William S. Harley

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Bill Harley was sometimes described as the 'fourth Davidson', so close was his working relationship with the three brothers. He was a boyhood friend of Arthur Davidson in particular, and the two hared a passion for the new internal combustion engine. William was trained as a draftsman, so he was instrumental in designing, not only the first Harley-Davidson, but also the bikes in the first 30 years. Naturally enough, he became chief engineer. Bill Harley was a quiet and introverted man, but like the eldest Davidson, he was also a lover of the outdoors and later developed a talent for sketching wildlife as much as for shooting it. He died in September 1943, aged 66.