by: Danielle Dumont
stored in: General

Ever wonder why the Huffman Historic Area has a bike in its logo? Sure, the Huffman family manufactured bicycles, but did you know that first they manufactured sewing machines?

Huffman logo with bike (left). Imagined logo with sewing machine (right)

Huffman logo with bike (left). Imagined logo with sewing machine (right)

William P. Huffman was a banking and real estate magnate in Dayton. He founded the Second National Bank, the Third Street Railway, and several other businesses. In the mid-1800s, as he began to develop what is now the Huffman Historic neighborhood on the east side of town, he looked to also expand his economic enterprises.

In 1889 he purchased the Davis Sewing Machine Company in Watertown, NY, and moved it to Dayton, along with about 50 employees who became residents of the Huffman neighborhood. On Huffman Avenue he built a large factory, including a blacksmith shop and foundry.

A few years later, Davis Sewing Machine Co. added bicycle manufacturing to its operations. This tradition was continued by William Huffman’s grandson, Horace, when he later founded the Huffman Manufacturing Company. This company made bicycles beginning in the 1930s (many for the U.S. armed services), and subsequently under the Huffy brand name.

So, the bicycle is the main symbol of our revitalized neighborhood, not the sewing machine. Perhaps the bicycle has more affinity with Dayton because the Wright Brothers also tinkered with them. When our neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, a bicycle must have seemed a fitting sign of both history and progress.

3 Responses to “Huffman Historic bicycle logo”

  1. Joanie Amato Spain Says:

    I attended the Greater Dayton Ad Assoc meeting today. The speaker was a VP/Account Exec from Crispin Porter + Bogusky. As any good account exec, he really did his homework on Dayton and our history of invention and innovation. He even mentioned Huffy! I wanted to shout out “that’s my ‘hood” but I was wearing a suit..

  2. Joel Michael Says:

    I think we probably made the right choice of icon. As frumpy as the high-wheeler is, it’s still more exciting than the sewing machine.

  3. Historic Huffmans Says:

    [...] More about Huffman Manufacturing and the Davis Sewing Machine Co. [...]

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