad. I'll have to dig it out.

HarleyCreation
04-21-2008, 12:40 PM
At the January 1895 New York City "National Cycle Show" at madison square garden the Warwick Cycle Company had a space. Doesn't give a city for the Warwick Co. in this article, but it seems likely that it is the same firm later connected with the Warwick motorcycle of 1903.

Several other names listed that were later connected with the early motorcycle industry: Light, Pope, Keating, Waltham, Sager, etc.

c.o.
04-21-2008, 10:05 PM
Pretty interesting stuff! One can only imagine the excitement surrounding the the potential new era of "two-wheeled, gas powered transportation". I imagine there was a lot of speculation early on regarding who would survive and from that date on there were obviously plenty of companies that took a run at motorcycles. I guess we all know how that turned out. It's just an assumption on my part, but I would have to agree that the Warwick Co. mentioned at the Madison Square Garden show was like the same firm that produced the Indian clone.

HarleyCreation
04-22-2008, 11:18 AM
This earlier (1895) Warwick Cycle Co. was based in Springfield, Mass. Check this out:


WILL BICYCLES BE CHEAPER?;
A Springfield Manufacturer Makes a Cut Which Other Makers Do Not Like.

New York Times
May 28, 1893, Wednesday
Page 3, 412 words

Dealers In bicycles, and riders thereof, throughout the city are discussing with interest the outlook for cheaper bicycles of first-class manufacture. Last Thursday the Warwick Cycle Company of Springfield, Mass., announced that hereafter its highgrade bicycles of the 1893 stamp, which have previously sold for $150, would be sold for $85, and their 1892 machines for $65. [END OF FIRST PARAGRAPH]

Full article here:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9800E4DD103BEF33A2575BC2A9639C94 629ED7CF

Another article says that the Warwick Cycle Co. began in 1888 and ran into problems in 1898. At least the name came back for another try with motorcycles. This is a good little story with names and other details, but NYT won't let me copy and paste it from the pdf. You can find it here:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9804E1DE1030E333A25754C2A9649C94 699ED7CF

The question remains what happened after the firm went backrupt in 1898. How did it get back on its feet and what happened after 1898? And what was its connection with Indian? Cool little story as at least one of these Warwick motorcycles has survived.

HarleyCreation
04-22-2008, 01:39 PM
Pretty interesting stuff! One can only imagine the excitement surrounding the the potential new era of "two-wheeled, gas powered transportation". I imagine there was a lot of speculation early on regarding who would survive and from that date on there were obviously plenty of companies that took a run at motorcycles....

In fact, a motorcycle was present at the 1895 N.Y. Bicycle Show. Not just a motorcycle, but: "The Motor Cycle" invented by Pennington and that's why I'm back there reliving the event. Everybody else in 1895 was going crazy over bicycles as the latest up-to-date high tech invention, but Pennington was ahead of them all with his outrageous "electro-vapor" powered device that he claimed would do nearly a mile-a-minute.

Pennington deserves a lot more credit in the history books in spite of his flawed career. A great story and no mistake!

c.o.
04-22-2008, 09:53 PM
The question remains what happened after the firm went backrupt in 1898. How did it get back on its feet and what happened after 1898? And what was its connection with Indian? Cool little story as at least one of these Warwick motorcycles has survived.[/QUOTE]

Smells like the makin's of a book.....hint.....hint.......or possibly an article. It could include all the clones as well.


Pretty interesting stuff. I think now I may develop a habit of searching various newspaper archives. I still would be interested to know where that Warwick machine is today. Some better pictures would be nice. Oh, and Pennington was a character indeed. Somebody should make a movie about his exploits!

HarleyCreation
04-23-2008, 01:51 PM
When you think of it, the Warwick (1903) is probably more rare than a 1903 Indian. Somehow there must be a connection between the 1890s Warwick bicycle and the later motorcycle. It was very common for firm to go belly up and then come back for another try. The BIG question remains, however, of a connection between the Warwick people and the Indian people. Was there one? Or was it a blatant rip off copy? Sort of like the Milwaukee Comet was a take-off from the Harley and the Harley of the Merkel, but perhaps even closer, possibly a clone bike. Was it?

Pennington does deserve a movie. In the meantime, however, will a story do? One that sets the scene for everything that came later, name names, etc. Although "The Motor Cycle" not a commercial success, somehow Pennington got the motorcycle concept tuned to perfection already in the 1890s. How he managed that is a mystery, but he seemed to do that with everything he touched, almost like he had a window into the future and while put down and disgraced, his influence on other guys is amazing!

c.o.
04-23-2008, 06:03 PM
I was also wondering if there was a relation between Warwick and Indian. It seems to me that very early on Indian seemed open to acquiring an income any way they could. One wouldn't think that Thor would have been able to build a look alike if that wasn't the case. Now how is Warwick linked? Did they blatantly copy? Or did they build a machine with Indian's blessing? Did Indian or Thor supply the motor or did Warwick build it themselves? Hmmm......it's looking like the questions are plentiful. I think it would be a wonderful story to piece together, but it does seem like it could be a long-time daunting task. With only us participating in the thread it does seem so far that we are the only ones interested in figuring any of this out. It's too bad that a few of the more knowledgeable early enthusiasts aren't interested in getting on a computer and sharing their knowledge. Maybe if Pete reads this he can comment on the Warwick that is pictured with Andy Anderson.

