Images of Yesteryear

The photo gallery whimsically entitled Illustrative Melange was inspired by images kindly supplied by my chum Francois who has also put together a series of excellent pictorial reviews of motor cycling in the equally excellent Leicester Phoenix MCC website (I strongly recommend a visit to which is a unique cornucopia of stories and pics devoted to motor cycling rallying, touring and club life). Francois and LPMCC editor Ben have allowed me to reproduce those features here. They include chapters on the earliest motor cycle races, women motor cyclists and so much more. I found them entrancing and hope you will too.

As Francois is responsible for the words and pictures on this page it seems apposite to tell you something of his motor cycling credentials. Since 1970s he’s done several hundred rallies throughout Europe and found time to write for Europe Moto Magazine and the daily newspaper La Montagne Centre France. Having founded the Gueux d’Route movement in the late ’70s he edited its monthly rally mag and organized a good number of road riding events. Nowadays he lives in Thailand but still gets to French rallies as and when.

Francois, mon ami, over to you…

Memories of Yesteryear. Part 1: Motorcyclists
ALTHOUGH MOST OF THE MOTORCYCLISTS of yesteryear depicted in these shots weren’t rallyists in the literal sense of the word, they were nevertheless keen motorcyclists like you and me, and amongst them were undoubtedly some true enthusiasts. Whatever these motorcyclists of days gone by used their machines for; social, domestic or competition doesn’t matter; the common brotherhood that binds us all remains the same. Whether it’s their pose, the outfits they wore or the machines themselves, everything perfectly reflects the atmosphere of the time on two or three wheels.


Memories of Yesteryear. Part 2: Speed racers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, the pioneers of motorcycling used their machines simply to enable them to move from one place to another, but on unreliable machines and unmade racks that passed for roads, this proved extremely difficult at times. Imagine riding at the end of the 19th century on mechanical monsters comprised of a simple frame, rudimentary engine, small tank and a primitive saddle; all with pretty non-existent brakes, and then launching yourself at full speed down roads with no smooth tarmac and no road signs!
The motorcycle owes much of its early development to WW1, when the motorbike became an indispensable military transport vehicle. Later at the end of the 1960s and early 1970s it became the symbol of freedom we acknowledge today, but the motorcycle has also benefited throughout its history from competitions which fostered innovation in design and performance. I have set out below a brief history of motorcycle competitions from the very first participation of motorcyclists in a race in Italy in 1895 to the first World Motorcycle Championship in Belgium in 1905.

May 18, 1895 sees the very first record of motorcyclists in a race. Indeed, two motorcycles and three cars participated in the Italian race Turin-Asti-Turin. The following month, from June 11 to 13, two motorised two-wheelers were on the starting line of the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race, but neither of them reached the finish. Paul Millet fell during his outward journey to Orléans and Georges Osmont had to retire in Angouleme on the return leg.

The following year, in May 1896, a certain M Lotz on a Hildebrand & Wolfmüller machine finished the first stage of the Bordeaux-Agen-Bordeaux in last position and subsequently retired. On September 20, 1896, eight riders competed in the Paris-Mantes-Paris.

From the year in which the word ‘motorcycle’ was coined by the Werner brothers, things got better for French riders. In the first Critérium des Motocycles, organised on April 4, 1897, Léonce Girardot and Gaston Rivierre finished in 4th position on a two-seater, two-wheeler of unknown brand and on June 20, 1897, in the first Coupe des Motocycles, run between Saint-Germain and Ecquevilly, Gans de Fabrice managed to ride his two-wheeler Wolfmüller to second place among the competing cars. The inauguration of the Stade-Vélodrome in the Parc des Princes in Paris on July 18, 1897 was the perfect occasion for motorcycle; races. Gaston Rivierre on a De Dion-Bouton motor bicycle won the first series and posted the best time of the day at 40.8km/h. That same year, the very first motor bicycle’ race between two riders, also on De Dions, took place in England at Sheen House.

For the first time a competition was exclusively open to two-wheelers. The Critérium des Motocyclettes ran from Etampes to Chartres over a distance of 100km with Eugène Labitte winning on a Pernoo. From July 16-24 the first meeting of the Tour de France Automobile was held, with 19 cars and 25 motorcycles starting a course of seven stages over 2,216km.

In the summer George M. Holey, one of the few American pioneers, built his first single-cylinder IOE, (inlet-over-exhaust), winning the first motorcycles-only race in the US: the Boston-New York.

The story of city-to-city racing ended tragically in May due to eight fatal accidents in the Paris-Madrid. A new form of racing then appeared, but this time in a velodrome. These events were held most of the time at the Parc des Princes and at the Vélodrome d’Hiver. The two great champions of the age were Alessandro Anzani and Marius Thé.

On September 25 the newly formed Motocycle-Club of France (MCM) organised the very first international motorcycle race: the International Cup. It ran over 268km, with the French team competing against four others: Germany (DMV), Austria (ÖAC), Great-Britain (ACC) and Denmark. The resulting French victory gave the host the right to organise the race again in 1905. Following this event, delegations from the five countries taking part met on December 21 at the famous Ledoyen restaurant in Paris to create the International Federation of Motorcycle Clubs (FICM), the ancestor of the current FIM.

September brought the first World Motorcycle Championship organised inside the Zurenborg velodrome near Antwerp, in Belgium. Alessandro Anzani, won the race on an Alcyon equipped with a 330cc Buchet single-cylinder engine he developed himself, thus becoming the first world champion in the history of motorcycling. Born in Italy, Anzani moved to France in 1900 and became the most important engine manufacturer of the time.

I guess these great old timers, racing over a hundred years ago, must have possessed enormous courage and daring, to be able to challenge their competitors on such unpredictable machines, in the most crazy of events. Take a good look at them on the images below, testaments to the outfits of the day with their handlebar moustaches and daredevil appearance. The real men of yesteryear who knew no fear. I have only one word to say about them: Respect!

