From the age of the Vikings to the settlers of the New Sweden Colony (1638-1655), to contemporary issues in Scandinavian society, the American Swedish Historical Museum will take you back in time and across the sea to learn the stories of Swedes in America.

Indian Nation: Indian Motorcycles and America

Did you know that a Swedish-American engineered the first American motorcycle? It happened in 1901 when Carl Oscar Hedstrom (1871-1960), a Swedish immigrant and machinist, and George Hendee (1866-1943), an American bicycle racer and builder, founded the “Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company”. The two met in 1899 and developed their plan to form a company and produce their own “moto-cycle.” They chose “Indian” as the company name, signifying an entirely American product.

Indian Nation: Indian Motorcycles and America featured rare Indian motorcycles from many eras, including a restored 1903 single engine Indian, a 1911 experimental prototype that Hedstrom and his friend, Ben “The Terrible Swede” Swenson, personally worked on a 1916 power plus with sidecar, a 1947 Indian Chief, plus engines, historic photos, racing memorabilia, and much, much more!

Exhibition no longer on display.

American Swedish Historical Museum - Indian Nation