Oh, and an article on Pennington would be just fine. Am I to assume that your working on something?

23JDCA 808
04-24-2008, 09:37 AM
It is possible to initial investigation using Google. Many newspapers have images of old issues posted on the internet, and the contents have been 'digitized' to allow some searches. These digitizations have not been proofed though, so misspellings are common. ...bill

HarleyCreation
04-25-2008, 12:22 PM
Yes, I am working on a Pennington story. If you didn't know it actually happened, you'd swear it must be a work of art. But like the old saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction. Pennington is a perfect example of that.

No matter how I try to figure Pennington out, there is something about him that remains a cipher. Almost like he was operating on a different plane of existence or something. My hunch is that the Wizard character in the Wizard of Oz was in part based upon him. Although largely reviled and scorned today as a fraud, he had great influence on motorcycling in the USA and in England too. He appears to be the one who first popularized the word "motor-cycle" which has stuck to present day.

Back to Warwick:

Do we know for sure it only existed in 1903?

Two ways to look at it:

1) Like other real early firms, Warwick just couldn't make it financially and was gone in a season or two. Some firms never made a single bike, only nice illustrated ads with lots of empty promises.

2) Did Indian have something to do with the Warwick's demise? Threats? Bought them out? Or no connection at all? But being right there in the same town and being a copy, you gotta wonder...

It's probably all there in the old Springfield newspapers or in early mc mags, either the whole story or in bits and pieces, if we could find it.

c.o.
04-28-2008, 06:44 PM
Cool! I'll look forward to reading the Pennington article!

I was hoping to catch up to Pete at the Swapmeet on the West Coast this weekend, but the place was so darn busy that I only ran into a few people that I knew and he wasn't one of them! I just have a hunch that he may have some insight. I guess let further digging commence. It sure would be a good story to put together. It's too bad this question didn't occur to any of us earlier. I searched the archives on the forum and it appears that Andy Anderson passed on about three years ago. He would have been the man to ask.

HarleyCreation
04-29-2008, 12:50 PM
I can envision a real cool story involving the original Indian design and various copycats in this pioneer era. I've been dropping bits and pieces into a dedicated file about this.

So then we don't know what happened to the existing Warwick motorcycle? Anyone know who owns it now?

In my files I found a 1903 Warwick ad. Get this: it was called the "Warwick Cycle and Automobile Co." which suggests they may have been trying to build and sell cars too. If true, that might help explain their quick demise. Over extending spelled doom to many early concerns, a casebook example being the Milwaukee Merkel.

Pennington's gasoline-powered 2-wheeler may have been conceived and possibly built as early as 1891. It will be interesting to put him up against other pioneer claims to see what kind of "first" Pennington really was and right here in America too!

Tom Wilcock
04-30-2008, 08:35 AM
I have an old original photograph (if I can find it) of a gentleman who is the grandfather of a friend. On the back of it is written that he married a girl from Syracuse and moved to Aurora Illinois where he opened a sheet metal shop. He made the gas tanks, etc for the first Indians. Being close to the Aurora Automatic Machinery Company who supplied engines for the early Indians I wonder if he also made sheet metal parts for Thor and other early motorcycles. Perhaps it was Indian who copied other early motorcycles.

c.o.
04-30-2008, 11:24 AM
I can envision a real cool story involving the original Indian design and various copycats in this pioneer era. I've been dropping bits and pieces into a dedicated file about this.

So then we don't know what happened to the existing Warwick motorcycle? Anyone know who owns it now?

In my files I found a 1903 Warwick ad. Get this: it was called the "Warwick Cycle and Automobile Co." which suggests they may have been trying to build and sell cars too. If true, that might help explain their quick demise. Over extending spelled doom to many early concerns, a casebook example being the Milwaukee Merkel.

Pennington's gasoline-powered 2-wheeler may have been conceived and possibly built as early as 1891. It will be interesting to put him up against other pioneer claims to see what kind of "first" Pennington really was and right here in America too!

I look forward to seeing something in print someday. I too am wondering where the Warwick ended up. It would be nice to see some decent pictures of one. As far as an early demise, too many irons in the fire is a likely reason. It seems as though more than a few outfits took a major gamble, just to see if an idea would "stick".

