Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Harley-Davidson Museum - Engineered Art Photography - Part 1

When it comes to the history, ingenuity and craftsmanship of the motorcycle, I can't help but be curious about these engineering marvels. Ever since I moved to the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2009, I've been wanting to check out the 130,000-square-foot Harley-Davidson Museum that's been open since 2008. When I look at a motorcycle, I look at the engineered art that's behind it, which was one of several things that I was hoping to find at the museum. Especially for the simple fact that I'm not exactly a motorcycle enthusiast and don't really care too much for the loudness of them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed looking around, trying to find the perfect snapshots throughout the museum.

Part of the museum - pretty sweet looking in person
The history of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company began in 1903, with William Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson in a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed. Their very first motorcycle was essentially a bicycle that was powered by a single-cylinder motor. It had the typical bike pedals and the chain as well, so the rider could pedal the bike up to speed to start the motor, as well as lend a little leg power when ascending hills. As you can imagine, the entire concept of the motorcycle was still being developed very early on in the 20th century here in the United States. Motorcycles have come a long way since the early 20th century.

One of the interesting little things that I found the most fascinating walking around the two story complex that was filled with motorcycle history, was where one of the oldest Harley-Davidson bikes was displayed, Serial Number One, built sometime in 1905. Around the outside perimeter of the glass case, is a lighted line that outlines the original 10 x 15 workshop that it was built in. As one would imagine, that's a pretty tiny space when it comes to building a machine like this.

Here's a 360 degree view that'll give you some perspective:

Harley-Davidson Serial Number One Exhibit

I would love to head back to the museum again, and get some more pictures, since I felt like I didn't exactly get the fine details of the smaller things. Another reason to head back would be to experience their $4 two hour guided tour and get a more in-depth view of Harley-Davidson.

Here's Part 1 of my photographic journey through the museum. Be sure to check out Part 2.

Glasses used as part of H-D training

My most favorite picture - a closeup of a H-D watch fob

The Wall of Harley-Davidson Tanks! Amazing!

Here's a few of my most favorite tanks from the Tank Wall. There was a massive amount of them, from nearly every single year that the company has been in business.

Gotta love a interesting advertisement

Evel Knievel is legendary!

I totally missed out on the Evel Knievel exhibit that was at the museum only a few months ago! Dang it!

Can never go wrong with a few H-D bandannas

Old transformer that powered the H-D factory

A brake light helmet!

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