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Simonson Cycle Co. Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-1074

Scope and Content

The collection consists of albums and loose photographs of motorcycles, motorcycle rides and events, and motorcyclists. Most photos are taken around Albuquerque and New Mexico, however, several trips to California and El Paso are also documented.

Albuquerque photos include Al Simonson, Simon Cycle Co., and members of the Albuquerque Motorcycle Club. Local rides, rides around New Mexico, and competitions are well documented. Popular NM destinations include the Volcanoes, Bernalillo, La Bajada, Santa Fe, Jemez, Elephant Butte, Madrid, and Belen. Photographs show the joys and challenges of riding on rough roads, in the snow and mud, pushing motorcycles up steep hills, flat tires and breakdowns.


  • 1910-1969

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.

Background Information

Carl and Malena Simonson moved to Albuquerque from Iowa in the mid 1910s. He and his brother-in-law, S. O. Danielson bought Albuquerque Novelty Works on south 2nd Street in approximately 1916. They sold Indian Motorcycles, bicycles, sporting goods, gasoline, and other products. The business changed its name to Simonson & Danielson Indian Motorcycle in circa 1922, and then to Simonson Cycle Co. in approximately 1925. Carl passed away in 1929, leaving the business to Malena and their son, Al.

Al graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1921. The following year, he made a motorcycle trip to the Indian factory in Springfield, MA, on dirt roads until he got to Chicago. Al photo-documented many of his motorcycle trips with friends, around New Mexico (Jemez, La Bajada, Elephant Butte) and to California in the 1920s and 30s. They were members of the Albuquerque Motorcycle Club (Indian Motorcycle Club; Duke City Cyclists) and participated in club-sanctioned rides, races, hill-climbs, and so-called "Gypsy" tours in the Albuquerque area and around New Mexico.

Simonson Cycle Co. (on S. 2nd St. in Albuquerque) sold Indian, Henderson, Excelsior, Cleveland motorcycles as well as Columbia bicycles and a variety of sporting goods in the early years. In the late 1940s, they gave up Indian and took on Triumph. Later, Simonson sold the Triumph dealership to take on Honda. By 1969, Simonson had sold the business, which was then located on San Pedro NE, near the Fairgrounds. Al Simonson died on May 13, 1989.


1559 items (2 boxes) : 1559 photographs


The collection consists of albums and loose photographs of motorcycles, motorcycle rides and events, and motorcyclists, mostly in and around Albuquerque and New Mexico.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number

Separated Material

Photographs were separated from Simonson Cycle Co. Records.
Finding Aid of the Simonson Cycle Co. Photograph Collection, 1910-1969
B. Silbergleit
© 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131