Friday, January 30, 2015

"The Motorcycle Magazine" Found ! !

George A. Wyman is credited with the first transcontinental crossing of America using a motorized vehicle.  He began his historic journey on May 16, in San Francisco, CA and arrived in New York City on July 6, 1903.   See American Motorcyclist Association  Motorcycle Hall of Fame
The account of his historic journey was published in "The Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review" and "The Motorcycle Magazine" between April and November, 1903.  The Smithsonian Libraries has digitized via Internet and made available the Bicycling World articles but not the five articles written by Wyman and published in "The Motorcycle Magazine" Jun-Oct, 1903.  There were historically significant articles about Wyman’s journey published in follow on issues of “The Motorcycle Magazine”, in subsequent months.  Specifically, the November issue contains an important article written by A. Nichols Jarvis on “The Merit of Wyman’s Performance.  “The Motorcycle Magazine” ceased publication circa 1906.  Both “The Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review” and “The Motorcycle Magazine” were published by The Goodman Company, from the Tribune Building, New York City, NY.

The George A. Wyman Memorial Project has located the complete volume 1 (1903/1904) and volume 2, number 1 (1904/1905)  collection of the  "The Motorcycle Magazine" at Yale University Library:  Call Number: UTL1 M67
These publications are rare and to date only one other set of the original Wyman articles published in “The Motorcycle Magazine” has been found.  Those were in the private collection of Herb Glass who, in 1979, allowed the publishers of “Road Rider Magazine” to transcribe and republish the entire series of articles.  Today, even that August 1979 issue of “Road Rider Magazine” is a rare find.  It has not been digitized to our knowledge.  The Wyman Memorial Project has secured a copy of the August, 1979 “Road Rider Magazine.” 
After the original publication of Wyman’s journey in 1903 the world literally forgot this historical event, for over 70 years.   If it were not for the efforts of Roger Hull, publisher of “Road Rider Magazine,” the Wyman story could well have been lost forever.  See a transcription of the FORWARD that accompanied the August 1979 issue of “Road Rider Magazine” to see just how fragile the historical memory of the Wyman journey was, even among the motorcycle print media. 

The Wyman Memorial Project has contacted the Yale University Library and the Microsoft mass digitization project to get the entire Yale collection of “The Motorcycle Magazine” digitized and published using Internet Reader facility similar to the one used by Internet Archive and Open Library Reader.   If not the entire collection, volume 1 & 2, then the June, July, August, September, October and November, 1903 issues that contain all the articles relating to George A. Wyman.
The Wyman Memorial Project is dedicated to keeping the Wyman story alive.  Getting the original publications of the Wyman account available for all via the internet is very important to the over 60,000 members of the Iron Butt Association, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Riders" who consider George A. Wyman the first Long-Distance Motorcycle Rider. 

The George A. Wyman Memorial Project is an educational and historic preservation non-profit organization.   We hope the Yale University Library and Microsoft mass digitization project see the merit of our mission and will help ensure the original accounts of Wyman’s historic saga live on. 


  1. While I am sure Mr. Wyman saw a lot of sage in those fifty days, none of it was probably very historic.... You've misspelled saga in that final sentence I believe. I love this story. Keep up the great work.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Tim Cagle Mr. Wyman was the FIRST person to go on a transcontinental ride on a motorbike.. which is and was an historical event( which is why his bike rests even now in a museum in san francisco )even if you don't recognize it as such.