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Sears Belt-Drive 1910

The museum identified this motorcycle simply as a "1910 Sears Belt-Drive." My guess — as an uneducated motorcycle fan — is that it is a 1910 Sears Auto Cycle USA 4 HP. Sears sold motorcycles under the Sears brand from 1909-1916. The base price for this bike was $169. You could get a spring fork for an additional $10. In 1909, Sears sold single-cylinder motorcycles manufactured by Thiem. The Sears advertisements at the time gave the impression that Sears manufactured the motorcycles, but the ads showed a completely stock Thiem. In the ads, Sears referred to "our motors" and "our frames" and stated, "We have incorporated the very latest improvements." Bikers "in the know" found the ads humorous, but first-time buyers and/or rural customers were usually unaware of the Thiem origins. Customers could pay for the motorcycles on an installment plans, which allowed many low-pay workers to buy their first vehicle. ———————————————————————————————————————— Richard Warren Sears was a railroad station agent in North Redwood, Minnesota when he received an impressive shipment of watches from a Chicago jeweler which were unwanted by a local jeweler. Sears purchased them himself, sold the watches for a tidy profit to other station agents up and down the line, and then ordered more for resale. Soon he started a business selling watches through mail order catalogues. The next year, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he met Alvah C. Roebuck, who joined him in the business. In 1893, the corporate business name became Sears, Roebuck and Co. The first Sears catalogue was published in 1888. By 1894, the Sears catalog had grown to 322 pages. Sears, Roebuck and Co. soon developed a reputation for both quality products and customer satisfaction. By 1895, the company was producing a 532-page catalog with the largest variety of items that anybody back then could have thought of. Sears sold cars from 1905-1915 that were built by Lincoln Motor Car Works of Chicago — no relation to Ford Motor Company's Lincoln brand. On November 17, 2004, Kmart purchased Sears. At the time of the purchase, Kmart Holdings Corporation changed its name to Sears Holdings Corporation. 20090917_0798a1_800x600


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Date Listed: 4 Dec 2013

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