This is what we called an engine at that time…imagine the noise in that open exhaust!
Alessandro Anzani, the first world champion in the history of motorcycling.
Marius Thé’s greatest win was in 1904 when he won the Grand Prix de la République, then organised both at the Parc des Princes and at the Vélodrome d’Hiver, ahead of Alessandro Anzani (Alcyon) and Joseph Collomb (Magali).
1904: Marius Thé on a prototype twin-cylinder two-litre Buchet.
1903: The champion Brault.
Naso, another good racer of the time.
Chauny, also a Parc des Princes public favorite.
Outfits were not left out.
In a sport said to be dominated by men, Fernande Clouet was the first French female racer to take part in track and road races on a Giorgia Knapp motorcycle, but also on Harley Davidson.
Lanfranchi, winner of the Coupe Hydra and holder of the 250cc 100km record.
1903: Maurice Fournier and his V4 Clément.
Road racing in Amiens, Northern France.
1905: The Coupe du Motocycle Club de France.
1905: A front seat tricycle known as ‘kills the mother-in-law’. The engine is a Villemain with opposite valves, liquid cooling and direct chain transmission.
1909: Will Cook (NLG with JAP engine).
Ravelli (Peugeot) at the Gaillon hill-climb.
Andre Grapperon.

Memories of Yesteryear. Part 3: 1914-1918—The Great War in the saddle

IT WAS DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR that the military motorcycle made its debut, although it had also appeared with the forces of Pancho Villa in the earlier Mexican Revolution. Pancho Villa discovered that the big Indian motorcycles were ideal for his raiding parties, realising that motorcycles offered the speed and agility ideal for hit-and-run raids. The Great War set the tone for the mechanisation of war and the motorcycle proved to be a very viable replacement for the horse, with the military making extensive use of this new method of transport and communication. Technological breakthroughs are often driven by necessity during war and the Great War was no exception. The increased need for motorised transport unsurprisingly directly influenced motorbike production, greatly accelerating their evolution. These were bikes built out of, and during a crisis—bikes designed for rugged applications. It’s no coincidence that many early motorcycle manufacturers were also manufacturers of guns and armaments. Detailed below is a photographic record of some of those military machines of yesteryear.

A civilian and his children prior to Germany declaring war on the Russian Empire (August 1, 1914). Two days later Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. On August 4 the UK engaged its colonial empire in the conflict.
The requisition of motorcycles in Paris. In France, general mobilisation ensured the immediate right of requisition on people and goods. All motorcycle owners, (the ideal liaison vehicles), were required by law to present their machines to the authorities and motorcycles were systematically requisitioned.
Two British dispatch riders receiving information from a French sentry. Dispatch riders had the dangerous and demanding job of delivering messages to the front lines and carrying out reconnaissance work. Motorcycles were of course very maneuverable and able to get in and out of tight locations impassable to other vehicles. [Entente cordiale: The DR with the Duggie and the fag could hardly look more British; the sentry with the formidable bayonet and equally formidable soup strainer could hardly look more French.—Ed].
Two Royal Engineers dispatch riders on their Triumphs. Triumph motorcycles were started in Britain by a German mmigrant from Nuremberg called Siegfried Bettmann who set up his business in Coventry and also later a German branch n Nuremberg. Before the outbreak of war, the two companies were set up to operate under different names. In Britain they ere called Triumph whilst in Nuremberg the brand was TWN, (Triumph Werke Nürnberg).
A belt-driven Douglas. Manufacturers Douglas, Triumph, Royal Enfield, Norton,BSA, Matchless, Sunbeam, Scott, Clyno, lackburne, Rover, New Hudson, Hazlewood, Phelon & Moore, Zenith, Lewis, Kynoch and Torpedo all contributed bikes to the British war effort. It’s estimated that Douglas alone produced 70,000 bikes for the allied forces. Of these, 25,000 were 348cc twin-cylinder machines, specially made for the army’s newly mobile dispatch riders. Triumph, meanwhile, boasted a British order for 30,000, though it also supplied Greek dispatch riders with 550cc single-engine bikes. Royal Enfield also manufactured for the UK war department; notably winning a contract to supply the Russians too.
British soldiers and their machines. Carburretors were obviously very crude, and so more often than not there would tend to be problems with carburretion ignition systems, especially in arduous or damp conditions. Usually in the sidecars there would be petrol, oil and carbide for the lamps.
A soldier of the Signal Corps and his Douglas in the snow on the road to St Pol sur Ternoise, Northern France. The belt drive transmission was quite smooth as there was no chain to jerk about. But if it rained hard or if you were trying to ride in the snow, the belt would probably slip, sliding around on the pulleys. Riders used to have a ready supply of sand which they could simply sprinkle over the belt and pulleys to regain grip. If they found themselves in the countryside, then they’d simply sprinkle some earth over the belt.
A version of the Douglas as a radiophonic liaison station.
A workshop sidecar, also practical as the mechanic’s bathroom.
Phelon & Moore brand was the official marque of the Royal Flying Corps and then of the Royal Air Force. Three models were in service: the rarest being the 770cc V-twin; the most famous was the 500cc sloper (pictured); and a third model with a sidecar.
1916—A Royal Flying Corps NCO with a customised P&M equipped with two carbide headlights and racing style handlebars.
1915—RFC ace Albert Ball VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC (44 air battle victories) on a Hazlewood-JAP. During the war Hazlewoods suspended motorcycle production to concentrate on armaments.
A Zenith Gradua (under Norton control from 1914 to 1918), with variable pulley JAP 650cc V-twin engine. On the bike is Captain Denis Carey of the Royal Naval Air Service, who threw the hammer for Great Britain in the 1912 Olympic Games, finishing a creditable 6th.
A French postcard with the title “French remember!” Showing the arrival of English soldiers and their motorcycles in Peronne, in the Somme, during the reconquest of France in 1917.
Repainted and without any other modification than a registration number on the tank, the requisitioned Peugeot twins were the French motor cycles most often found in the hands of French soldiers. First installed in Vincennes, the motorised military park was transferred to the Montluçon artillery park, where the first motor cycle sections were formed, equipped with new machines from Clément-Gladiator, (two or three dozen), and Triumph (one hundred); the only two brands selected by the park manager.
December 1914—French soldiers on Triumphs. The machines are identical but ‘480’ was obviously requisitioned because we can just about see the remains of a civilian registration on the front fender.
The French motor cycle soldier of the Great War had a soft spot for British motorcycles because the French requisition motor cycles, already few in number, quickly reached their limits in terms of performance and reliability.
Vintage drawings showing French dispatch riders in action during the Great War.
…and here are two more, of another French DR and one of his Tommy comrades—Ed.
French soldiers at the front, (seen here with a BSA outfit). All wore the ‘kepi’ when on duty; the ‘calot’ (field service) is worn at rest. The metal helmet did not appear until 1915, when trench warfare began, which was responsible for many fatal head injuries.
Circa 1915—French soldiers and their machines in ambush. The gaudy color of their uniforms, their helmets, and their machines at the time didn’t help with camouflage…
The first German motorcycles to make their way to the front lines were the Wanderer (left), the NSU (right) and the TWN (Triumph Werke Nürnberg).
German Wanderer machines were of advanced design boasting unit construction engines and front and rear suspension as early as 1915, at which time they were supplied to the German army. Wanderer supplied almost half of all machines used by the German forces during the Great War, and by 1918 had built over 10,000 motor cycles. Baron Klaus-Detlof von Oertzen arranged the sale of the motorcycle business to NSU in 1929. The Wanderer design was licensed to a Czech manufacturer, resulting in the Jawa brand.
A German Wanderer equipped with a machine gun. In the summer of 1914 both sides deployed 2,000 machine guns to the front.
Although the Netherlands remained neutral during World War I the Dutch military motorcycle squad of the Royal Netherlands Army was mobilised throughout the conflict, as belligerents regularly attempted to intimidate the Netherlands and place demands on it.
The Russians were not left out with outfits also equipped with machine guns. Here are soldiers from the 39th Infantry Regiment of Tomsk.
Being at war does not prevent Easter from being celebrated with a good improvised Russian lunch and washed down with a lot of vodka…
Although Russians didn’t have any motorcycle manufacturer a century ago, they were riding American motor cycles (Indians and Harley-Davidsons) during the Great War.
On April 6 1917, the United States declared war against Germany. World War I was the first time in American history that the United States sent soldiers abroad to defend foreign soil.
The first American troops arrived in Europe in June 1917. The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) did not fully participate at the front until October, when the First Division entered the trenches at Nancy, France.
It has been estimated that the US ordered over 80,000 bikes for military use during WWI—clearly the motorbike held an important place amongst the troops. By the end of 1917 Harley-Davidson had provided around 15,000 bikes for the war effort. Approximately one third of all Harleys made in 1917 and 1918 were bought for war use.
At the outset of World War I, Indian was at the forefront of the motorcycle world. When the US announced its entrance into the conflict, the manufacturer dedicated nearly all of its production resources to the war effort…
…The result was 50,000 Indian PowerPlus Big Twins, which were both faster and, thanks to a swanky rear suspension, more manoeuvrable than their Harley counterparts.
The American army in France, in Saint-Nazaire. The first 14,000 US infantry troops landed in France at the port of Saint-Nazaire, Britanny. The landing site had been kept secret because of the menace of German submarines.
Motorcycle ambulances were an innovation in WW1, used by the British, French and American militaries, as well as non-governmental support groups like the Red Cross.
Four-wheeled ambulances were very heavy, underpowered, poorly suspended and used solid tyres, making them slow, unwieldy, bumpy and likely to get stuck in the rough, muddy ground common near European battlefields. Smaller, lighter ambulances were required, and motor cycles with sidecars proved useful near the front lines to move wounded soldiers away from the heat of battle.
American forces and the Red Cross used Indian and Harley-Davidson motor cycles for ambulance and medical transport duties. Both makes had reliable motors and three-speed gearboxes with robust clutches, and were very lightweight. The faster an injured soldier was treated, the more likely he was to survive, so getting them away from the front as quickly as possible was crucial.
No, he’s not a motorcyclist on his way to a rally at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic! Armies quickly produced gas masks that gave protection as long as sufficient warning was given of a gas attack. The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was around 40 million. Estimates range from around 15 to 22 million deaths and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it amongst the deadliest conflicts in human history. Disease, including the 1918 flu pandemic (and deaths while held as prisoners of war) accounted for about one third of total military deaths. To put things in perspective, the confirmed global virus deaths due to the current coronavirus pandemic, on April 5 2021, is around 2.8 million.

