Would You Time Travel For A Bike? A Story About The Famous Harley-Davidson Logo

FOR all WHO seek knowledge and harbor an abundance of curiosity.

Would You Time Travel For A Bike A Story About The Famous Harley Davidson Logo

Welcome back everyone, I am Alley Jean and this is my dog Kingsley, and today we are setting the time machine controls for 1905. (Sound of time machine blasting off!)

So today is about the American darling Harley-Davidson logo. Here we are on the southside of Milwaukee Wisconsin 1905. Kingsley and I have walked all the way from a nearby forest where we have hidden our time machine. We reach the corner of 37th and Highland where the Davidson home is. Right behind the home sits a ten by fifteen-foot shed that will launch the legend of Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. The shed is made of wood with two windows on each of the long sides. The roof is almost flat with a single chimney pipe from the wood burner inside. Harley-Davidson Motor Co. is roughly painted on the door.

harley davidson Shed

William S. Harley and friend Arthur Davidson had completed prototypes of the bike in 1903 and 1904 and now in this year, 1905, they’ve completed the first official number 1 model Harley-Davidson Motorcycle.

I knock on the door and a man greets us.

“Hello, can I help you?”

“Hello, are you Mr. Davidson or Mr. Harley?”

“No, I’m Mr. Pochert. I work for them.”

“I’m Alley Jean and this is my dog Kingsley and we have traveled a long way to see the new motorbike you have created.”

“Well, the only new models are over at Henry Melk’s garage. He is a friend of the Davidson’s. That’s where they are building them. They are going to start making them next year out of a factory on Chestnut street. There is a fella in Chicago named Carl Lang who has most of the new models. He is the first dealer for us. He has four. We may produce sixteen bikes this year.” Mr. Pochert explains.

Seeing the disappointment on my face he adds,” But right around the side here is parked one of the first prototypes from last year. It’s almost exactly the same except the new bike has a little bigger engine and the tires are white.”

He steps out of the working shed and guides me to the bike.

1903 1940 harley davidson
1903-1904 Harley-Davidson

There it is parked right alongside the shed. I can see every detail with the sun shining down on it. The motorcycle is exactly a motorbike… a bicycle with an engine. Something I like about prototypes and early inventions is you can see the future vision in its blooming stage. 

The motorcycle is charcoal black with a single brown leather seat. The small horse-powered engine still also has pedals like a bicycle for starting; and when in need of extra power for hills. The nameplate on the crossbar is a proto-logo. Bright orange letters on a black band. 

The true original logo will not be developed until 1910, five years from now. The quintessential future Harley-Davidson logo is a badge of honor in so many ways. It symbolizes freedom to speed up and to slow down and “take it all in” with the upward and downward cross arrow shapes. The bar that crosses over top creates a plus sign or cross which signifies positivity, dedication, and a way of life.

Orange is a great brand color that represents attraction, wealth, youth, creativity, enthusiasm, risk-taker, energy, warmth, opportunity, and self-motivation. 

This iconic logo tells you exactly what you are getting before you even see the product. The typography is simple, readable and in a sans-serif font that is easy on the eyes. The entire logo is a shield and bar that emulates strength, community, and a fun free-spirited lifestyle. It’s come a long way since the bold letters were painted in black on the first Harley-Davidson shed.

I ask, “Sir, could you please start this baby up?”

“I’ve never met a woman who liked motorcycles.” Pochert states.

It looks like he turns on the fuel and maybe an oil drip. 

Mr. Pochert gets on the motorbike and begins to pedal with the back tire on kickstands. The motor revs and starts up! 

He gets off of it and leaves it running. 

I ask if I can sit on it and he agrees. 

“This is so cool!” I shout! 

“Well, it shouldn’t be cold!” Mr. Pochert says.

“No, I mean, this is fantastic!”

I rev the small engine by twisting the right-hand grip. With the bike on a kickstand, the back tire spins freely.

(Kingsley is barking and doing dance circles.)

All of a sudden, horse-mounted police gallop by with a frightened group of townspeople in tow on foot.

Mr. Pochert shouts out to a man, “What is happening, where are you going?”

“There’s a strange object reported out in the forest! We’re all going to have a look.” the man answers.

“Oh my god, I think to myself. I can’t believe this, they found my time machine. I am going to be stuck in 1905. There’s not even going to be hairdryers for almost twenty years!”

I push the bike off the kickstand, twist the throttle and take off. 

“Let’s go, Kingsley!”

I quickly realize that this motorcycle is not very fast because Mr. Pochert is running right alongside me, yelling, “Ma’am, ma’am, you are chasing the police on a stolen motorbike!”

Realizing I need a faster way, I stop the bike and give it back to Mr. Pochert. 

“I am sorry Mr. Pochert, thank you for everything but I really have to get going.”

I leave him standing holding the motorbike disgusted and confused. 

As I run down the street I see a Model T Ford. We steal the car. Kingsley is loving it! We are now passing by the excited crowd and the Police are giving me the dirty eye.

We drive back through a field into the forest, ditch the car, and hightail it to the machine.

When we arrive there are six men already there. They are examining, pushing and pulling, and trying to find a way to get in. They see me.

“Miss, please keep your distance! Stay back! We are waiting for the police because we believe this is a dangerous object.” the men scream at us. 

I must act fast and get these men away from our time machine. 

I shout, “There is a fire in the town at the theatre!” 

The men do not care and go back to examining our machine. 

I shout, “No, I mean the fire is at the cheese factory!” 

The men look up at me for a second only to go back to examining our machine.

I shout, “NO! I mean the beer brewing factory is on fire!” 

Tools are dropped and slung.

The men stampede by us and head for town. 

kingsley-cream-golden-retriever

I quickly punch in the code to open the door and set the controls for home. Kingsley gives me “the lip” and off we go! 

Join me next week for another Alley Jean’s Brand Time Machine travel!

Signing off,

Alley Jean

Brand Strategist, ePublisher, Visibility Coach & Designer

Ps. Kingsley now has his own email address. If you would like to get in contact with him, please email him at kingsley@alleyjean.com

Author: Alley Jean | Brand Strategist, Web Designer & SEO for Women in Business

The cultural history of branding, design, storytelling, and art is important to me because it is the foundation of inspiration I take to build authentic brand identities for women in business today.
kingsley-cream-golden-retriever

KINGSLEY | My Sidekick

English Cream Golden Retriever | Time Traveler | Real Life Scooby Doo | Foodie