1901It all started in 1901 when William S. Harley (below), aged 21, completed a blueprint drawing of an engine designed to fit into a bicycle.
The brains behind the Harley Davidson brand...
and Arthur's brother, Walter Davidson
1903In 1903 William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson made available to the public the first production Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. The bike was built to be a racer, with a 3-1/8 inch bore and 3-1/2 inch stroke. The factory in which they worked was a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed with the words "Harley-Davidson Motor Company" crudely scrawled on the door. Arthur's brother Walter later joined their efforts.
Serial #1: the first production Harley-Davidson® motorcycle
the H-D Serial #1 in all its glory...
It was built in this first Harley Davidson factory10 x 15-foot wooden shed with the words "Harley-Davidson Motor Company" crudely scrawled on the door.
- During the same year...Henry Meyer (pictured below) of Milwaukee, a schoolyard pal of William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson, buys one of the 1903 models directly from the founders...
1904In 1904 the first Harley-Davidson Dealer, C.H. Lang (pictured below) of Chicago, IL, opened for business and sold one of the first three production Harley-Davidson motorcycles ever made.
1905On July 4th, a H-D motorcycle won a 15 mile race in Chicago with a time of 19:02. In Milwaukee, the first full-time employee was hired.
1906In 1906 a new factory (pictured below), measuring 28 x 80 feet, was built on the Chestnut St. site, later renamed Juneau Avenue. Staff size was increased to six full-time employees. Also, the first motorcycle catalog was produced by the Company and the nickname "Silent Gray Fellow" was used for the first time.