Francois has also sent me a good selection of uncaptioned pics from the Great War; these, with a number that I’ve accumulated, can be found in the Illustrative Melange. And, of course, there are plenty of stories and images from the war in the main Timeline—Ed.

Memories of Yesteryear. Part 4: 1920-1925—The post Great War era
LIKE IT OR NOT, THERE IS NOTHING LIKE WAR, however unfair and murderous, to advance technology. This is unfortunately as true today as it was 100 years ago in terms of the motorcycle evolution after the Great War. The war revealed the usefulness of motorcycles, recognising them as practical and relatively reliable.This, together with the increasing popularity of competition motorcycling in the early 1920s, thanks to further improvements in Reliability and handling, led to more advances on the technical front. I would love to go into greater documented detail on this extremely interesting period, but the aim of this article is to present a more visual record, which I hope you will agree is more interesting than straightforward facts and figures; allowing me to share a greater number of photos in the limited space available. In a nutshell, lets summarise a few highlights from the 1920s: George Brough, the second son of motorcycle pioneer William Edward Brough, set up his own factory in Nottingham in 1919 to produce what he called the Brough Superior range of motorcycles and motor cars. He brought together the best components he could find and added distinctive styling details and in 1922, he rode a Brough Superior SS9-Brough Superior SS80 managing an unofficial 100mph (160km/h) lap. The industrial production of motorcycles was dominated by England, but by 1920, Harley-Davidson became the largest manufacturer worldwide with their motorcycles being sold through dealers in 67 countries. DKW in Germany took over as the largest manufacturer in the late 1920s. BMW motorcycles came on the scene in 1923 with a shaft drive and an opposed-twin. As motorcycles got faster, the need for protective clothing grew, and many bikers turned to the thick leather horsehide of World War I era of military overcoats. In 1928, Irving Schott, a jacket maker in New York City, created the first leather jacket specifically for motorcycling, named after his favorite cigar: The Perfecto. Now let me share the photographs I have picked out to illustrate this golden age of motorcycling in Europe in the 1920s…

