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Thread: Another unknown Wisconsin Motorcycle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Another unknown Wisconsin Motorcycle?

    I've had theese photos for over 20 years. They are actually from a 1910 Wisconsin Motorist magazine. They are not the original so the quality is not so plenty good. I've always wondered what the bike was, who made it and how many were made. I looks like a production model.

    Take a look and see what you think.
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  2. #2
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    Your first picture sure looks a lot like H-D's First machine. This picture is from 1912 after some modifications had been done.
    Last edited by Chris Haynes; 06-11-2019 at 05:00 PM.
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  3. #3
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    I have to agree. And they both look a lot like the 1909 Comet motor. There is no doubt in my mind that all the early motorcycle men in pre-1910 Milwaukee new each other. Joe Merkel, Frank Kitlitschko, Perry Mack, Bill Harley and the Davidson's. Plus many others. Having a beer together with a nice slice of summer sausage and some stinky brick cheese. The people with good financial backing made it and some were around for only a very short time. Dozen's of backyard motorcycles and motorcycles made in small shops are lost to history. And that was just in Wisconsin. I can hardly imagine how many one of's or prototypes or pre-production motorcycles were made across the country before 1910.

    This story continues. I was at a small indoor flea market trying to get rid of stuff from when I moved to the city 3 years ago. I no longer had my shop or garages and I had stuff left over from the house. I set up and when I vend I always had some motorcycle stuff on the tables to hopefully start a conversation. One day an older gentleman stopped and was looking around and saw my motorcycle material. He looked and looked and finally says he has an old photograph of a motorcycle. He didn't know what kind it was or the year it was taken. I told him I would like to see it sometime. Got his phone number and he got mine. Months passed and I called him and set up a time to see it. We met at a cafe 150 miles from Milwaukee.

    When he showed me the motorcycle photo I about fell out of my chair. I knew exactly what it was. I couldn't believe it. So we talked and I explained to him what it was and where it was built and what year. He was really surprised. He picked it up at some yard sale years ago and kept it. Finally I asked him if he wanted to sell it. I made a substantial offer. He thought about it but didn't want to part with it. I was kinda bummed out but told him to keep me in mind and we left. About a year later he called and told me to make an offer. I upped my price and he said yes. We met at the same cafe and he turned it over. Funny how things work out sometimes.
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  4. #4
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    Jan 2019
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    My question is why Wisconsin, I know indian is in mass, but i wonder if word of mouth , rich folk around in that part of the country. One would think down south ware you could ride all or most of the year...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Why Not The South

    I would think that the North had a larger manufacturing and industrial base to attract engineers and other mechanical minded people. At the same time the North had the industries to support and help develop the new projects. Brown and Sharpe were in Rhode Island since 1833 and L S Starrett started in 1880 in Athol Mass. Glenn Curtiss of bicycle, motorcycle and aviation fame was from NY.
    Jim D

  6. #6
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    At the turn of the century, the South was still recovering from the Civil War. The North East, and Mid-West were the industrial leaders of the whole world and were on the cutting edge of all manufacturing innovation, and creation. That lasted well into the mid 1960s until our lawyer based Washington politicians decided our manufacturing should be exported, and America should become a service based economy. Now we excel at selling pizzas to each other
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim d View Post
    I would think that the North had a larger manufacturing and industrial base to attract engineers and other mechanical minded people. At the same time the North had the industries to support and help develop the new projects. Brown and Sharpe were in Rhode Island since 1833 and L S Starrett started in 1880 in Athol Mass. Glenn Curtiss of bicycle, motorcycle and aviation fame was from NY.
    This is fact. Nearly all heavy industry at that time was in the north, with Southern Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, South Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, PA, all in the middle of it. The Firearms industry was mostly in New England and NY and they were a hot spot for engineers, machinists, etc. Industrial innovation always happened near the source of like minded thought, skilled labor, and access to resources.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pem View Post

    When he showed me the motorcycle photo I about fell out of my chair. I knew exactly what it was. I couldn't believe it. So we talked and I explained to him what it was and where it was built and what year. He was really surprised. He picked it up at some yard sale years ago and kept it. Finally I asked him if he wanted to sell it. I made a substantial offer. He thought about it but didn't want to part with it. I was kinda bummed out but told him to keep me in mind and we left. About a year later he called and told me to make an offer. I upped my price and he said yes. We met at the same cafe and he turned it over. Funny how things work out sometimes.
    What bike was in the photo?
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  9. #9
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    Sep 2007
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    Wis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
    What bike was in the photo?
    I'm now just getting ready to volunteer at my local hospital. This afternoon when I get home I will finish the story.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    1,105

    Default

    Minnesta also had some early bike builders...seems crazy but true.PEM,I really enjoy your posts & the hospital volunteer !!!

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