On Oct. 18, the Harley-Davidson Museum opened “Exposed! Harley-Davidson’s Lost Photographs, 1915-1916.” This new exhibit features 59 Harley-Davidson company photographs from a collection of more than 400 glass plate negatives. The fragile, five-inch by seven-inch glass plate negatives were discovered last year in storage at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. They were used to produce remarkably high-quality prints of employee portraits, staged images for marketing materials, photos of the 1916 Harley-Davidson racing team and more.
The Exposed! exhibit provides a glimpse back in time and illustrates the growth and progression of Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s early years as it expanded its reach through advertising, racing and connecting with its riders. In addition, several of these photographs are believed to represent some of the earliest techniques of capturing moving imagery.
This first-time exhibition of these rare photographs will run through Jan. 1, 2014, on the bridge between the Museum and Archives buildings. The Museum is also making the images available for purchase on Harley-Davidson Images where they can be reproduced on a variety of media.