1919: In Germany, solo and outfit racers on the starting line, preparing to set off in a competition.
1919: M Blauseur on a Harley-Davidson 1000, one of the competitors of the Paris-Reims-Paris race. This first great post-war race of 310km was held on 6 July.
1919: M Martinez on his 750cc Triumph, another competitor in the Paris-Reims-Paris trial. Martinez would have won his class but stopped to help a fellow competitor. Clearly a real sportsman.
1919: Paul Péan on a Peugeot at the Paris-Reims-Paris race. Peugeot only entered one machine but the firm’s confidence in its reliability was justified —Péan finished 1st equal in his class without incurring any penalty points. Hutchinson supplied tyres to all but one of the class winners.
1920: M Milland on his Motosacoche, at the innaugural Circuit de la Sarthe (aka Le Mans). The UMF (Union Motocycliste de France) organised a motorcycle grand prix on a triangular course from the Pontlieue suburbs of Le Mans, along public roads to Mulsanne and back again. The circuit measured more than 10 miles and was clearly no picnic—of 31 starters, only four made it to the end.
1920: M Robert, also on a Motosacoche, at the Circuit de la Sarthe GP.
1920: Jim Davis won the 1920 300-mile Dodge City race on 4 July. Davis started riding motor cycles at when he was 11 and earned his first factory ride, with Indian, aged 19 in 1915. He went on to win 21 AMA National Championships—including the first race ever sanctioned by the AMA at Toledo, Ohio, on 26 July, 1924—and more than 50 non-AMA titles. It’s a record that will never be equalled. By the time Davis retired in 1936 he had raced in more than 1,500 events and covered an astounding 30,000 competition miles. Not only did he survive the board-track era, he survived into the 21st century, passing away on 5 February 2000 at the age of 103.
Henry Hammond Springs of Atlanta, GA., pictured at the Indian factory in Springfield, Mass, was a top rider for the Indian Tribe, a local hero in Atlanta, and a crowd favourite. He joined the Indian factory team at 17, competing across the USA. Hammond was another remarkable young talent who dedicated his life to racing motor cycles, and like so many competitors from that time he lost his life in the pursuit of victory, dying of injuries sustained in a race at South Bend, Indiana on 31 May 1922.
1921: M Dooer on a Motosacoche at the Paris-Nice trial. He was one of 93 competitors representing the biggest French, Belgian, English, Italian and American marques. The Paris-Nice dates back to the spring of 1913. It was held again in 1914 and resumed after the war in 1920. The 1,200km course ran from Montgeron via Dijon, Lyon, Marseille and Nice.
1921: The Sarolea team, Messrs Duverne and Lefèvre, at the Marly-le-Roi trial organised by the UMF.
1922: Start of the 500cc race at the Grand Prix de Nations at the Monza circuit, Italy. Construction of the Monza Autodrome was started in January by the Milan Automobile Club to mark the 25th anniversary of the club’s founding. The track was officially opened on a rainy 3 September. This was followed on 8 September by the motor cycle Grand Prix de Nations with factory honours going to Amedeo Ruggeri on a Harley Davidson 1,000 and Gnesa with a two-stroke Garelli 350 in the 500cc class.
1922: M Meunier with his Alcyon at the Grand Prix de France in Montargis. Note the extraordinary set-up of the pit stop and the outfits of both the racer and his team!
1922: Start of the 250cc class (10.83km x 30 laps) at the French GP, organised by the MCF at Montargis.
1922: On 27 October Bert Le Vack made history by lapping Brooklands at 100.29mph on this 980cc Zenith. He was nicknamed the Wizard of Brooklands, for his exploits around the famous track. Le Vack was widely regarded as one of the best motor cyclists of his generation. He was also a leading tuner who developed a range of world beating engines from 250cc to 1000cc. He used these engines in a range of machines, including Brough Superior, Zenith, New Imperial, Coventry Eagle and HRD. He was killed while riding a Motosachoche sidecar outfit on the public road in Switzerland in 1931.
1922: Italian racers at the Grand Prix de Strasbourg. From left: Gnesa (Ermino), Visioli (Ottorino) and Dall’Oglio (Garelli).
1923: Women and their rides at the ACU Trials in Birmingham.
1923: M Marc (Alcyon), winner of the 350cc class in the French GP at Montargis.
1923: Alexandre Hommaire (Orial) rode in the 600cc sidecar race at the French GP.
1923: Messrs Hufkens and Reynartz, both on Gillet, at the start of the Paris-Pyrenees-Paris trial organised by Moto-Revue and the newspaper Petit Parisien. Two mopeds, 16 solos, two combos and 15 cyclecars took part; Robert Sexé finished 3rd in the 500cc class on a Norton.
1923: François Clech (Motosolo) during the second Bol d’0r at the Loges circuit in the forest of St Germain. The Bol d’Or founded in 1922 by Eugène Mauve of the Association of Former Military Motorcyclists (AAMM) is believed to have been the world’s first 24-hour race. François Clech, born in 1895, fought in the 1914-18 war as a dispatch rider on a Clément, which was probably requisitioned. After the war he joined Motosolo and won the 250cc class of the Bol d’Or in 1922 and 1923; he was crowned 250cc French champion in 1923. His career was ended by an arm injury sustained during the Six Days of Winter event in January 1928.
1923: French rider Tony Zind (Motosacoche) won the 500cc class of the Bol d’Or in 1922 and 1923.
1923: Henry Naas (500cc Gnome-Rhône) at the 22.8km Circuit de Tours during the 4th UMF Grand Prix. British riders won three classes: Geoff Davison (Levis), 250cc; Frank Longman (AJS), 350cc; and Jim Whalley (Douglas), 500cc.
1923: Moret (Orial) won the 600cc sidecar class of the 13th GP de Lyon, at the Saint-André-de-Corcy circuit. They should have entered the 1,000cc class too—none of the big combos reached the finish line.
1924: Lambert with his BT before the start of the 3rd Tour de France. Organised by the Motorcycle Club de France since 1922, it covered nearly 4,000m over 16 consecutive days. The populations of towns and villages on the route turned out to cheer the competitors—the Tour was excellent for PR, showing that motor cycles offered reliable transport. Of 38 starters 31 finished the course and were on display for several days in Paris.
1924: Mlle Dupré, at the start of the 3rd Coupe de l’Armistice trial at the Joinville-Versailles circuit.
1925: Motorcycle chariot racing was a short-lived but dramatic spectacle inspired by the 1925 American silent epic Ben-Hur. The chariots were made from wine barrels with car wheels; the charioteers often wore Roman era-inspired costumes. As the sport evolved two and even three bikes were coupled to the chariots Controlling them must have been a challenge using just a pair of reins, seemingly made of leather. One method must have been to attach each rein to each individual motor cycle’s throttle.

