Harley-Davidson founders William Harley and Arthur Davidson posing on their motorbikes in 1914.


When William S. Harley and his buddy, Arthur Davidson, decided to make motorized bicycles in 1901, the first thing they did was to paint a sign saying “The Harley-Davidson Motor Company” to hang above the door of their work shed. This was all before the two men, who were 20 and 21 years old respectfully, had even started work on their motorized bike. In fact, they had no idea how to go about building their dream vehicle. They had to persuade Arthur Davidson’s older brother, Walter, a machinist, to help them. Within a few years, they had a working motorcycle, though it took several more years to make the company viable. It was worth the wait. Harley and Davidson created an American icon.

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