Murphy Auto Museum Features Early American Motorcycle Display

The Murphy Auto Museum is always a fun place to visit with it collection of over 40 classic cars, vintage clothing and model railroad on display. Now there's another reason to visit. They currently have an early American motorcycles display in the museum. An Excelsior, Thor, Pope, and a red Indian. Also 3 scooters, Lambreta, Vespa and a Sears. On display until April. Go check it out!

From Wikipedia: Pope Manufacturing Company was founded by Albert Augustus Pope in Hartford, CT. The company began with the introduction of the "Columbia High Wheeler" bicycle in 1878. Until 1896, Pope was the leading US producer of bicycles. It wasn’t until 1911 that Pope mounted an engine on a bicycle and began to manufacture motorcycles.  

The Pope motorcycle was high end. Selling for around $250 [about the price of a Model T], the Pope was more expensive than a Harley Davidson or an Indian motorcycle. But the Pope was also a bike technologically ahead of its time. When most motorcycles were built with flathead engines, the Pope was powered by a 1000 cc, V-Twin, with overhead valves. This engine ran a three-speed transmission equipped with both hand and foot clutch. Inspired by his bicycles, the Pope featured a chain drive for the first time in 1918, while most manufacturers were still using belts.  With World War I raging, Pope turned to war production in 1918, and motorcycle production was quickly phased out.