Memories of Yesteryear. Part 5: A flashback to the mid-1920s

AS HISTORY TELLS US, THE PERIOD immediately following the First World War was extremely rich in the rebirth and subsequent development of both international motorcycling as a whole and the machines of the time in particular. Indeed, the pace and scale of development at that time would undoubtedly fill several books on the subject. The sheer abundance of data and documents covering this period threw up something of a dilemma in that I had to restrict my choices and share with you some of the best and most interesting stories and visual nuggets. So, continuing our journey through the memories of motorcycling and its evolution over the decades, here’s a flashback via various photographic testimonies, mainly relating to the mid-1920s…

The American Gypsy Tours
The Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) listed 8,247 members in 1915, but with World War I draining potential recruits, the organisation ceased operations in 1919. The AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) was established in 1924 with the slogan ‘An Organised Minority Can Always Defeat a Dis-organised Majority’. The AMA inherited the organisation of the Gypsy Tours, which became the biggest road-riding events of the year. Gypsy Tours were held on a single weekend throughout the country. They featured a ride to a scenic location for a picnic and various motorcycle competition events. There were often races, including hill climbs, races and dirt-track events, along with field meets, involving motorcycle games such as slow races, stake races and plank riding. In 1925 no less than 212 individual Gypsy Tours were held on 20 and 21 June. According to The Motorcycle & Bicycle Illustrated: “The Gypsy Tour idea originated eight or nine years ago, the object being to set a certain date for an outing, where riders, dealers and everyone interested in motorcycles would tour to some convenient spot for a day’s sport and a real old-fashioned good time.”

June 6, 1929: A group photo taken at the 9th annual Gypsy Tour in Amarillo, Texas.

1925: First FIM Grand Prix in Assen, Berlin and Monza
On 21 April 1925, thirteen countries met in Paris for the FICM congress, (previously the FIM), formally recognised in the general sporting regulations as the only body representing motorcycling activities. Motorcycling events in 1925 were so numerous that date clashes were impossible to avoid. These events included the first German GP on the former racing circuit Avus, through the Grunewald forest, on the outskirts of Berlin. That unique road served as a high-speed toll route between the city and the suburbs during the week, and as a venue for both car and motorbike races at weekends. The first ‘Dutch TT’ was held on 11 July, organised by Motorclub Assen en Omstreken. The 28.4km triangular course on brick-paved public roads went through the villages of Rolde, Borger and Schoonloo. In 1926 the Dutch TT moved to a new 16.5km track at Assen (that year a company was founded in Italy to produce electric capacitors: Ducati). The first FICM European Grand Prix was held in Monza in 1925. It was decided that the title of European Champion in various classes would be awarded to the winner of this race. The organisation was not yet in place to operate a championship run over a series of races.

1925: Nedham on his Dot at the Montlhéry Grand Prix.
1925: Liaudois (Train 125cc) at the ‘Journée des Records’ in Arpajon.
1925: Start of a race at the AVUS circuit on the outskirts of Berlin.
1925: Rolland and his Terrot at the Montlhéry Grand Prix.
1926: Start of the second Dutch TT.
1925: Hatton with his Douglas at the Montlhéry Grand Prix.
Anderson rode with the Indian tribe at the Montlhéry Grand Prix.

In the Land of the Rising Sun
The first motorcycle race in Japan was held in 1913, at the Hanshin Racecourse, a dirt horse racing track in Nishinomiya, (near Kobe). Around 30,000 spectators attended, a record for any kind of race in Japan. Racing became more common at venues across the country and professional riders emerged including the remarkable Kenzo Tada, the first Japanese rider to compete at the Isle of Man TT, in 1930, on a Velocette KTT. A massive earthquake destroyed much of Tokyo in 1923, killing hundreds of thousands of people. The absence of motorised emergency vehicles added to the impassable road network heralded great change for the Japanese vehicle industry, and the road network itself. Tokyo was rebuilt with a revised road layout which led the number of vehicles to double in 1924 and a clamour for a more modern nationwide road system. To further promote the nascent Japanese vehicle industry, in 1925 import tariffs were imposed on foreign vehicles, leading Ford (1924), General Motors (1927) and Chrysler in (1929) to establish factories in Japan. Harley-Davidson followed suit in 1929. Several small motorcycle manufacturers also set up shop in the mid-1920s, including the 350cc two-stroke Sanda, (Thunder), from Osaka, the SSD of Hiroshima, and the grand-daddy of them all, a 1,200cc twin called the Giant, built by Count Katsu Kiyoshi in 1924. The Japan Automobile Company (JAC),started producing motorcycles in 1929, including 350cc and 500cc sidevalve singles and a 500cc V-twin on JAP lines.

1930: Kenzo Tada was the first Japanese rider to ride in the TT—he finished 15th in the Junior aboard his KTT Velo.
March 1926: Winners of the Shizuoka Championship—Nose (BSA), Matsumoto (H-D single), and Kawabata (New Imperial).
1926: A Japanese advert for theBelgian Saroléa.

1926: Disqualified for a spark plug at the TT
In 1926 the second FICM European Grand Prix took place, this time in Belgium on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, with classes for 175, 250, 350 and 500cc. Italian rider Pietro Gherzi was the first foreigner to try his hand at the 1926 TT, riding a Moto Guzzi. He finished second, but was disqualified for using a different spark plug to the one specified on his entry form. On May 22 and 23 the 5th Bol d’Or took place on the 5.8 km Circuit des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The Bol d’Or, launched in 1922 by Eugene Mauve, was originally open to both motorcycles and automobiles.

1926: A racing sidecar of the time in a German competition.
1926: Start of the motorcycles race at the Bol d’Or.
1926: Renaud on a CP at the Bol d’Or.
28 July, 1925: The Gillet-Herstal team about to leave Porte Maillot in Paris for the Paris-Moscow raid.

