COVID-19: Manufactured in North America; shipping from USA as normal!

Early Motorcycles in Yolo County

The development of the gasoline internal combustion engine coinciding with the emerging popularity of the modern-looking "safety bicycle" (replacing the dangerous, big-wheeled penny-farthing) had engineers racing to develop the motorcycle.

Around the same time automobiles began puttering past horse-drawn carriages, motorcycles began weaving through traffic. The first commercial motorcycles were released in Europe and America between 1894 and 1898, and rapidly began gaining popularity at the turn of the century.

Early models were essentially bicycle frames with an engine strapped on, but the competition of motorcycle racing and a sudden demand for heavy-duty machines during World War I helped develop the bikes into something completely new.

The Yolo County Motorcycle Club in front of the Hotel Julian at the northeast corner of Second and Main Streets, Woodland, 1919. -- Courtesy of the Yolo County

The Yolo County Motorcycle Club in front of the Hotel Julian at the northeast corner of Second and Main Streets, Woodland, 1919.

Courtesy of the Yolo County

 

Within a decade or so of motorcycles being available for purchase in the United States, police departments began employing the technology and organizing motorcycle divisions. Police motorcycle divisions saw an uptick in popularity during the Great Depression.

Jack Dickey on his California Highway Patrol motorcycle, Woodland, 1931. Jack was one of the early California Highway Patrol officers. -- Courtesy of Helen Mitchell

Jack Dickey on his California Highway Patrol motorcycle, Woodland, 1931. Jack was one of the early California Highway Patrol officers.

Courtesy of Helen Mitchell

The officer above is riding an Indian motorcycle, one of two major motorcycle brands (along with Harley-Davidson) to survive the Depression.

These and hundreds of other historic images can be found in The Daily Democrat's new pictorial history book, Woodland Memories

Woodland Memories: The Early Years Cover
Daily Democrat presents Woodland Memories: The Early Years

$44.95

More info