W.G. Schack has been in the bicycle business since 1879 - first as a very small dealer, gradually expanding taking every advantage that came within his reach. He then discovered making bicycles. 1894 William Schack and William Heil joined with a small group of workers to form a new company. After working for approximately a year in a barn provided by Heil in Lake View NY, the company later rented the Tifft Building in the Village of Angola. This was the beginning of the small-scale production of the Emblem bicycle brand. The Top Floor was a lodge room of the local branch of a secret society. In the lower floors and basement Schack made his bicycles. By 1904, he had established Emblem in the little town of Angola, New York, about 25 miles south of Buffalo. One of the most important industries in Angola - the newly formed Emblem Bicycle Company transferred its quarters to the corner of South Main and York Streets in the Tifft Block. Mr. William Schack became the Company's President and Mr. William Heil, Vice-President. He liked to employ farmer boys, educating them in the business, making those that show an aptitude for the work - formen and heads of departments even providing them with a stock interest in the company. Obviously, this was a good motivation for employees meaning something more than work well done. The factory was in operation almost every day of the year with the exception of the one great day - that of the country fair. These same men would help build the factory they worked in - between bicycles being built. They drew the plans and dug the foundations of the new building and started the technical work of erecting the plant. They installed the plumbing and lighting, the boilers and engine, and electric lighting plant and telephone system. The moved all the machinery and tools. And a few years later, in 1907, Emblem expanded into powered two-wheelers, offering the Model 100, a single-cylinder bike based on a Thor engine. The machine looked remarkably like an early Indian, which is no surprise since Thor also supplied many parts for that firm’s first-generation bikes. In 1908 under the direction of John Glas a new three-story cement block building was constructed at its present location adjoining the New York Central Railroad. Two additional stories were later added to the original structure. Their bicycles and motorcycles were noted for their excellent quality and many distinctive features. They were sold throughout the country and even to foreign countries. At one time production reached 125 to 150 bicycles a day in addition to 25 motorcycles per week. The company was the single largest employer of the community. Emblem employed 300 workers who made all the bicycle parts except tires, saddles, and pedals. An excellent baseball diamond was constructed to the rear of the factory for community use and that of its own sponsored Emblem Baseball Club. For road testing of its bicycles and motorcycles, a large circular track encompassed the ball field. Snapshot of Angola..... The Village of Angola adopted a new set of ordinances in 1908. Some excerpts follow:It shall not be lawful: ...To hitch or tie any horse or horses to any shrub, tree or lamp-post, ... ...For two or more persons to congregate on Sunday and engage in ball playing, cricket, sparring, boxing, fighting or other disorderly conduct. ...For any person to race, run or drive any horse or team, or run a bicycle, tricyle, or automobile or other motor vehicle, whether the same be propelled by steam, gasoline, electricity or other source of energy, on any street, lane, alley or public place located within said Village, exceeding eight miles an hour . ...To leave any wagon, cart, buggy, sleigh or other vehicle standing in the streets, unless the same shall be in actual use- ...To use any lamp, candle or other light in any barn, shed or stable, except the same be carefully secured in a glass lantern. Read in terms of today's modern world some of the provisions appear amusing, although in 1908 they were very much the law. Law enforcement in these days consisted mainly of a constable or night watchman who patrolled mostly on foot. 191O's About this time the old wide wooden sidewalks were replaced with cement walks. The old gas street lights were gradually replaced with electric; electric service made available to individual homes soon after 1915. The Niagara and Erie Power Company opened its office in Clow's store. Movies came to Angola in 1910, the first "theater" being on the second floor of the Village Hall with Frank Wiatrowski as Manager. Five years later the Star Theater opened on North Main Street at the present location of the "Why Not?" dress shop. Ad- mission was 10 cents. 1920's The 1920's were a period of prosperity as evidenced by remarkable growth and the expansion of business. It was a time for self- improvement, for enjoying more leisure time, and for developing civic pride. The Emblem Company turned out an excellent product and was highly prosperous throughout the 1920s. They made daily shipments throughout the country and to foreign ports, including Japan. Emblem withstood the Wall Street crash of 1929, though, the company struggled through the depression years, had a brief increase in business about 1936, but finally succumbed to economic pressures in the early 1940's and collapsed later through some poor management decisions and cancellation of a large contract with Sears and Roebuck. 1927 Postcard of factory But Emblem really created its own identity in 1913 with the introduction of a new V-twin engine displacing a then-massive 76.6 cubic inches (about 1,255cc). The big twin, made by combining two of the company’s single cylinders, made Emblem’s Model 108 the largest production machine a rider could buy at the time. The Motorcycle was discontinued in the mid-late 20's - but bicycle production continued until 1939.