Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Keating Wheel Company

The Keating Wheel Company (KWC) started in 1893 in Holyoke, Massachusetts building high end bicycles. The company relocated to Middletown, Connecticut in 1897, still building bicycles and attempting to get into the motorized age. KWC built horseless wagons with little success.

In 1901, KWC built their first motorcycle/motor bicycle, and was rumored to be running the streets of Middletown. In addition, KWC rented out their tool room to Oscar Headstrom and George Hendee in 1901, and the first Indian Motocycle was born. The Indian Motocycle closely copied the 1901 Keating, minus the camelback fuel tank.

KWC closed the factory doors in 1903 as the Eisenhuth Horseless Vehicle Company had taken over. In 1917 KWC sued the Harley Davidson Motor Company for misuse of trade patents. The first three trade patents on the Harley Davidson patent decal belonged to the KWC. Harley Davidson was found liable, and paid royalties for the continued use of the trade patents.

Around 1982, KWC was resurrected, originally as a way to obtain information on the original company.

Today they specialize in unrestored original paint motorcycles, some restoration, and period motorcycle memorabilia and parts.   http://keatingwheelcompany.com/aboutus.html

Keating relocated to this factory in Middletown, Ct. in 1897

A man on a Keating Bicycle riding east on Essex street in Holyoke circa 1895.

A Keating Bicycle that was recently up for auction on Ebay.

 Keating advertisement on a Rest Stop Building at Ashley Reservoir in the mid 1890s. (photo courtesy of the Kenneth Haarmen Collection)

                                                       Keating adverstisement circa 1900.

Keating Ladies' Bicycle advertisement 1895.

Keating Bicycle advertisement 1893.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting.