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William S. Harley ( 1880 - 1943 )  Category ( Manufacturers ) [suggest a correction]
 

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle is one that dominates the road. The bike is everywhere and everyone has heard of it. However, Harley-Davidson began with somewhat humble beginnings. It began as a vision that both Harley and Davidson had. William S. Harley was one of the founding partners.

Born in 1880, William S. Harley worked in a bicycle factory by the time he was fifteen years old. His childhood friend, Arthur Davidson was someone who would become instrumental in the partnership that he would later form. Harley would go on to get his education and out of the four Harley-Davidson partners, he would be the only one to graduate from college.

When Harley and Davidson were young boys, they would hook up their bicycles to engines. They had a particular way that they would do it so that their bikes could go much faster. Later in life it would be determined that there wasn’t a bike that William S. Harley couldn’t ride because he was so familiar with them.

William S. Harley went to the University of Wisconsin. He graduated with his engineering degree and went straight to work. He began testing the designs of Harley-Davidson and the company began.

During both world wars, Harley would play an instrumental role for the company. He would be a key contact between Harley-Davidson and the officials over the Department of War.

Later in life, Harley took up photography and sketching. His company began to more or less run itself. Today, Harley-Davidson is the most recognized name in motorcycles.


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