100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the category “motorcycles”

Canadian Motorcycle Troops Train In England

At the outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914, Canada had no regular military forces. Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault raised the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry named after the Duke of Connaught’s daughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught. The Duke of Connaught was Queen Victoria’s third and and the Governor General of Canada. It was the first Canadian infantry unit to enter the conflict, arriving in Europe in December 1914.

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Motorcycles were developed in 1880-1890 with the first motorcycle company coming into existence in 1894. The motorcycle first saw military duty in 1913 with the US military in the borderland conflict between US forces and Mexican revolutionaries.

On January 28, 1915 Canadian Army dispatch riders prepare to set out on a training ride across Salisbury Plain in England on their Douglas 2.75 horse-power motorcycles. Their role as messengers is hoped to be invaluable.

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Two To Ride Motorcycle Around The World

A bicycle craze hit Europe and America in the late 19th century. Gottlieb Daimler invented the first gas-engine motorcycle in 1885, which was an engine attached to a wooden bike. The early 1900’s saw many companies start in motorcycles such as Excelsior, Indian, Pierce, Merkel and Harley-Davidson. The Henderson Motorcycle Company just opened for business in 1912 in Detroit, Michigan offering a 4 cylinder, one gear, no front brake 7 horsepower 934cc engine and billed as “The Fastest Motorcycle In The World”.

Carl Stearns Clancy and Walter Rendell Storey were both “advertising men” and motorcycles enthusiasts when they got the notion to ride a motorcycle around the world.

“We are ordinary businessmen who are supersaturated with work and have decided to invest a year’s time into something else than that everlasting chase for the almighty dollar.”

Clancy approached Henederson and convince them to sponsor them with 5 of the only 12 motorcycles they have made. 4 months of planning and charting went into the the trip which will be well-publicized at every turn.

On October 5, 1912 Stearns and Storey set sail for Dublin, Ireland from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the MERION in an attempt to ride a motorcycle around the world. The plan to start their trip from Dublin and ride across Great Britain.

Motorcycle Adventurer By Dr Gregory W Frazier :http://books.google.com/books?id=gn3Ogw-YIXMC&pg=PR14&lpg=PR14&dq=carl+stearns+clancy+bio+october+5+1912&source=bl&ots=xYsvyFzDpw&sig=ZQW3tBDwKYn8oOsMnHMEnlX42os&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-blvUNiyKo_SiAKwsYGoCg&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=carl%20stearns%20clancy%20bio%20october%205%201912&f=false

Carl Clancy Stearns on his globe-trotting Henderson Motocycle
1912

Horrific Crash at Motorcycle Race In New Jersey

Bicycles first became popular in the late 1800’s. The French built velodromes around existing athletic tracks with shallow banked 180 degree turns connected by two flat straight area of track. These tracks moved indoors and the shorter spans necessitated steeper banking constructed from wooden planks fitted end to end. The indoor arena was surrounded at the sides by grandstand seating.

In 1910 the first Motordrome was built in Los Angeles, California, board track designed for motorcar and motorcycle racing. The track was built from 2×4 boards and was banked at 25°. As more morotdrome were built and the sport grew, due to refinements in engine technology speeds increased banking was increased. Higher banking produced higher speeds. Spectators who looked  down onto the track from bleachers at the top of the boards were separated by flimsy 2×4 board barriers. Centrifugal force increased the danger and a tragedy was just waiting to happen.
On September 8, 1912 Eddie Hasha was at the New Jersey Motordrome near Atlantic City in a motorcycle race on his Indian motorcycle. He lost control while doing 92 mph. The bike rode the rail for some 100 feet, decapitating a young boy who had put his head over the rail to watch the race then struck a post, throwing Hasha into the grandstands and killing him instantly along with 4 other bystanders. The Indian fell back on the track killing another rider. Several more people were injured as they rushed and trampled each other to get out of the carnage.

Eddie Hasha on his 8 valve Indian motorcycle

The actual race in progress
New Jersey Motordrome near Atlantic City
September 8, 1912

Newspaper article diagramming the carnage
New Jersey Motordrome near Atlantic City
September 8, 1912

Motorcycle Racers In Utah

The first bike race was held in 1868 near Paris, France. As the popularity of the sport grew, bicycle races were staged at existing harness or horse tracks. Soon special banked wooden tracks were built called velodromes. By 1895 there were about 100 velodromes staging regular races. Madison Square Garden was actually originally built as a track racing venue.Motorcycle racing began as early as 1894 with the European Paris-Rouen event where both cars and motorcycles raced side by side. The Federation Internationale de Motorcycles Clubs based in Paris held the first European Grand Prix in Patzau, Austro-Hungary in July 1906. In 1910 the first motordrome, built for automobile and motorcycle racing, was built in Los Angeles, California.

The Los Angeles Motordrome – 1910

The Indian Motorcycle Company was founded in 1897 in Springfield, Massachusetts though the name “Indian” wasn’t labeled on a bike until 1902. In 1903 Indian set the world motorcycle speed record of 56 MPH. In 1904 the company introduced the deep red color that would become its trademark. In 1905 Indian built its first V-twin factory racer and in following years made a strong showing in racing and record-breaking. In the Isle of Man TT in 1911 Indian riders finished first, second and third.

On May 31, 1912 Team Indian posed for a photograph at the Wandamere Motordrome, Utah

Photo: MAY 31, 1912</p><br /><br />
<p>Motorcycle Racers In Utah</p><br /><br />
<p>The first bike race was held in 1868 near Paris, France. As the popularity of the sport grew, bicycle races were staged at existing harness or horse tracks. Soon special banked wooden tracks were built called velodromes. By 1895 there were about 100 velodromes staging regular races. Madison Square Garden was actually originally built as a track racing venue.</p><br /><br />
<p>Motorcycle racing began as early as 1894 with the European Paris-Rouen event where both cars and motorcycles raced side by side. The Federation Internationale de Motorcycles Clubs based in Paris held the first European Grand Prix in Patzau, Austro-Hungary in July 1906. In 1910 the first motordrome, built for automobile and motorcycle racing, was built in Los Angeles, California.</p><br /><br />
<p>The Los Angeles Motordrome - 1910 : http://www.insidesocal.com/history/motordromecard.jpg</p><br /><br />
<p>The Indian Motorcycle Company was founded in 1897 in Springfield, Massachusetts though the name "Indian" was labeled on a bike until 1902. In 1903 Indian set the world motorcycle speed record of 56 MPH. In 1904 the company introduced the deep red color that would become its trademark. In 1905 Indian built its first V-twin factory racer and in following years made a strong showing in racing and record-breaking. In the Isle of Man TT in 1911 Indian riders finished first, second and third. </p><br /><br />
<p>On May 31, 1912 Team Indian posed for a photograph at the Wandamere Motordrome, Utah

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