Now if you can prove that Pennington was cooking around on a motorsickle as early as 1891, then I guess history as far as American motorcycling is concerned will change for sure!

c.o.
04-30-2008, 11:31 AM
I have an old original photograph (if I can find it) of a gentleman who is the grandfather of a friend. On the back of it is written that he married a girl from Syracuse and moved to Aurora Illinois where he opened a sheet metal shop. He made the gas tanks, etc for the first Indians. Being close to the Aurora Automatic Machinery Company who supplied engines for the early Indians I wonder if he also made sheet metal parts for Thor and other early motorcycles. Perhaps it was Indian who copied other early motorcycles.

Very interesting Tom....... I would be curious to hear more about this fellow. As far as Indian being the copy-cat.......I personally doubt it. It was a situation of Oscar Hedstrom having an idea and the Indian company not having the tooling to produce the end result. But as HC has already said, some of the clones such as the Warwick are probably much more rare than the Indian itself.

HarleyCreation
05-01-2008, 12:51 PM
I have an old original photograph (if I can find it) of a gentleman who is the grandfather of a friend. On the back of it is written that he married a girl from Syracuse and moved to Aurora Illinois where he opened a sheet metal shop. He made the gas tanks, etc for the first Indians. Being close to the Aurora Automatic Machinery Company who supplied engines for the early Indians I wonder if he also made sheet metal parts for Thor and other early motorcycles. Perhaps it was Indian who copied other early motorcycles.

Tom,

That's very interesting stuff. Those are the sort of forgotten details that add to any story. Do you think maybe sometime you could dig out the old gent's name? It suggest that Aurora, to whom Indian was farming out work, was in turn farming out work to other shops nearby.

The relationship between Aurora, Indian, and the Indian clones needs to be worked out better. And because early advertising claims and accounts are often unreliable, sometimes wildly so (Harley-D's "1903" claims being one perfect example), we should keep an open mind about who copied whom.

HarleyCreation
05-01-2008, 01:13 PM
I look forward to seeing something in print someday. I too am wondering where the Warwick ended up. It would be nice to see some decent pictures of one. As far as an early demise, too many irons in the fire is a likely reason. It seems as though more than a few outfits took a major gamble, just to see if an idea would "stick".

Now if you can prove that Pennington was cooking around on a motorsickle as early as 1891, then I guess history as far as American motorcycling is concerned will change for sure!

It's always good to know what other guys are interested in. From the amount of views, these things get read so there is interest, but very few join in.

In my confused overloaded brain, I want to say that once I saw a Warwick auto ad -- just the auto -- but I can't be sure if that is a real memory or imaginary and I'm confusing it with some other early car ad!

Another very interesting possible "first" about Pennington is the word "motorcycle" itself. I've got to dig into it and try to determine: 1) If he actually invented the word, or: 2) Was the first to apply it to a gasoline-powered 2-wheeler.

The fact that Pennington called his invention "The Motor Cycle" and formed "The Motor Cycle Company" leads me to suspect that there were no others and his was the one and only, the first, the original!

Right here in the great American Midwest the motorcycle may have originated!

c.o.
05-02-2008, 12:14 PM
O.K. now that I've stated that I believe that Indian was in fact the originator and that all the other machines were clones, I thought I'd supply a little evidence as to why I think this. You fellas can have a read and decide for yourselves.

Here's a picture of the first known picture placed in the first Indian advertising pamphlet. This advertising was dated 1902.

c.o.
05-02-2008, 12:20 PM
Wow I guess I'm a little computer challenged..........that was a bit of work to get a little 'ol pic posted. Here is a letter from George Hendee regarding their new models for '02. Indians claimed starting date is '01 of which three proto-types were produced. Actual production did not occur until '02. I'll get more evidence on this board here in a minute..........

c.o.
05-02-2008, 12:26 PM
Here's a pic of what is called an '03-'04 Thor. The frame castings were the same as Indian, but apparently the frames themselves were different.

c.o.
05-02-2008, 12:38 PM
O.K. now here's the real revelation. I had forgotten about reading this a year or two ago. Greg Walter has an article on the internet regarding the history of Thor.

Quote:

The History of the Thor Motorcycle Company

By Greg Walter

The Aurora Machine and Tool Company started as a machine shop in 1886. It provided forging and machine parts for the then burgeoning bicycle industry. This was a time when many fortunes were to be made in the bicycle industry. Many bike manufacturers set up shop. They bought their castings, forgings and parts like hubs and coaster brakes from Aurora. They would then braze together, assemble, paint, and market their product. I have yet to see a pre-motorcycle parts catalogue - however by 1903 (the year of my earliest literature) they had a large line of parts including 10 different rear hubs, 5 different front hubs, racing hubs, spokes, nipples, handlebars, special spoke washers to be used with wooden rims and a large number of patents were listed.

