Posted by Joshua Green, Executive Director
Recently in social media, there is a map of the US showing what brand each state is most known for. Right now, Wisconsin is apparently most known for Harley Davidson. (Of course, after next year’s conference, we are confident that Wisconsin will be known for its ceramics) Milwaukee is actually the birthplace of Harley, so for “Fun-Fact Friday”, we thought we’d share a little about this local treasure….
Bikers will often say (among other things):
- “Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.”
- “There are two types of people in this world; people who ride motorcycles and people who wish they could ride motorcycles.”
- “Don’t ride so late into the night that you sleep through the sunrise.”
With only a few word substitutions here and there, I can imagine a ceramic artist saying similar things. In fact, we share a surprising number of commonalities. Bikers are almost as crazy and almost as dirty as we clay people are, and they too, get together once a year to party together. So while in Milwaukee for our annual conference next year, consider a stop to pay homage to our slightly burlier brethren, at the Harley Davidson Museum. They’re ready for us and already showing their support by sporting a beloved red wristband.
In the meantime, here are a few Harley Fun Facts to tide you over…
- Harley Davidson motorcycles were first called hogs in 1920. Their race team mascot was a pig. After each victory, the driver would hoist the pig on to the gas tank and drive a victory lap.
- Harley-Davidson is named for its creators, three brothers: Arthur, William and Walter Davidson and their friend, William Harley. In 1901, the four decided to motorize a bicycle, and the first Harley-Davidson was born
- Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee was the site of the first Harley-Davidson plant, opened in 1906.
- In 1911 Harley Davidson patented their “Bar and Shield” logo
- The Black Hills Rally in Sturgis, SD was started by the Jack Pine Gypsies Motorcycle Club. The rally began in 1938
- 20,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles were used during World War I
- In 1953, Harley-Davidson’s oldest competitor, Indian Motorcycle Company closed its doors for business, making Harley-Davidson the biggest manufacturer of motorcycles
- The first Harley-Davidson snowmobile was introduced in 1971
- More than 450 motorcycles and artifacts, dating back to Serial Number One, the oldest known Harley-Davidson® motorcycle
- Stories of extraordinary products, people, history, and Harley-Davidson culture
- Never-before-seen archives you can tour
- A world-class Museum space and outlying buildings, designed by Pentagram Architects
- A 20-acre Museum campus on the Milwaukee riverfront, with views of the city skyline
- Unique Harley-Davidson Museum-inspired gifts at The Shop
- Distinctive dining at Motor® – no Museum admission required