James Apter is an undergraduate student at UW-Madison (Class of 2022) majoring in History while pursuing certificates in Art History and Digital Studies. In his free time, James enjoys skateboarding, frequenting the Chazen Museum of Art, and getting lost in the cavernous Mosse Humanities building

By This Author:

“1909 Harley-Davidson V-twin motor.

OBJECT HISTORY: The Harley-Davidson V-Twin Engine

When Edward Pennington unveiled the first prototype for what he deemed the “motorcycle” in 1895, inspiration struck the minds of two Milwaukee natives, William Harley and Arthur Davidson. Joined by Arthur’s brother, Walter, the three began tinkering with two-wheelers and eventually designed their own.

Harley-Davidson and Milwaukee

It’s no secret that Harley-Davidson’s history is deeply rooted in Milwaukee. From dealerships to museums, the motorcycle giant serves as a cultural landmark and has become synonymous with the sprawling city.

Beyond the Dirt Track: Harley-Davidson Expands to New Markets

Harley-Davidson motorcycles may have had their first exposure on the dirt-track racing circuits of the early 1900s, but their legacy did not end with extreme sports. 1908 marked the Milwaukee Police Department’s creation of its novel “motorcycle unit.”