1926: Robert Sexé and Henry Andrieux go global Motorcyclist, reporter, globetrotter and tireless traveller, Robert Sexé (1890-1986) brought back many photos and stories of his adventures which delighted readers of motorcycle and travel magazines. In 1924 Robert Sexé and two teammates, Messrs Krebs and Dumoulin, completed the Paris-Constantinople-Paris ‘raid’ on Gillet-Herstal motorcycles provided by the Belgian manufacturer. In 1925 the same team tackled the Paris-Moscow ‘raid’, also on Gillet-Herstals. On 14 June 1926 Robert Sexé, this time accompanied by Henry Andrieux, hit the road in front of the public and the Paris press corps for the first round of a world motorcycle tour, again with support from Gillet-Herstal. Their jaunt was covered by newspapers all around the world. In 5½ months they covered 35,000km, including 22,000km on their bikes. They faced extreme cold, hunger and fatigue, pushing their 220kg machines over seldom used, desolate muddy tracks, especially deep in the USSR. They were the last witnesses of tribes and countries which have now disappeared. They crossed Belgium, Germany, Poland and the USSR, swiftly followed by entry to Japan where they had the chance to meet Mr Suzuki, who went on to make the motorcycles that bear his name. They then went through the United States, meeting Erwin ‘Cannonball’ Baker, the motorcycling pioneer set dozens of cross-country records on a variety of motorcycles and sidecars. They also rode on Route 66, then under construction in segments and often discontinuous ones at that—it would not be entirely paved until 1938. They eventually reached New York with its skyscrapers still under construction. Sexé and Andrieux finally returned to the Belgium Federation of Motorcycling’s headquarters in Brussels on 3 December 1926.

1926: The day before the start of his round-the-world motorcycle tour, Robert Sexé poses at Porte Maillot on his Gillet for the press and posterity.

1926: Paris-Nice
Since its debut in 1913 this prestigious 1,200km Paris-Nice regularity run had attracted most of the major motorcycle brands of the time. The event was then organised in four stages, ending with the ‘Critérium de Nice’, comprising a cold-start competition, a kilometre run test and climbing the Côte de la Turbie. Competitors had to present themselves at the checkpoints, maintaining a specified average speed for each class. Motorcycle clubs along the way that helped with the organisation included MC de France, UM Aube, MVC Dijonnais, MC Mâconnais, MC Lyon, MC Roanne, UM Forez, MC Dauphinois, MC Avignon, MC Marseille, MC Draguignan and, of course, MC Nice. Paris-Nice became a phenomenal sporting success. At the end of February and beginning of March 1924 the competition was run in six stages with classes for scooters and mopeds (75 and 100cc), motorcycles (175, 250, 350, 500, 750 and 1,000cc), outfits (350, 600 and 1,000cc) and two-seat cyclecars (350, 500, 750 and 1,100cc). The 1924 route was particularly tough—for the first time it included the route des Alpes between Lyon and Sisteron, which was freshly opened to traffic in winter. Of 70 competitors who left Paris, only 50 completed the course. In 1926 only 81 of the 91 entrants were allowed to start; 10 failed to pass scrutineering. Marques represented included Peugeot, Monet-Goyon, Terrot, Gnome et Rhône, La Française, MagnatDebon, Motosacoche, Dollar, Prester, Le Grimpeur, CI Delage, Favor, Janin, PS, Stella, Jean Thomann, Royal Moto, Propulcycle, Dé-Dé, Arbinet, BSA, Triumph, Scott, Harlette, Harley-Davidson, Condor, Gillet, Sphinx, Saroléa, SIMA-Violet, D’Yrsan, Sénéchal and Morgan. Here’s how a contemporary magazine reacted to the 1926 Paris-Nice trial: “Formerly, the motorcycle knew a rare period of prosperity: every cyclist dreamed of suppressing fatigue by adding an engine to his steel frame, and we saw thousands of ‘petroleum bikes’, uncomfortable and not very reliable, from which however the owners derived satisfaction. Then the power of these machines increased without the commensurate addition of comfort and proper function following. The motorcycle, if it did not die from these faults, suffered terribly. She was despised among us as much as she had unleashed enthusiasm amongst her followers. Since then, manufacturers, especially those across the Channel, have changed their minds. Instead of making motorcycles that are too fast and too powerful, they have provided us with machines that run safely and comfortably, delicious sidecars for a trip for two which are like light and pleasant small ‘cars’ to ride. Again, the public’s favour returned to the motorcycle, and interesting motorcycle events could be organised for these machines.”

This 1921 Paris-Nice gold medal diploma was awarded to a competitor named Pierre Duverne who rode a Rudge Multi in the 500cc class.
Luckily for motorcycle memorabilia enthusiasts, this Paris-Nice 1924 medal has survived for almost 100 years.
1926 Paris-Nice trial: The Harlette team about to weigh-in their machines.
1926 Paris-Nice trial: Sauvet on his Gnome Rhône.
1926 Paris-Nice trial: The BSA team, Messrs Lunes, Berrenger, and Vache.
1926 Paris-Nice trial:: Boulangier rode a Stella.
1926 Paris-Nice trial: Messrs Benoist and Gaston rode 175cc Thomann two-strokes.
1926 Paris-Nice trial: The Peugeot team were mounted on unit-construction 175cc two-strokes.
1926 Paris-Nice trial: Guibert and his 750cc BSA outfit.

1926: Riding a motorcycle off a cliff
It takes a certain kind of person to strap a parachute to their back, climb aboard a motorcycle and ride at full pelt off a cliff. To do so almost 100 years ago was next level crazy. British Pathé filmed Fred Osborne attempting the first ever motorcycle parachute jump from the 500ft Huntington Cliff in Los Angeles, aboard a four-pot Henderson. Without a helmet and wearing nothing but a jersey (with the slogan ‘Just Freddie’ scrawled across the back) jeans and high leather boots, the daredevil offers a nonchalant glance to the camera before accelerating to around 60mph and hitting the tiny take-off ramp. Unfortunately, someone had got their calculations wrong and his speed and the height of the cliff weren’t enough to allow for a full parachute deployment. Osborne and the Henderson plummeted to the ground below, where the bike burst into flames. Incredibly, the young man survived; telephone wires broke his fall, he was rushed to hospital and made a full recovery.

1926: Fred Osborne flew into the history books as the first motorcycling parachutist and lived to tell the tale.

