In 1897, George M. Hendee founded a bicycle production company called Hendee Manufacturing Company. He operated three brands out of his manufacturing company, of which, the most popular was American Indian, later shortened to just Indian. Hendee had formally been a bicycle racing champion and promoter and was passionate about his trade. He hired Oscar Hedstrom to construct gasoline engine powered bikes. He completed his first motorized bike in 1901 out of a shop in Middletown, Connecticut, and already began establishing the company's reputation as a producer of powerful and reliable machines. Later that same year they opened their first factory in downtown Springfield. The next year they sold their first bike to a retail customer, it had a chain drive and a single-cylinder engine produced by the Aurora Automatic Machinery Co.. The year after that, Hedstrom set a new world speed record of 56mph on one of his motorcycles. The company hasn't slowed down since.
Indian Motorcycles has such a decorated history and endless tales that seem straight out of Hollywood. During World War I, retail sales dropped significantly due tothe company's dedication to the War effort. The company produced over 50,000 motorcycles for the troops from 1917 to 1919. This reliable Indian Powerplus model has definitely become a collector's item to all motorcycle and WWI aficionados.
*we hold no rights to these images