No, it wasn't my birthday. But Saturday, I spent part of my day at the home of one of Milwaukee's most popular businesses as Harley Davidson celebrated it's 109th year in operation. Every year during Labor Day Weekend, Harley Davidson owners and fans come to the museum for the Milwaukee Rally with music, good food, an unveiling of the following year's model, a giveaway to a museum member, and a vendor mall & swap meet. They also hold activities at other area locations, and I bet there might even be some fun things going on at your local dealership.
The museum itself is fascinating, and I truly believe that if you visit Milwaukee, it is a must-see. As you would expect, you can find information on how Harley Davidson got started, when it was incorporated, and many models of past motorcycle designs, from the first mass-produced model:
to the 1920's:
When they were used as mail couriers:
And in the military during WWII:
On the lower level, you start by seeing a model from the 1950's:
A scooter from the 1960's:
And more tricked-out models:
As well as their nod to the 1960's, one of their lines produced in 2006:
Finally, you can see more of their modern designs:
Harley Davidson is such an American institution. Their cycles have been used in so many major movies, including, most recently in Captain America.
These photos just scratch the surface of what you can see at Milwaukee's Harley Davidson museum. From stunt cycles to classic advertising to special exhibits (more on that on Thursday), if you love motorcycles or just history in general, it is a fun way to spend the day in our city.