Exposed! Harley-Davidson’s
Lost Photographs, 1915-1916

A selection of images from the exhibit, plus additional never-before-seen photographs and a behind-the-scenes look at processing the negatives.

The 1910s were changing times for an emerging company. Motorcycles, photography and the city of Milwaukee were all evolving rapidly, and a Harley-Davidson company photographer was there to document it. Images were used in company marketing campaigns to showcase new models, and document important events. Even though this work-for-hire had a practical purpose, the photographer behind the camera used an artistic eye and personal perspective to capture the moment.

The cameras of the era were large and heavy, recording images onto glass plates. The following photographs have been produced from 5” x 7” negatives previously thought lost. Exposed! showcases a selection of photographs shot in 1915-1916 that provide a time capsule of the growth and progress of a young company. For the first time in nearly a century, these pictures are revealed uncropped, in a size and clarity that would truly amaze the person who took them.

Save 10% on Images from the EXPOSED! Exhibit. Use promo code 0101 at checkout to get your Member discount.

  • Welcome to Exposed!

    Membership Manager Tami Greene welcomes you to the online gallery, Curator Amy Gnadt talks about how the genesis of the Exposed! exhibit.

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  • A Rare Find

    Bill Jackson, Manager of Archives and Heritage Services, explains the historic importance of the Exposed! photos and the value of this acquisition.

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  • Connected Through the Lens

    Milwaukee photographer Tom Fritz and restoration specialist Fred Fischer describe their link to the Exposed! photographer and the direction they took in honoring him and his work.

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  • Repairing A Broken Negative

    Fred Fischer describes the delicate art of digitally repairing broken antique glass plate negatives, a task once considered undoable.

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  • A Few of Our Favorites

    During the restoration process the members of the Archives staff found themselves drawn to particular images. Here are our personal favorites.

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  • Birth of A New Art

    Sports photography was relatively unknown in 1915. Tom Fritz and Fred Fischer explain how the Exposed! photographer helped create a new art.

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  • The Races at Dodge City

    This 1916 competition was a pivotal moment for the Harley-Davidson racing team. Vehicle Collection Specialist Bill Rodencal tells why.

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