Archive Icon: Erle William Armstrong

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Archive Icon: Erle William Armstrong

Even in modern times it is rare to find a professional athlete who’s career lasts for decades, but when looking back to the earliest days of professional American motorcycle racing, finding a career that lasted more than 10 years is quite a challenge. For most who dared to compete in these first, raw years of the sport retirement was reserved for only the most skilled and lucky, and the career of pioneer motorcycle racers was most often recorded in lifespan than tenure. The title of the most durable pioneer American motorcycle racer, and perhaps without question one of the most prolific goes...

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Indian Sales Company, Savannah Georgia ca. 1927

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Indian Sales Company, Savannah Georgia ca. 1927

A shot of the Indian Sales Company located at 223 West Liberty Street in Savannah, Ga. ca. 1927. The gentlemen running this new operation are posing with a sharp lineup of fresh Indian’s, including the Springfield company’s latest 4 cylinder, the product of Indian’s most recent acquisition  of the Ace Motor Corporation. Joseph Neely, who is pictured with his 4 year old son Joseph Jr. on the far right, was the owner of Savannah’s newest establishment. A local businessman and motorcycling enthusiast, Neely had been piloting motorcycles through the low country for years before opening his own shop.

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A Poem for Shrimp, August 1921

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A Poem for Shrimp, August 1921

A poem published in Motorcycle Illustrated in August 1921 after the death of Albert “Shrimp” Burns, the star of the Indian factory racing team and one of the most beloved champions in American motorsport. The photograph is of Shrimp’s machine following the crash, an 8-Valve Springfield factory special that just so happened to be the same motor No. 50 on which one of his idols, pioneer racer Charlie Balke had died in 1914. 

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Milwaukee Motorcycle Club, July 1916

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Milwaukee Motorcycle Club, July 1916

Four gentlemen from the Milwaukee Motorcycle Club posing on their new, top of the line Harley-Davidsons in the Sumer of 1916. Featuring several unique design features, including a new rounded tank profile, the 1916 lineup seemed to anticipate the coming Art Decco movement of the 1920’s. 1916 marked the final year for the iconic Renault Grey Harley and the new, all-electric, three-speed grey fellows were adorned with beautiful factory pin striping and gleaming with nickel plating...

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