Cousins Everett and Clinton Cushman began building engines in 1901. Early power-plants were branded the Husky. Over the years these engines powered lawn mowers, race boats, plows, pumps and more. But the Cushman Motor Works of Omaha, Nebraska, which came along later in the lives of the Cushman brothers, also established a good reputation by building motor scooters. The first was the famous Auto-Glide model which they started to manufacture in 1937. Then in 1949, Cushman redesigned its 50 series scooter borrowing styling cues from big American touring motorcycles like the Harley-Davidson Duo-Glide. The newly named Cushman Eagle Motorcycle became the firm’s best seller ever.
While Cushmans were fine products in the 1950’s, they could not endure competition from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers who brought price and sophistication along with better distribution and marketing. Cushman assembled its last typical consumer type scooter in 1966. Turf maintenance equipment, industrial vehicles and golf carts remained viable for the company which has been owned by several manufacturing conglomerates over the years.
In addition to the basic Eagle, more stylized and better equipped Cushman Eagles were available, the Super Eagles and Silver Eagles got up to 9 horsepower from the new Super Husky engine. The Silver Eagle was a fully optioned model with a price tag to match. It featured an electric starter, a Buddy Seat, saddle bags, turn signals, twin mirrors, speedometer, windshield and offered special order paint schemes.
- Engine: OMC Overhead Valve, Air-Cooled Single Cylinder
- Displacement: 21.65 Cubic Inch/ 354 cc
- Bore & Stroke: 3 1/2 X 2 ¼ Inches
- Horsepower: 9 HP
- Chassis: Welded Steel Tube
- Transmission: 2 Speed / Chain Final Drive
- Suspension: :Telescopic Fork / Swingarm
- Brakes: Drum/Internal Expanding
- Wheels: 10 Inch Steel
- Tires: Cushman 100
The National Motorcycle Museum has an interesting collection, radically different approaches to scooter design from Italy, France, Japan, Germany plus the Cushman, Argyle, Topper, Salsbury and Doodlebug all made in America.