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April 8, 2024

Amazing Vintage Photographs Captured Inside Indian Motorcycle Factory in 1918

The “Indian Motorcycle Co.” was founded as the Hendee Manufacturing Company by George M. Hendee in 1897 to manufacture bicycles. These were initially badged as “Silver King” and “Silver Queen” brands but the name “American Indian,” quickly shortened to just “Indian,” was adopted by Hendee from 1898 onwards because it gave better product recognition in export markets. Oscar Hedstrom joined in 1900. Both Hendee and Hedstrom were former bicycle racers and manufacturers, and after building three prototypes in Middletown, Connecticut, they teamed up to produce a motorcycle with a 1.75 bhp, single-cylinder engine in Hendee’s home town of Springfield. The motorcycle was successful and sales increased dramatically during the next decade.

In the 1910s, Indian Motorcycle Company experienced significant growth and innovation. The company’s factory operations were centered in Springfield, Massachusetts, where they manufactured motorcycles for both civilian and military use. They produced several models, including the Indian Powerplus, Indian Twin, and Indian Single. These motorcycles were known for their reliability, performance, and advanced engineering for the time.

Indian also made strides in motorcycle racing, achieving numerous victories in competitions across the United States and abroad. This decade marked Indian’s establishment as one of the leading motorcycle manufacturers globally, laying the foundation for its enduring legacy in the industry.


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