By 1904 the American motorcycle manufacturing landscape was full of players. Harry Geer was active and inventive in St Louis, Missouri. Shopping his motorcycle parts catalog, you could buy a complete motorcycle, a kit of engine castings ready for machining, or any components like hubs, frame castings and tubing, seats or handlebars. Geer was one of hundreds of component suppliers that helped early motorcycle builders construct their unique designs in small mass production shops.
The single-cylinder Blue Bird, and related V-Twin Green Egg were actually fairly complete motorcycles Geer purchased wholesale from established manufacturers. The Mitchell motorcycle, made by Wisconsin Wheel Works, was the basis of the Blue Bird, though Harry used different sheet metal parts. The frame is unusual in that it’s both a loop and diamond design combined and appears very strong for this period. The engine, with a primer cup, is low and to the front, yet there’s good structure around the pedal crank. Lighting is acetylene, a self contained headlight unit.
By this time Indian motorcycles had been produced for less than two years and incorporated more dependable, more expensive chain final drive. Both of Harry’s machines, at this point, were belt drive as were Harley-Davidsons until 1912. Geer started out selling bicycles, was active with motorcycles and parts from about 1902 to 1911.
When you visit the National Motorcycle Museum before it closes September 4 you can take in the Early American Transportation INNOVATION exhibit, Geer catalog copies and this Blue Bird. Watch for information on the Mecum Auctions website, Mecum.com, motorcycles and memorabilia from the John Parham Estate Collection, all auctioned at the National Motorcycle Museum, Anamosa, Iowa, September 6 – 9, 2023. For schedule information, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder for this and all Mecum events, visit Mecum.com, or call (262) 275-5050 for more information.
- Engine: Geer #2, Inlet Over Exhaust
- Bore & Stroke: 3.5 Inch x 4 Inch
- Displacement: 38.5 Cubic Inches, 631 cc’s
- Lubrication: Total Loss / Gravity Feed
- Ignition: Battery, Points & Coil
- Carburetor: Schebler (or Kingston)
- Horsepower: 4HP
- Final Drive: Belt
- Saddle: Messenger Type
- Starting: Pedal Crank
- Brake: Coaster Brake
- Lighting: Acetylene
- Frame: Lugged Steel Tubing, Loop
- Wheels/Tires: 2.0 x 28” / 2.0 x 28”
- Suspension: Rigid Front & Rear, Sprung Seat
- Wheelbase: 55 Inches
- Weight: 140 Pounds