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Representations of Native Americans

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 9 months ago

So that's an Indian!





So that’s an Indian!




1946 Chief


This phrase is expressed by Dave Tharp and found within numerous sites referring to Indian Motorcycles.



America's First Motorcycle





1901 Indian (prototype)



The Founding Father's





A self-taught engineer by the name of Oscar Hedstrom, a maker of bicycle pacers teamed up with the championship bicycle racer, now entrepreneur George Hendee, to establish America’s original motorcycle company. The two of these gentlemen forged a family and truly believed in their ideas. They strived to build a stronger, faster, and more reputable motorcycle. The Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company is very much symbolic of the American dream.


Oscar Hedstrom George Hendee



The Indian Motorcycle Company





The Indian Motorcycle Company of Springfield, Massachusetts was started two years prior to Harley-Davidson's beginning of 1903 and joined them as the only two motorcycle companies to survive The Great Depression. Prior to this time there were upwards of twenty motorcycle companies in America.


The Wigwam


A year after the completion of “The Wigwam,” 1913, The Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company produced 32,000 motorcycles. This was the more than any other manufacturer in the world. This number was a little more than half of the 60,000 motorcycle capacity The Wigwam was constructed for. A number sadly, never to be reached.


1913 Indian 61 Twin Motorcycle



Historical Direction





The history accounts reviewed could be perceived as sibling rivalry. With Oscar Hedstrom retiring in 1913 and George Hendee stepping down a couple years later, the company had lost its direction. Without the two who started the company at the helm, a series of misfortune ensued. Whether it was misguided management, cash-poor negotiations, or even the introduction of the Model T Ford, the chaos surrounding the Indian Motorcycle Company was vehemently abundant.


The glory days were over by 1920. Despite their engineering accomplishments, the company continued to struggle through the next few decades due to it poor management. Sales were half of Harley-Davidson’s and declining. There were other major factors contributing to the deterioration of this company, ultimately leading to their complete shut down in the early 1950’s. A reemergence in 1999 reintroduced America to the Indian. They were able to mark their 100th anniversary before another mishap would slow them down again.


Despite the avenues of misfortune traveled, the well built machine itself has sped across the world depicting beauty and strength in America; to this day, the timeless classic has screamed its battle cry, keeping the fighting spirit alive. With a press release on July 20, 2006, the Indian Motorcycle Company announced a new home in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. And this time…they will be focused and strides taken will be of great responsibility; as was done in the very beginning. They know what it feels like to be on top of the hill and they know what machine they need to be on in order to get there!




Indian Chief


Indian Chief Springfield


Indian Chief - Roadmaster


Indian Chief Vintage


Indian Deluxe


Indian Spirit


Indian Scout










Indian Motorcycles


Press Release


100 Year Overview


Wikipedia Entry


The World's Fastest Indian

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