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Louis Simon

Also Known as: Lewis Simon

Born:
Bessarabia, Russia 1884

Died:
New York, New York 1970

Biography

Louis Simon, a champion motorcycle racer, opened his motorcycle sales and repair shop in 1912 on Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn. Inspired by his love of racing, Simon invented many solutions to cycling problems for which he earned several patents.

He carved his first figure of a boy riding a bicycle in 1922 when he began selling and repairing bicycles. As a public announcement of his new inventory, Simon attached the sign high on the exterior wall of his shop. He added a motor to make the wheel revolve and the legs move up and down.

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection in the National Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C. and London: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990)