Starting a new project is one of the most exciting things in my world. There is so much to learn and always interesting challenges along the way. This book has the working title of IRON HORSE COWGIRLS: Women Motorcyclists of the 1930s and 1940s. Many years ago I “inherited” an extensive collection of vintage snapshots. The photos had been taken and collected by an early woman biker named Louise Scherbyn. Louise loved everything about riding and motorcycles. She not only founded Women’s International Motorcycle Association (WIMA), but she was a great collector of motorcycle paraphernalia, much of which is currently at the Indian Motorcycle Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts.
These 600+ photos have been in my possession for a long time but I confess to never having really looked at them all until I decided to put this book together. Notice the junior Iron Horse Cowgirl above? You can tell that she is wistfully dreaming of the day she’ll be able to ride off by herself into the sunset.
This is one of my favorite photos of the collection, maybe because it’s “colorized.” This women’s motorcycle club was called the “Tag-a-Longs.” Is that because they tended to tag along with the boys on rides? And whatever happened to Jodhpurs? They made so much sense for riders of all types. I covet the boots. Goggles and aviator caps were the precursors to today’s helmets, but it worked for them. Strong, courageous and beautiful women!
Many of the photos show what city and town life was like back then. I’m working to include some historical detail, like the WPA, the War in Europe, bombing of Pearl Harbor and World War II as well as some other facts of the era.
It’s so interesting to let these photos tell me their stories. My job is to allow this to happen. Oh, and to build my audience on social media. But that’s a whole other blog!