The film’s well worth a look, you’ll find it at Enjoy—Ed

Memories of Yesteryear. Part 6: All You Need Is Love (and a bike)
IN MY LAST CHAPTER I ENDEAVOURED to give you a brief insight into the motorcycling world in the mid-1920s. The next chapter will continue this fascinating historical thread, starting at the beginning of the 1930s which proved to be an extremely rich period in motorcycle evolution. However, as I’m writing this just before Valentine’s Day, you’ll perhaps forgive me if I take a moment to celebrate the occasion as I attempt to bring together the two, (at times), contradictory topics of love and motorcycles. Not the easiest of topics to combine perhaps, but remember, lovers and couples associated with motorcycle are one of the many themes to be found illustrated in the history of the postcard, humorous, sentimental or otherwise, in drawings, photographs and cartoons. So please join me as we wander through time together, leafing through some of my postcard archive and turning up stories in the evolution of the postcard over the centuries.
Pre-dating the arrival of the ‘little printed card’ that was posted at one time or another, the sending of open messages actually dates back to ancient times. During the fourth millennium in Assyria, clay tablets were inscribed with messages; more recently, in the reign of Louis XIII, visiting notes were written on playing cards, traces of which can still be found in the archives of the post offices in Paris dating back to 1777.
In France, during the second half of the 19th century, glossy commercial cards were in circulation containing advertisements. These were among the first examples of marketing messages and took the form of small cards, although they had no personal aspect to them and were designed purely to sell products or advertise services.
The term ‘correspondence card’ was first used in 1869 by an Austrian called Emmanuel Hermann; to simplify the postal system he managed to convince the Austrian postal administration to use the generic term ‘correspondenz-karte’. Thus the postcard was born: a rectangle of stiff paper, printed on the front with text and space reserved for a stamp; the reverse left blank for correspondence. This shameless correspondence, open for all the world to see, was derided in France and the UK for its lack of discretion, but it sold more than 45,000 copies on its first day of publication.
In 1870 the postcard arrived in Strasbourg, which was being besieged by the German army at the start of the Franco-Prussian War. A card bearing the Red Cross stamp was circulated by the Wounded Relief Society in an attempt to allow the civilian population to communicate directly with the outside world. It is interesting to note dates on which postcards were mailed for the first time: 1870, Switzerland, Great Britain; 1871, Belgium; 1872, Russia, France; 1873, United States (stamped by the government), Romania, Japan; 1874, Germany. In 1871, Canada was the first country outside Europe to permit the use of postcards as a legitimate form of postal correspondence; only the Postal Service was licensed to issue them and the only illustration was the face of Queen Victoria. From 1873 to 1971 the postcard benefited from a lower rate than ordinary mail and the use of postcards rose in line with general literacy. French postcards remained a monopoly of the French ‘Administration des Postes’ until 1875. In that year international mailing of postcards began following the first meeting of the General Postal Union in Bern. In 1889 the first illustrated postcard appeared in France; it was called ‘La Libonis’ after its designer, Léon Charles Libonis. The Société de la Tour Eiffel published 300,000 copies during the Universal Exhibition and five different designs were sold from August 1889 (these souvenir cards of the ascent of the Eiffel Tower could be stamped at the first platform, the second or the top of the Tower). The 1900 Universal Exhibition marked an explosion in the use of postcards—production rose from 100 million in 1910 to 800 million in 1914.
The UK was slower than its continental neighbours to latch onto the possibilities of picture postcards; it was not until 1894 that the Post Office agreed to their private publication. Even after 1894, picture postcards did not immediately become a success in the UK. Early examples tended to show seaside and city views rather than subjects or themes. By 1902 however, postcards were published featuring everything from the Boer War to royal events, and in that year the Post Office allowed both address and message to be written on one side of the card, freeing up the other side for the picture. Britain thus became the first country to introduce the ‘divided’ postcard format we are familiar with today.
The decade from 1910 shows the almost journalistic role played by the postcard with the depiction of train or bus accidents, demonstrations, strikes, visits by the Head of State, official funerals, planes and balloons. All were shown, and often they pictured street scenes, panoramas and public monuments with specific traders advertising their wares posed in front of them. People were traveling more than you might expect and all of Europe was open to them. The postcard was evolving, a boom was being created linked to increased tourism. French author Georges Duhamel wrote: “The invention of the postcard did more for tourism than that of the railways.” I’m not sure that’s true, but certainly the desire to show one’s friends just where you’d been and how well travelled you were had something to do with it. All manner of greetings were sent by postcard, humorous, fantasy-themed, caricature, politically orientated and, of course, saucy. The saucier aspects of the more racy cards sometimes got publishers into trouble.
The First World War gave new impetus to the exchange of postcards as millions of men were stationed far from their families and loved ones. The illustrations were often thinly disguised state propaganda, but the correspondence itself was of course the real message. Cards posted from garrisons and convalescent homes were not subject to the same rigorous censorship as at the front so gave a lot of more detail of daily life and the morale of the troops. At the time, no publisher knew when the war would end, so we saw an evolution of captions: Campaign of 1914, War of 1914, International War, War of 1914-1915, Great War 1914-1917, Great War 1914-1918.
As if to start afresh after these terrible war years, people seemed to turn away from postcards in the 1920s. The coming together of families, growing competition from the telephone and telegraph, the use of photography in the press and the development of the motor vehicles all contributed to making the postcard an obsolescence. The economic crisis of the 1930s and the Second World War only further served to hasten the decline of the postcard throughout Europe. In the 1970s, old postcards were rediscovered and appreciated because they bear witness to a bygone era. Old trades, sites, buildings, postcards fascinate became popular among collectors and those seeking a nostalgic vision of times gone by.
Perhaps the postcard in all its outdated forms is itself a dinosaur, but at least we can touch it and gaze upon it directly without the aid of any electronic device, and in these difficult times, isn’t that what we all want…the direct touch and gaze of another and the tactility that only comes with being human?

