Orie Steele in action, throttle on and ready to top the hill.

Erle Armstrong on the outside.
 (left in photo)
You can’t get much closer than this at “Eighty Plus” miles per hour.

Bob Armstrong
Muskegon, Michigan
He may have been the best hill-climber ever!

Factory Photo
 8 Valve, Model H 61 Cu. In
Johnny Seymour 1920

Fritzie Baer on his 1923 Indian
 in Clinton, Massachusetts.

Sample Page

"Red” Armstrong, left, and "ReckIess” Vernon, right, with their
"Cylinder of Death.”
A wooden cylinder with spruce slats three inches apart, 19 feet in diameter, and 12’ feet high, along with two 61 cubic inch “ported” motorcycles and two daredevil riders attired in spangled costume, were the ingredients of one of the most hair raising vaudeville acts ever to tour the old time “three-a-day” circuit. Conceived in the brain of “Red" Armstrong, who was also one of the performers, this act toured  the country in top billing, in the company with such greats of the theatre, as Eddie Cantor, and Weber and Fields.

The act consisted of riding the inside of the cylinder with two riders going in opposite directions - blindfolded! Traffic was controlled by a "ringmaster” who sounded a shrill blast on a whistle if the top man approached the open apex of the cylinder, and two blasts if he came too low. This early day “sonar” system worked out fine until one night in Frisco when the whistle failed! “Red” remembers riding right out of the top of the contrivance and soaring off into the wings in an unscheduled exit! He was right back in the next performance despite a somewhat damaged big toe - his only “souvenir” of the accident!

Erle Armstrong with Cort Edwards
Notice the excellent condition of the “boards”.
This track must have been brand new!

1929 Bob Armstrong packed up and ready to go hill-climbing.  Picture taken adjacent to the factory in Winchester Square, Springfield, MA.

60-year-old Butch racing his Vintage 1928 Indian Scout


Home | About Us | Photo's | Contact Us | Book Store | Coming Soon

A Century of Motorcycling

PO Box 115
Monson, MA 01057