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Motorcycles Get to Work

Internal-combustion engines don't consume fuel when they are not working. This is unlike horses. It is therefore not a surprise that horses were being replaced by engines for mail carriers, deliveries, and other services starting in the late 19th Century. Indian Motorcycles, established in 1901 under Hendee Manufacturing in Springfield, Mass., started selling their elegant little motorcycles to police forces; many of which were looking to reduce the cost of maintaining horses. This publicity shot shows an early "Camelback" Indian. New York City started using Indian motorcycles back in 1905. Both Harley-Davidson and Indian lobbied hard to get the lucrative municipal contracts for motorcycles. Indian’s left-hand throttle allowed police to use the right hand to direct motorists; not really for using a gun like so many would like to believe.

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