A superb and rare photo of the 1915 Merkel V-twin factory motorcycle. The Merkel Motor Company was founded by Joseph Merkel in Milwaukee (Wisconsin) in 1902. He started out by producing single cylinder motorcycles. Merkel was among the most innovative of the pioneer motorcycle companies. By 1905 Merkel had decided to engage in competition, and produced several racing machines. Merkel's motorcycles were to set many performance standards during the emerging American racing scene. These machines and their riders enabled Merkel to develop a patented spring front fork that was to become the forerunner of the modern telescopic front fork. This fork became the instrument of choice on racing machines of other builders. Also Merkel developed a monoshock rear suspension, which was incredibly advanced for its age. Merkel's slogan became: "All roads are smooth to The Flying Merkel". Merkel also used ball bearings as opposed to bronze bushings in the engine. In contrast to primitive atmospheric pressure intake valves, Merkel designed his own camshaft operated valve operation system. Merkel also pioneered with his design of a throttle-controlled engine oiler, that long preceded Harley's and Indian's use of such a device. The company was purchased in 1909 by the Light Manufacturing Company, and was moved in its entirety to Pottstown Pennsylvania, producing machines with the "Merkel Light" and subsequently "The Flying Merkel" names. Joseph Merkel began immediately experimenting with frame and suspension improvements, and new engine designs. A young test rider by the name of Maldwyn Jones rode one of Merkel's creations. An inventive mechanic and racer, Jones set up the bike and defeated the reigning champion Erwin G (Cannonball) Baker in a ten mile race. The following season, Jones turned professional and won three of four races on a machine bearing "The Flying Merkel" logo on the tank. Jones went on to become a national champion racer and helped Merkel achieve recognition among performance enthusiasts. In 1911 the Miami Cycle Manufacturing Company purchased Merkel, and production was moved to Middletown Ohio. The Miami Company, organized in 1895, was building bicycles and Motorcycles using names best known as Raycycle, and Miami. The Merkel acquisition gave Miami the high-end product that it needed to be regarded as a premiere manufacturer. The factory racing team by then expanded to include such names as LS Taylor, FE French, CF Pinneau, and W Wikel. In 1914 The flying Merkel won the National endurance run from Chicago to St Louis. Maldwyn Jones then broke a world's record on the Vanderbilt Course. When he returned to Middletown he was given a hero's welcome. Engineering innovation, high quality, and racing successes were not enough to sustain this progressive endeavor. The onset of war and, a contracting market, and increased competition caused production of The Flying Merkel to falter. The final Merkel machines were produced in 1917. This non period photo reflects a very interesting and historic piece of motorcycling and Flying Merkel history. Therefore it is printed in a nice large format of ca. 6" x 12" (ca. 16 x 30 cm). Check out our sales or contact us for more motorcycle (racing) photos! Shipping costs will only be $ 7.00 regardless of how many photos you buy. For 5 or more photos, shipping is free! (Note: A. Herl, Inc. does not appear on photo, for purposes only) No copyright expressed or implied. Sold as collectable item only. We are clearing out our archives that we have gathered from various sources. All items always sent well protected in PVC clear files and board backed envelopes. We have photographs that came from professional collections and/or were bought from the original photographer or press studio! They are all of professional and excellent quality. After many decades of professionally collecting photographs and posters we are clearing out our archives. They make the perfect gift and are perfectly suited for framing. They will look gorgeous unframed and will be a true asset nicely framed with a border. They are a gorgeous and great asset in every home, workshop, workplace, restaurant, bar or club! First come - first served. And you can always contact us for your requests. Please ask any questions before the sale ends.