Only one week to go until Bertie releases!
(Is anyone else excited?)
I thought it might be fun to share a little bit of history that’s included in the book.
One of the characters in the story purchases a Silent Gray Fellow motorcycle from a new company called Harley-Davidson.
Today, Harley-Davidson is a name everyone recognizes, but back in 1906, they were just one of many American companies trying to get into the motorcycle business.
The story began in 1901 when William Harley completed blueprints to add an engine to a bicycle.
William Harley along with three Davidson brothers (Arthur, Walter, and William) started their business in a backyard shed in Milwaukee. One prototype and two production bikes were built in 1903. They completed 11 more motorcycles between then and 1905.
On July 4, 1905, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle won a 15-mile race in Chicago with a time of 19:02.
By the end of 1905, they had a single-cylinder motorcycle that earned them a reputation for building quality machines at a reasonable price.
In 1906, the small company was ready to move into real manufacturing. They built a 2,400 square foot factory, produced a catalog, launched an advertising campaign and received orders for 50 bikes before they were even built!
Not only did they improve their business, they also made notable changes to their motorcycle that year. The engine was enlarged and pumped out about 4 horsepower, the front end got a spring suspension system, and the company offered a new color option – Renault Gray with red pinstriping. The new color generated the name “Silent Gray Fellow” which stuck with the brand for many years.
The company was incorporated in September 1907 – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Be sure to get your copy of Bertie to find out which Pendleton character is tootling around town on a brand-new motorbike!
I’ll even give you a little teaser…
Bertie stood on her tiptoes, looking around with the others still standing on the platform as a “burrrrrooom boom boom boom” sound sliced through the summer air. A loud “crack” that popped like a gunshot rattled the depot office windows.
A few women shrieked, and most of them ducked as a streak of gray shot off one of the train cars onto the platform.
Aundy settled an arm around Bertie’s shoulders and motioned for her to follow her over to an abandoned bench. The two of them hoisted their skirts and stepped onto the seat to get a better view.
A man dressed in knee-high boots with leather gloves on his hands bent low over the handlebars of a motorized bicycle.
The machine backfired again and Bertie grinned at Aundy, excited to set eyes on the motorbike.