Harley-Davidson: Fortune 500 Company
The Hogs, Inc.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
October 21, 2009
The history of Harley-Davidson is an incredible story of four young men in Milwaukee, who experimented with internal combustion in a 10x15 little shed with the words Harley-Davidson Motor Company inscribed on the front. Not only did they not burn down the shed but they created a business that thrives strong even today. William S. Harley, age 21, completed his first blueprint drawing of an engine designed to fit into a bicycle in the year 1901. By 1903 William Harley and Arthur Davidson developed a one cylinder motorcycle that was “reliable and beautiful and someone bought it.” By 1905 they had made eleven motorcycles and by 1908 they had made 154. Arthur’s brother Walter was the next to come on board, followed by his brother William Davidson. On September 17, 1907 Harley-Davidson Motor Company was incorporated. The stock was split four ways between the four founders. During this time staffing and factory size doubled. Dealer recruitment begins, targeting the New England region. In 1908 Walter Davidson scores a perfect 1,000 points at the 7th Annual Federation of American Motorcyclists Endurance and Reliability Contest. Three days after the contest, Walter sets the FAM economy record at 188.234 miles per gallon. Word of Harley-Davidson's extremely tough motorcycle spreads rapidly and the first Harley was sold to the Detroit, MI police department. In 1909 Harley-Davidson Motor Company introduces its first V-twin powered motorcycle with a displacement of 49.5 cubic inches and it produces seven horsepower. This is also the year that parts production began. Over the years, Harley-Davidson became very popular with new styles and better technologies. In both World Wars, Harley-Davidson provided more than 20,000 units for military use. By this time...
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