Arthur Davidson and Bill Harley grew up as neighbors in Milwaukee and spent most of their spare time in Arthur’s father’s workshop building and thinking.
They were HUGE fishermen and often rode their bicycles to the lake (sometimes all while skipping school). Always thinking, their first “BIG IDEA” was to install motors on the bikes to get to the fishing hole faster (and have some fun on the way).
They both worked at Barth Manufacturing and sought advice there. They also enlisted the help of Henry Melk so that they could use his lathe to machine parts.
Fun fact…friends and business partners, Arthur and Ole Evinrude made a pact before even getting started. Evinrude would not make motorcycle engines and Harley would not create water products. That pact still exists to this day!
So here comes Walter! THE MECHANIC! He puts together the parts that the boys had crafted. He then took that VERY first ride on a Harley Davidson®.
Up next, the building of the factory…stay tuned.