Enter Indian-

Some time about 1899 Oscar Hedstrom built his first motorcycle. It was a tandem motorcycle used to pace bicycle races. The front person steered; the back person ran the motor and made all necessary adjustments to keep it running (hopefully at the right speed!). No one is sure where that first motor came from. Many have said it was very similar to the French made De Dion motor. Hedstrom had no foundry to work from so it is probable that the castings were provided by some unknown machine shop making their own version of a De Dion or another possibility was that Hedstrom made the pattern himself and used the foundry at Warwick Motorcycle in Connecticut. Presumably Hedstrom refined the design over the original De Dion motor because his machine was notably superior to anything else available. In 1901 he joined forces with George Hendee and formed the Indian Moto Cycle Company. During that year three prototype machines were built. We know from good documentation that in the fall of 1901 one of these prototype Indians was shipped to the Aurora factory be studied by them. Oscar Hedstrom went along to render technical assistance. Why Aurora? Apparently they had been providing Hendee with castings for his Silver King and Silver Queen bicycles.

After several months' work, the Aurora Company produced a new motor of Hendee's design. These motors differed from the prototype most notably in the use of three cylinder studs instead of the four (ala De Dion). Also some ribs were added to strengthen the engine case. Aurora struck a bargain with the fledgling Indian Company. Aurora would build these engines for Indian but would be free to sell additional motors to other companies providing that a royalty was paid. Also it was stipulated that Aurora would not build motorcycles and compete with Indian. I have yet to see the original contract so the exact wording of the agreement is still unknown to me.

There were 137 Indians produced in 1902. All of the motors were built by Aurora, and as Indian had no foundry and limited production capabilities probably most of the forgings, castings and machined parts. George Hendee was previously in the bicycle manufacturing business and so it is assumed that Indian brazed together their own frames, manufactured their own fenders and tanks did their own painting and assembly. It is known that Indian had patents for the Chain Adjuster, "Muffler For Internal Combustion Engines", "Valve For Internal Combustion Engines", Controlling Mechanism For Internal Combustion Engines", Carburetor, and "Fuel or other reservoir (?)". So presumably Indian used their own rear hubs, not Aurora's hubs. However, early Indian literature says they used a New Departure hub. It is unknown if Aurora made or sold any motors in 1902 other than the 137 to Indian. It is possible that that was all they could produce, as a reference found in the Indian archives mentions how shipments were often unreliable and sporadic.

In 1903 Aurora founded the Thor Moto Cycle and Bicycle Company. Or at least they produced a catalogue showing Thor Moto Cycle parts and components. In their catalogue every part needed to produce a motorcycle was listed for sale. A picture carefully worded as a "motorcycle assembled from Thor components" was shown. Interesting that they might have their own tank decal if they were only selling components for other companies! No frame was offered for sale but all of the forgings could be purchased to assemble your own. In 1903 trade magazine ads were seen of companies that would sell you Thor motorcycles built from components. It is here that we mark the beginning of the Thor Motorcycle Company. At about this time at least half a dozen other companies sprang up all producing similar machines built from similar components all looking near identical to the 1902 Indian and 1903 Thor.

What was the difference between a Thor, a Thor clone and an Indian? Well, all the forgings may have been the same however the frames were all built using different jigs and possibly different dimensions. It is near impossible for us to sort this out now because some of the dozen or so 1902 Indians that we know about have some wrong components. The surviving 1903-05 Thors are even more dubious. Some clones have been restored to be Thors. Some Thors have Indian component on them. One "early Thor" uses a skip tooth roller chain (versus Indian block chain) has a heavier gauge frame tube, uses a Thor rear hub and both the carb and motor say Thor instead of Indian. Indian would often brag that they did something secret to their motors that made them superior to Thors but most experts doubt this. Another difference between the two machines can be found in the right-sided spark advance. The Indian had a link arrangement coming out of the handlebar, the Thor had a sort of rack and gear arrangement at the headstock. Thor also had a kill switch on the engine case that triggered when the spark was completely retarded - Indian motors did not. It is said that in 1905 half the motorcycles seen at a trade show were Thor clones. Included in the list are Thor-bred, Reading Standard, Merkle, Apache, Raycycle, Manson and in years later Sears and Torpedo.

From what we can see Thor did not change their design from 1903-1905. In a 1908 parts book they show a picture of the original 1903 design and call it a 1903-05. They also show a different Model for 1906-07, which uses the same design with numerous changes. The same model was updated in 1908 and sold as a model "7". This same design was until early 1909.

