Simplex Manufacturing Corporation records, 1921-1990 | Louisiana Research Collection

By Jane Ball

Collection Overview

Title: Simplex Manufacturing Corporation records, 1921-1990

ID: LaRC/Manuscripts Collection 1070

Primary Creator: Simplex Manufacturing Corporation.

Extent: 1.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection consists of 1 box and 1 oversize folder. It is 0.25 linear foot.

Date Acquired: 02/22/2012

Forms of Material: Advertisements., Drafts (documents)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Simplex Manufacturing Corporation collection includes original drafts and designs of motorcycle parts, records of orders, advertisements from magazines and newspapers, a history of the Servi-Cycle by Gary L. Wollard, and original company promotional material. The corporation began production of the Simplex Servi-Cycle in 1935 and ceased production in 1960. The motorcycles were sold both in the United States and abroad. The company was the only one to produce motorcycles in Louisiana and the South at the time. The United States military used the bikes during WWII. Once the company stopped making motorcycles, Simplex dabbled in other small engine machines such as scooters and go-karts until closing down.

Biographical Note

J. Paul Treen was an inventor and innovator from Louisiana. He started the Simplex Manufacturing Company and ran it once he bought out the other investors. Before Simplex, he sold Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Treen pitched two ideas to Harley-Davidson: the kickstand and the lightweight motorcycle. Harley-Davidson bought the kickstand idea from him but ignored the lightweight motorcycle idea. Treen left Harley-Davidson and started Simplex Manufacturing Corporation in the late 1920s. Treen started initiatives such as air-conditioning his factory and playing music over the intercom in order to improve worker conditions and increase productivity. J. Paul Treen’s son David Treen worked for the company for some years.

Administrative Information

Repository: Louisiana Research Collection

Alternate Extent Statement: 0.25 linear foot

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Acquisition Source: Leslie Wollard

Acquisition Method: Gift

Preferred Citation: Simplex Manufacturing Corporation records, Manuscripts Collection 1070, Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118.

Processing Information: Collection processed in 2012 by CPS intern Jane Ball.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Oversize folder 1],

Box 1
Simplex Manufacturing Corporation.
Folder 1: Servi-Cycle advertisements and articles
Folder 2: Original design sketches for Servi-Cycle parts
Folder 3: Historical Simplex papers
Includes an original promotional booklet for Servi-Cycles and a Servi-Cycle History Book by Gary L. Wollard.
Oversize folder 1
Contains original and copies of design sketches of Servi-Cycle parts and large advertisements.

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