This old Italian postcard depicts two young lovers riding a motorcycle of the imaginary brand Moto-Love, perhaps on their way to seventh heaven!
A postcard of French origin, probably printed at the beginning of the 1930s.
Journeys on two wheels in the countryside were not without danger and surprises. These early illustrations often show an animal unexpectedly crossing the path of the motorcycle, a dog chasing it, a puncture, a mechanical breakdown, or even perhaps a fall!
When you finally arrive at your destination without a hitch, what could be more romantic than a picnic in the great outdoors with your lover?
This French postcard, written in English and French dates from the Great War. The French soldier seems more interested in embracing his partner than repairing his motorcycle after hitting a tree. After all, everything seems ok. The bird is still in its nest. The tree is still firmly in place. It’s just the machine that seems to need a little attention…
Since it is impossible to translate a pun with finesse from one language to another, let’s let these two old French humorous cards speak for themselves. I’m sure you can provide your own captions…
The chicken on the right of this Belgium postcard seems to have barely escaped the passage of this couple. Note the sign on the left showing a poster presumably for a cigarette brand at a time when smoking was fashionable.
The caption of this French postcard let us know that this couple has just had an argument.
The caption asks this couple of motorcyclists if they are in a hurry to see their maker!
English postcards also represented the dangers of motorcycling.
British ladies’ outfits from days gone by were apparently not made for motorbikes.
This old English postcard proves that to claim to break down must not only be an international trick but invented from the very start of motorised transport.
Apparently, the trick of claiming to break down worked well. No need to wait for Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart to offer you a special treat…
A postcard that confirms that whatever country you live in, even when you don’t do anything wrong, the police are often around to intervene.
After the flirtation, the first dates, the first kisses, the love affairs, came the engagement followed by marriage. Then came the foundation of the family like that of the prolifically fertile couple seen above.
The legend of this French postcard displays another subtle pun, playing on nuances of mechanical terms, which I find difficult to translate into English. Horse power in all its various forms is the basis of the pun.
‘Long live freedom and camping’ recommends this French postcard.
A greetings postcard printed in Holland.
Heliogravure, a faster and less expensive process discovered in 1875 but applied to postcards only after 1918, became widespread from 1923. Printers then used trendy hues: sepia, blue, green or purple.
‘Let’s not stay old bachelors. Le’s work for re-population’ says the postcard on the right displaying the portraits of potential female conquests.Between 1914 and 1918, 2,000,000 French soldiers died in the fighting (without counting the colonials, the missing and without the figures for the Spanish flu). After the state sent its citizens to war, it now asked them to make love to re-populate the country.
The hand tinting on this card extended only to the young beauty in her sidecar.
A German postcard testifies to what the motorcycle industry of this country knew how to produce at that time.
Another postcard from West Germany.
Lambretta and Laverda, Romeo and Juliet, love is in the air in the Italian countryside.
On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, we’ll end this article with couples and motorcycles and of course a lover’s kiss.

Memories of Yesteryear. Part 7: A tribute to women on two wheels

AFTER A DIGRESSION I MADE RECENTLY on the occasion of Valentine’s Day, I had planned to come back to talk to you about the post-1925 period, picking up where I left off at the end of Part 5. Well, that’s a bust! I woke up on 8 March 2021 and the media announced it was International Women’s Day. If I hadn’t heard about it from the TV, I must admit that I would have completely passed me by. But in an effort to seek forgiveness for this omission from the fairer sex surfing this website, I will endeavour to celebrate International Women’s Day in my own way using a subject that I have had in mind for ages: women and motorcycles. I wanted my choice to include not only the most famous female motorcycling heroines, but also photos of total strangers, the illustrious and previously anonymous riders of yesterday. In this chapter we’ll discover dusty old images of these unknown ladies of yesteryear.

1905: An ‘Amazon’ riding her metal steed.
Latelle, an American stunt rider circa 1920.
The beautiful passenger on that 1904 Westfield Tricar sports a fancy hat and all the essential clothing of the time, including a veil that protected her from possible insect impacts while driving.
Beauty and the beast perhaps? The machine is a 1900 Levassor & De Boise.
In this 1905 photo the motorcycle is not stationary on the stand, but in motion. Madame’s long dress forces her to ride side saddle.
More superb hats! What do we know about this lady on the left? Not much, except that this unknown brunette photographed here in 1911 in Seattle, on a Reading Standard, is American. As for her colleague on the right, also American and photographed in 1910, she poses with a Flying Merkel.
Madame is out in the countryside with Monsieur. A beautiful day in 1911. It’s time for a motorcycle ride. She lets herself be transported by Monsieur who has to do all the work.
Another country excursion, this time Down Under. Two couples ride around on their respective combos with their wicker sidecars. One of the two husbands immortalises the moment in a photo. As you can see, at the very beginning of the last century, the big smile you want nowadays when you have your photo taken was not yet de rigueur…
… except for this very jovial and plump American lady posing in good company, in 1913, in front of two splendid Thor models. Thor produced motorcycle engines for Indian motorcycles and went on to produce its own line of machines in the early 1900s. Sales began to decline in the early 1910s (one of the factors may have been the rise of the Ford Model T). Thor stopped making motorcycle engines in 1916.
In a leafy lane of Shakespeare’s country, Madame and probably her husband are riding around in their beautiful combo made by the British manufacturer New Hudson. Founded in 1903 by George Patterson in Birmingham, the first New Hudson motorcycle was produced in 1902 but was unsuccessful. The firm stopped motorcycle production in 1932.
Madame is very chic in her summer outfit. White shirt and tie might not be the most appropriate outfit for the dusty roads of the era, but she wears the motorcycle goggles on her hat nonetheless. I like to imagine that this lady is a wealthy American landowner visiting the expanse of her domain riding her superb steel steed made in Milwaukee.
This pensive lady doesn’t seem to be having an unforgettable day. The photography does not reflect any joy or gaiety. But as everyone knows, life isn’t always fun. Fortunately, the Indian motorcycle saves the scene by illuminating the photo in all its splendour.
Now let’s go for a ride in Germany, where a smiling lady pillion of NSU motorcycle seems on the contrary to spend a pleasant moment in the company of her partner, riding on a path that one imagines meandering into the German countryside.
Are these two New Jersey beauties riding an Eagle going to fly away?
Two beauties, one human the other mechanical, photographed circa 1910 in Pennsylvania.
Her facial expression reflects pride and confidence. If the machine belongs to her, we imagine that this lady who also seems to belong to high society has above-average financial means to be able to afford to buy a machine so expensive at the time. Unfortunately, I don’t know the brand or the model.
Tea time in the forest. Madame takes care of the outdoor service.
A lady passenger in a sidecar combination which I suppose to be British judging by the Automobile Association badge on the handlebars. This society, dating from 1905, was originally founded to help motorists avoid police speed traps, in response to the Motor Car Act 1903 which introduced new penalties for breaking the speed limit, including the possibility of jail for speeding and other driving offences.
Lady on a Rudge Multi in the 1920s.
With these racing handlebars on her Harley Madame risks having to complain one day of stiffness in the back or worse of lumbago.
A ‘white squaw’ and her Indian..
Let’s conclude this episode with this splendid ‘Amazon of the desert’.

You’ll find further stories and pics of pioneer women riders,as well as an indication of the prejudice they faced, in the 1903 feature entitled Wake Up Ladies—Ed.