Indian literature states that they had their own in house foundry in 1906. In 1908 Thor opened there own dealerships advertised completed machines and produced their first real sales literature. Thus officially ending any ties. In addition to the previous model 7 an entire line of new machines with choice of either battery or magneto ignition were now available. Thor offered chain drive or belt drive. One new design was a unique appearing twin with automatic intake valves. The twin had the rear cylinder straight up and the front cylinder angled forward (as Ducatis were later famous for). By all accounts it ran rather well which is interesting in the light that both Indian and Harley had difficulties with automatic intake twins.

:End-Quote

When I re-read this last night, the mention of Warwick brought about a little excitement. If in fact Oscar Hedstrom farmed out his proto-type casting work to Warwick prior to approaching Aurora, then this may be why Warwick eventually built a bike in '03. But we still don't know how many were made or for how long. I'm sure somebody does though. I've been struggling with the fact that if we can't put this together..........who's going to be able to 50 years from now?

The rest of the article if anyone is interested is at ..........

http://209.204.252.20/thorhistory.htm

HarleyCreation
05-02-2008, 01:25 PM
Interesting article.

Yes, the Warwick name does jump out, i.e:


"....used the foundry at Warwick Motorcycle in Connecticut."

But the Warwick Cycle Company was at Springfield, Mass. and this says Connecticut.

Hmmm.....

Two different firms with the same name?

He really meant Mass.?

Or the Warwick people owned more than one plant at different locations?

HarleyCreation
05-02-2008, 01:33 PM
Something else:


It is said that in 1905 half the motorcycles seen at a trade show were Thor clones. Included in the list are Thor-bred, Reading Standard, Merkle, Apache, Raycycle, Manson and in years later Sears and Torpedo.

Which "Merkle" is he talking about here? Certainly not the Joe Merkel Merkel, the Milwaukee Merkel, that was it's own machine and whom Harley seems to have outright copied.

Or was there a short-lived "Merkle" motorcycle?

Offhand I don't remember that near-same name, does anyone?

I always love it when an author states: "it is said."

By whom? When? Where?

c.o.
05-02-2008, 07:12 PM
I can't recall another Merkel make although they were produced in more places than Milwaukee. I believe Pottstown, PA and Middletown, OH were on the list as well. I don't see a correlation between Merkel and Indian or Thor at all, while Merkel's influence on Harley-Davidson is quite obvious. It seems as though Greg may have or has access to a large literature collection. It is always nice to see the facts to back up the story though. I think when one writes such abstract historical accounts that possibly the thought of anyone questioning the story does not occur to the writer...........just a thought.

c.o.
05-02-2008, 10:34 PM
I found an interesting site.........

http://www.ozebook.com/w.htm

If one clicks on W and finds Warwick, there are two listings. One is for the U.K. and one is from the U.S. The U.S. version is dated 1903 only and and the U.K. version is 1909-1915. The interesting part that I noted was that it indicates that the U.S. Warwick was made by PMC. Now PMC is listed as a U.K. bike 1908-1915. Now when you scroll up to Pennington it says U.K. 1897. But when you click on it you get a screen that shows the U.S. with a date of 1894. You get a pretty good write-up on the man. Now it seems to me that when Pennington left the U.S. for England he built tricycles. When you click on PMC you get a tricycle. Now am I way out of whack to think that there could be some relation?

HarleyCreation
05-03-2008, 11:57 AM
I can't recall another Merkel make although they were produced in more places than Milwaukee. I believe Pottstown, PA and Middletown, OH were on the list as well. I don't see a correlation between Merkel and Indian or Thor at all, while Merkel's influence on Harley-Davidson is quite obvious. It seems as though Greg may have or has access to a large literature collection. It is always nice to see the facts to back up the story though. I think when one writes such abstract historical accounts that possibly the thought of anyone questioning the story does not occur to the writer...........just a thought.

I wonder if when he wrote Merkle (Merkel) he really meant "Light." What I mean by that is that around 1909 Merkel & Light merged and Light had been building an Indian-like motorcycle, the Thor-Bred, I believe, and maybe he got the names mixed up. The Merkel kept its own identity and the Indian clone Light was phased out as that style motorcycle became obsolete.

HarleyCreation
05-03-2008, 12:12 PM
I found an interesting site.........

http://www.ozebook.com/w.htm

If one clicks on W and finds Warwick, there are two listings. One is for the U.K. and one is from the U.S. The U.S. version is dated 1903 only and and the U.K. version is 1909-1915. The interesting part that I noted was that it indicates that the U.S. Warwick was made by PMC. Now PMC is listed as a U.K. bike 1908-1915. Now when you scroll up to Pennington it says U.K. 1897. But when you click on it you get a screen that shows the U.S. with a date of 1894. You get a pretty good write-up on the man. Now it seems to me that when Pennington left the U.S. for England he built tricycles. When you click on PMC you get a tricycle. Now am I way out of whack to think that there could be some relation?

