In Memoriam the Walter Davidson (1876-1942)

Published through Cyril Huze February 7th, 2012in Builders, Editorial and also Events.

Today, February 7th, 2012, it will be specifically seventy years that died Walter Davidson, one of the 4 founders of Harley-Davidson.

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One the my pan from Holland named Victor Willense posting a netherlands Blog called Bikermaniac and offered me the English version of a story he wrote about Walter Davidson.

“The Davidsons’ grandparents emigrated in 1857 v their eight kids from the tiny town of Brechin in northern Scotland to Milwaukee, WI USA. In Milwaukee, kid William married Margaret McFarlane. As well as William Jr., Walter and also Arthur (co-founders of Harley-Davidson), they had three various other children.

Walter Davidson started out together train technician in Kansas. In 1903 he assisted his brother Arthur and his girlfriend William Harley to build the first Harley-Davidson engine. Together test driver he accomplished numerous win in competitions and races. Walter came to be president and CEO of the Harley-Davidson company in 1907. By then, the company already had 36 employees. In 1908, Walter, quiet unknown come the public, speak his an in similar way unknown Harley-Davidson in a reliability and also economy race, wherein he scored maximum. The push was thrilled and suddenly Harley-Davidson was the number one motorcycle brand in the USA.

Walter was a charismatic businessman v an overwhelming personality, merged with humility, humor and professionalism. He was a true tycoon and his paternal mindset was admired, feared and also even hated. One of his most controversial principles was around absolute brand loyalty. Walter believed – also demanded – that all motorcycle certified dealer should exclusively sell assets of a solitary manufacturer. The rivals – including Indian, Excelsior and Cleveland – gave in under the pressure and also agreed to this hefty rule, which was cleared up in an enig meetings. In Walter’s opinion, brand loyalty meant survival. Ago then, dealers frequently disagreed and also there to be a most resistance.

Family policy was command by Walter, and though his uncompromising decisions frequently conflicted v the dealers’ and customers’ wishes, Walter always acted with the attention of the Harley-Davidson agency in mind. His personal leadership shows upon the call of Harley-Davidson. Looking ago on what has end up being of the significant names in the American motorcycle industry, one can only marvel in ~ Walter’s direct vision, so often illustrated as dumb, stubborn and also dishonest. He was an impeccable perfectionist, a guy with a vision and a future. Background has proven him right.

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Walter Davidson passed away of exhaustion and also liver ailment. That was among the most influential personalities in the American motorcycle industries. He held positions within the AMA and also was likewise a member the several various other companies. Precisely seventy years earlier – on February 7th, 1942 Walter Davidson passed far at the age of 66.