The Henderson Motorcycle Marque – Comment from C. O’Marra about c. 1927 photo at Etobicoke Creek

Radial bridge over Highway 2 (now Lake Shore Blvd. West) approximately 1927. Photo © Durance family and Robert Lansdale

I’ve recently mentioned that Jim Carr had Googled the logo in the photo and had found Henderson Brothers. I’ve placed half a dozen books on motorcycle history on hold at the Toronto Public Library and look forward to reading more about Henderson Brothers.

I’m very pleased, in the meanwhile, to share with you the following comment from C. M. O’Marra:

Re: The 1927 photo of the radial bridge  – I did a little digging and
found a site called The Henderson Motorcycle Marque. The Detroit-made
motorbike,called the Rolls-Royce of bikes, was certainly the
brainchild of the Henderson brothers but Excelsior bought up the
business. Thus the capital X under Henderson’s eagle. The bike rider
was a Highway Traffic Officer(HTO) and I suspect the gents with HTO
arm-bands were part of some ceremony that day at the bridge. The older
man could be a reeve or an HTO rep. The third man seems to be
polishing the handle bars. The ladies may have just randomly posed for
the presentation. This bike was the preferred patrol of U.S. Police
departments during Prohibition.Plenty of illegal booze was brought
across the lake to Port Credit Harbour so the HTOs were pretty
busy. (C. M. O’Marra)


I am so very pleased to be learning more details about this photo. When I first encountered the photo I was taken by the body language of the subjects. The young woman appears to be enjoying the process of checking out the seating on the bike. Someone, perhaps the photographer, has just said something funny making people smile.

I like the concept that the women may have just randomly posed for the occasion. Which in turn brings to mind the role of the photographer. I’m delighted a person was at hand with a camera that sunny day.

The person with the police officer’s hat has a characteristic pose and smile. The man next to the police officer has a demeanour that denotes a sense of authority. Each posture tells a story. Together so many elements make for a great photograph.

Some details regarding the Henderson Brothers motorcycle can be found here.


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