That's an ambitious website and I think that the webmaster put the PMC on the wrong Warwick. He has it on the American Warwick (1903). It seems to me that it should be attached to the English Warwick instead as the dates match too.

c.o.
05-03-2008, 12:41 PM
That's an ambitious website and I think that the webmaster put the PMC on the wrong Warwick. He has it on the American Warwick (1903). It seems to me that it should be attached to the English Warwick instead as the dates match too.

Yeah, I think your right. I was feveriously searching about last night and I think my imagination possibly started to play a roll in my thinking. But it does seem to me that quite a few of the early American machines had similarities to the Indian just with the fact that Aurora spread powerplants all over the place. As far as the Warwick / Connecticut reference in Greg's article............it seems to me that Oscar Hedstrom built his initial proto-types in a bicycle shop in Connecticut, prior to shipping them to Springfield for Hendee's approval. Maybe Warwick, built it's machine and just sold it in Springfield? All I know is that so far we have a lot more questions than answers!

c.o.
05-03-2008, 04:30 PM
I just got finished re-watching Indian Summer on DVD. The interview with Andy Anderson was quite re-freshing. I just wish that a person would have had the foresight to ask questions when some of these old-timers were still alive. Andy knew Oscar Hedstrom personally and I'm sure would have been able to answer all of these questions with ease. My hat is off to the pioneers that are still among us. They are treasures that's for sure!

c.o.
05-03-2008, 04:41 PM
Here's a couple pics............... Now could we consider a machine like this as one of the first motorcycles? I wonder if it still exists?

c.o.
05-03-2008, 04:42 PM
Here's Hendee..........

c.o.
05-03-2008, 04:44 PM
And of course the man himself.........Mr. Hedstrom.

HarleyCreation
05-05-2008, 10:28 AM
Yeah, I think your right. I was feveriously searching about last night and I think my imagination possibly started to play a roll in my thinking. But it does seem to me that quite a few of the early American machines had similarities to the Indian just with the fact that Aurora spread powerplants all over the place. As far as the Warwick / Connecticut reference in Greg's article............it seems to me that Oscar Hedstrom built his initial proto-types in a bicycle shop in Connecticut, prior to shipping them to Springfield for Hendee's approval. Maybe Warwick, built it's machine and just sold it in Springfield? All I know is that so far we have a lot more questions than answers!

Sometimes asking the right questions is nearly as good as having the answer. I think this Warwick connection is worth pursuing as it might open up new information about early Indian and period design trends. Your comment about a Hedstrom making his proto "in a bicycle shop in Connecticut" does ring a bell. And after all, you could throw a stone from Springfield and in would land in Connecticut. We don't even know how big of an outfit Warwick was at this point. Warwick might have been larger and did more things than we know.

c.o.
05-07-2008, 11:30 PM
It's always good to know what other guys are interested in. From the amount of views, these things get read so there is interest, but very few join in.

In my confused overloaded brain, I want to say that once I saw a Warwick auto ad -- just the auto -- but I can't be sure if that is a real memory or imaginary and I'm confusing it with some other early car ad!

Another very interesting possible "first" about Pennington is the word "motorcycle" itself. I've got to dig into it and try to determine: 1) If he actually invented the word, or: 2) Was the first to apply it to a gasoline-powered 2-wheeler.

The fact that Pennington called his invention "The Motor Cycle" and formed "The Motor Cycle Company" leads me to suspect that there were no others and his was the one and only, the first, the original!

Right here in the great American Midwest the motorcycle may have originated!

I watched a portion "Glory Days The History of Early American Motorcycling" tonight. By the looks of it has to be 25 years old or better. It states that in 1897 one Eronomous (I know that has to be spelled wrong) Mueller of Decatur, Illinois was the first to get a patent for the "Motorcycle", but his vehicle was of the four wheel variety. It also states that in 1901 that one Robert Keating applied for a patent for "Motor-Bicycle" and that two months after that application Hiram Pierce applied for the first patent for a two-wheeled "Motorcycle". Now I didn't watch it all to see if the credits revealed sources for this info, but I thought it might be of some interest. Herb, if you've got info that shows Pennington used it first, that would be a significant note for the history books.

c.o.
05-07-2008, 11:35 PM
Sometimes asking the right questions is nearly as good as having the answer. I think this Warwick connection is worth pursuing as it might open up new information about early Indian and period design trends. Your comment about a Hedstrom making his proto "in a bicycle shop in Connecticut" does ring a bell. And after all, you could throw a stone from Springfield and in would land in Connecticut. We don't even know how big of an outfit Warwick was at this point. Warwick might have been larger and did more things than we know.

I've sent out a few e-mails to folks that may know, but I haven't heard anything back on it yet. I still haven't got my time machine figured out to find any leads........it's all still a mystery.........

HarleyCreation
05-08-2008, 01:57 PM
Here's another thought.

