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Thread: Indian motorcycle name change

  1. #1
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    Default Indian motorcycle name change

    I wonder how long it will be before some of these wackos will want the Indian motor cycle name changed because it may upset a certain group of people? Stan

  2. #2
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    wonder how they came up with the name indian in the first place?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan View Post
    I wonder how long it will be before some of these wackos will want the Indian motor cycle name changed because it may upset a certain group of people? Stan
    The name should be ok, but I wonder how the company will act or gives in when another race, other than an American Indian tribe, will grump about it. A lot of my family are Eastern Woodland American Indian and they do not care. I still say them and do not include me. Lol They are all conservatives.
    Last edited by ryan; 07-20-2020 at 06:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    I say the more appropriate name for the current models produced is POLARIAN, (which is not to offend anyone of Polish heritage!)
    As for the genuine, real and historic Springfield models, leave it alone and let it be! There was nothing at all offensive then or now.
    Same for Chicago hockey and Cleveland and Atlanta baseball teams. (Just my 2 bits)
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrawford View Post
    I say the more appropriate name for the current models produced is POLARIAN, (which is not to offend anyone of Polish heritage!)
    As for the genuine, real and historic Springfield models, leave it alone and let it be! There was nothing at all offensive then or now.
    Same for Chicago hockey and Cleveland and Atlanta baseball teams. (Just my 2 bits)
    John
    I agree, the name paid great homage to the American Indian people.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cscott View Post
    wonder how they came up with the name indian in the first place?
    Do not read the website Quora, he has things all wrong about American Indians and how they got the name. India got their name India centuries after Columbus called the peoples of first contact, the Indio people, meaning children of God. Just wanted to get that part straightened up and the American Indian prefers to be called just that bc everyone born in the western hemisphere is a native American. Next time someone says, we are all immigrants, ask them what country they were born in.
    A little oft track, but I thought it needed to be said.
    I am not sure why Hendee named his bicycle or his "Motocycle" Indian.

  7. #7
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    After reading the post from cscott wondering how the name INDIAN came about I looked in my copy of The Iron Redskin, by Harry Sucher. Sucher is regarded as the premier authority on the history of the iconic marquee. His research is legendary, and if anyone would know, it would be Harry. Here's what I found...

    On page 25, near the top of the page it states, "The trade name of INDIAN was selected by the founders as that best typifying a wholly American product in the pioneer tradition." The actual name of the founding company was "The Hendee Manufacturing Company". Later, with the reorganization of the company in 1923, after many years of declining sales and loss of revenue, the Board of Directors met in November of 1923 and formally renamed the company "INDIAN MOTOCYCLE COMPANY", replacing the name Hendee Manufacturing Company, which had operated since 1901, when first organized by Hendee and Hedstrom. (pg. 143). Further noting, the continuing speculation throughout the years the reason for dropping the "r" from the word motorcycle in the company name. According to company records of the Board's action, this was done to avoid any possible legal action arising from any patent infringments, which in the early days of auto and motoccycle manufactures. INDIAN became a publicly offered stock, ipo @ $25/share. It was rumored (but never validated) that Pierre S. duPont had underwritten the initial public offering. (pg. 143et,al.) According to Sucher, there was a serious battle for financial control of many of the fledgling automobile and motorcycle manufactures throughout the troubling times of the early twenties.

    There's a whole lot more in this wonderful book. Considered the bible of the famous brand, this book is filled with legendary hero's exploits and accurate data of historical records. There is even a picture of the LosAngeles 45 Motorcycle Club on a "Steak Run" to Camp Comfort in Ojai, Ca. in Aug, 1932. (pg.232) That park is in my immediate neighborhood, about 4 miles from where I live. A very beautiful county park, with lots of shady oak trees. I can certainly imagine why the guys would ride up to Ojai from L.A. to enjoy a beautiful day of riding, and a big steak dinner !! I ride by that park 2-3 times a week just to decompress from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Such a blessing where I live. Ojai is a native Indian word for "Shangrla", and this place is very much a paradise around here. (even though its here in California, I'm not leaving anytime soon. Can't get any closer to heaven than this. I digress...

    Hope this answers cscott's inquiry. There's magic in the name "Indian" C2K

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan View Post
    Columbus called the peoples of first contact, the Indio people, meaning children of God.
    That's simply wrong, and illustrates the problem of using the internet as a source of information.

    As for "The Iron Redskin," I agree it's an excellent book. It's just too bad he chose that title when he wrote it over 40 years ago. There are a number of terms for various ethnic and religious groups that were common, widely used across society, and seemingly acceptable years ago that are now recognized as racist and offensive today. At least, recognized by most people. However, if someone doesn't accept this, nothing I write is likely to change their mind so I'll step away from this discussion.

  9. #9
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    Anything written by Harry Sucher must be subject to peer review; which he didn't always seek. George Hendee made the Indian bicycle before he and Oscar Hedstrom developed their motorcycle. All of this is very well documented in Don Emde's fantastic (and currently available) book "The Speed Kings" as advertised in our club magazine, with a discount for AMCA members. Members need to support historians, researchers, and authors who often do this at a financial, and personal time loss because they love this stuff as much as we do. A lot of valuable information has come to light since Harry wrote his Indian, and H-D books.
    Last edited by exeric; 07-21-2020 at 06:29 PM.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    Anything written by Harry Sucher must be subject to peer review;
    Don Emde's fantastic (and currently available) book "The Speed Kings" as advertised in our club magazine,
    Members need to support historians, researchers, and authors who often do this at a financial, and personal time loss because they love this stuff as much as we do.
    A lot of valuable information has come to light since Harry wrote his Indian, and H-D books.
    +1 I completely agree with everything you wrote.

    On the subject of books, I recently completed a "Selected Bibliography" for a motorcycle book https://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-De...5374921&sr=8-1 I'm co-authoring in conjunction with 'The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire' exhibition https://blog.qagoma.qld.gov.au/the-m...ect-of-desire/ that will open at QAGOMA in Brisbane, Australia on November 28.

    In selecting books to represent individual brands, sometimes it was difficult because, although there might have been only three or four books for a given lesser marque, all of them are comprehensive, well-written, well-researched, well-documented histories. However, in the case of Indian and Harley-Davidson, although there are literally hundreds of books, it was difficult because very few are anything more than seemingly-random collections of photographs tied together with words that often are pulled out of the air rather than based on any sort of research or documentation.

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