Not only were Warwick and Indian geographically close to each other, but they both went back to the pre-motorcycle bicycle 1890s era in some form or another.

Were there any earlier exchanges or mutually shared projects or job work between proto-Indian and Warwick in the bicycle era that has been missed or forgotten?

I'm at a disadvantage here because I know so little about Indian, early or otherwise. It's like a strange new continent far away that is enticing and alluring as I know that new discoveries await the first explorer who finds them! The hints and clues are all there...

jurassic
09-03-2008, 10:30 PM
http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/4070/zwarws1.jpg

c.o.
09-03-2008, 10:36 PM
Cool ad....have you ever seen a motorsickle one though? I'm having a tough time finding any info.

jurassic
09-03-2008, 10:40 PM
http://img127.imageshack.us/img127/6739/zwarwsj0.jpg

jurassic
09-03-2008, 10:41 PM
Cool ad....have you ever seen a motorsickle one though? I'm having a tough time finding any info.

hi cory ,i do have a motorcycle ad somewhere ,but cant find it.still looking. but it is the same company.i do remember that.

HarleyCreation
09-26-2008, 12:45 PM
Found a Warwick bicycle ad from 1893.

Also, from my files it seems that Warwick offered motorcycles in 1903 and 1904. They seem gone by 1905 and were not offered in 1901. So unless they were sold in 1902, they were only built for two seasons: 1903-04.

c.o.
09-27-2008, 11:12 AM
Well Herb, that's a little more info for sure. Now just to find an example of one, picture or otherwise.

BPK!!
12-19-2008, 09:28 AM
Hello All,
Just to add a little information that I had researched through the years.. Indian(Hedstrom+Hendee) had rented or leased/borrowed the tool room of the Keating Wheel Company, Middletown, Ct. to build thier first motorcycle, circa 1901.. It was a copy of the previously manufactured 1901 Keating model, other than the camelback fuel tank. My feelings, Keating was first, Hedstrom/Hendee copied Keating. Keating built motorcycles in 1902 as well, and ended production that same year.. Indian moved up to Springfield, Ma in 1902+-.
Its been a few years since I have touched on this subject, so it can be a little fuzzy-BPK!!!
To view a 1902 Keating-
http://keatingwheelcompany.com/

Any information pertaining to the Keating Wheel Company would be greatly appreciated!

pem
12-19-2008, 02:16 PM
Is that 1902 Warwick an original example? It sure looks like it could be.

Dick

c.o.
12-19-2008, 04:53 PM
Hello All,
Just to add a little information that I had researched through the years.. Indian(Hedstrom+Hendee) had rented or leased/borrowed the tool room of the Keating Wheel Company, Middletown, Ct. to build thier first motorcycle, circa 1901.. It was a copy of the previously manufactured 1901 Keating model, other than the camelback fuel tank. My feelings, Keating was first, Hedstrom/Hendee copied Keating. Keating built motorcycles in 1902 as well, and ended production that same year.. Indian moved up to Springfield, Ma in 1902+-.
Its been a few years since I have touched on this subject, so it can be a little fuzzy-BPK!!!
To view a 1902 Keating-
http://keatingwheelcompany.com/

Any information pertaining to the Keating Wheel Company would be greatly appreciated!

Very interesting............ that Keating that you have there is quite the machine! As for the theory on Keating being a forerunner to Indian, I don't think there was much honor among the early manufacturers as a lot of them seemed to regularily rip each other off! So nothing would surprise me if evidence surfaced.

BPK!!
12-20-2008, 09:36 AM
""I don't think there was much honor among the early manufacturers as a lot of them seemed to regularily rip each other off! So nothing would surprise me if evidence surfaced""

Hey Cory-I believe you hit the nail on the head!! Not only thieve's, but from what I've read poor business practices to boot! BPK!!

Chris Haynes
12-20-2008, 11:35 AM
[QUOTE=BPK!!;73919]""I don't think there was much honor among the early manufacturers as a lot of them seemed to regularily rip each other off! So nothing would surprise me if evidence surfaced""

Have you ever taken a look at the frame neck casting on the early H-D's? Notice that extra boss that isn't doing anything? It was doing something when that neck was on another motorcycle made in Milwaukee at this time. The boys just bought parts for the early bikes as they didn't have the facilities to make everything.

Earl
12-20-2008, 01:19 PM
Have you ever taken a look at the frame neck casting on the early H-D's? Notice that extra boss that isn't doing anything? It was doing something when that neck was on another motorcycle made in Milwaukee at this time. The boys just bought parts for the early bikes as they didn't have the facilities to make everything.

Hi Chris,

Do you have a picture of a specific motorcycle make, model and year, that has the same or similar neck casting? I've been looking for that evidence for a long time and haven't come across it yet.

Your thoughts are in line with my thinking. When the boys first started out, why would they take the time and effort to have to make something, if they could just go out and buy it? That applies to frame components. I think they would only turn to producing their own parts if they found a way to producing the part cheaper, when they needed something stronger than the market offerred, or had to make something because they couldn't find it, or get it made anywhere else.

c.o.
12-20-2008, 06:56 PM
That's food for thought fellas. It's always nice to have that other perspective! I'm curious too Chris.......were you referring to Merkel?

HarleyCreation
01-08-2009, 02:51 PM
Are we talking about the 1906+ H-D sidecar lug or something else?

Yes, Merkel does come to mind. In 1903 Merkel put out a catalog offering frame parts and everything else to the trade. Did the boys get some of their very early stuff there? We KNOW they got their basic loop-frame chassis layout from Merkel, altho they never admitted it. But did they have some kind of early business relationship too? No evidence of that yet. OTOH, Milwaukee was full of small job shops where you could get any sort of machine, casting, or forged item expertly done.

HarleyCreation
01-08-2009, 03:00 PM
Hello All,
Just to add a little information that I had researched through the years.. Indian(Hedstrom+Hendee) had rented or leased/borrowed the tool room of the Keating Wheel Company, Middletown, Ct. to build thier first motorcycle, circa 1901.. It was a copy of the previously manufactured 1901 Keating model, other than the camelback fuel tank. My feelings, Keating was first, Hedstrom/Hendee copied Keating. Keating built motorcycles in 1902 as well, and ended production that same year.. Indian moved up to Springfield, Ma in 1902+-.
Its been a few years since I have touched on this subject, so it can be a little fuzzy-BPK!!!
To view a 1902 Keating-
http://keatingwheelcompany.com/

Any information pertaining to the Keating Wheel Company would be greatly appreciated!

You point out an interesting connection between the Keating shop and the Indian prototype work.

In the "At the Creation" book (link below) an early connection between Keating and Harley-Davidson is explored when the boys "borrowed" some of Keating's patented advancements and used them as their own. This led to a threat of a lawsuit and a licensing arrangement between Keating and H-D. Keating must have been a smart guy.

Barry Brown
01-08-2009, 09:14 PM
Check out the unusual specs on this early Keating.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3494/3180529221_5b39c9539e_b.jpg

Barry Brown
01-08-2009, 09:16 PM
taken from volume 1 of the English magazine "Motorcycling" 1902
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3360/3180530101_6991bca819_b.jpg

HarleyCreation
01-09-2009, 02:12 PM
That's an informative page out of Motor Cycling. Notice for the Steffey it says "water-cooled pattern." I don't think I've seen that before. I rather like the Stahl. Probably because it looks more like a modern bike. Not that there is anything wrong with the Keating or the Royal, which I believe was Hafelfinger's design.

Thanks for posting this.

BPK!!
01-13-2009, 09:09 PM
Hey Barry,

How about tearing that page out for me, thats the only left side view I've ever seen of a Keating!! Seriously, do you have a duplicate issue? Or, not, I'd settle for a good copy! greatly appreciate it--BPK!!
PS: Refering to the Keating and Harley-Davidson patent(s) infringement, my understanding is, the first three patents on the Harley-Davidson patent decal were/are Keatings patents!! And Harley had to pay Keating after the lawsuit to be able to use and post them--BPK!!

Barry Brown
01-14-2009, 09:30 AM
Brian, Good thing you asked because it's so cold here and the wood pile is low so we are planning on burning all my literature. I'll bring you as good a copy as possible to Oley. It's difficult to copy in a bound volume but I'll do my best. Of course you could just buy my literature collection and then we could afford firewood! Cheers, Barry

aka HAWG
01-14-2009, 04:49 PM
if that all it takes barry I will gladly trade a load of fire wood for the magazine collection - lol

aka hawg

BPK!!
01-17-2009, 09:40 AM
Brian, Good thing you asked because it's so cold here and the wood pile is low so we are planning on burning all my literature. I'll bring you as good a copy as possible to Oley. It's difficult to copy in a bound volume but I'll do my best. Of course you could just buy my literature collection and then we could afford firewood! Cheers, Barry


Thanks Barry-appreciate the copy! See ya@ Oley!
PS: I Priority Mailed firewood-you'll see it by springtime!!

c.o.
12-14-2011, 11:11 PM
A couple of years later and an ad surfaces!!!!!!

http://i541.photobucket.com/albums/gg390/buckboard_2009/Warwick001.jpg

I know that Andy Anderson's bike is at Barbers but it must still be in storage as I've not heard of it surfacing yet.

c.o.
01-10-2012, 01:49 AM
O.K. I just may be logging all this for my own benefit (of which I don't know what...:D) but here's a blip from the Jan 21st, 1903 issue of "The Horseless Age".

http://i541.photobucket.com/albums/gg390/buckboard_2009/Warwick.jpg