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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone - I am doing some detective work. Please help me in my sleuthing...

I have this original photo. It is self-explanatory...

A proud man named "Robert" in a suit sits atop an Indian motorcycle kitted out with some carry-on baggage 81 years ago now back in June 1939. The Indian motorcycle (not sure which model...you fans can tell me that) is plated in Ontario that same year. I cannot tell where the photo was taken.

The photo was found by me awhile back in a chocolate box along with others. I have recently dealt with multiple estates within the family (all here in various locations in SW Ontario) and I suspect it comes from one of those. But I am not sure...and I certainly have no idea who Robert is/was. I am guessing he would be deceased today.

But I am hoping that either his ride or his family lineage live on to this day and that we can piece this together more. The photo would be some wonderful provenance for either the current owner of that sweet ride (assuming it still exists) or the family of Robert, if we can establish his identity.

Please let me know what you may have to assist...and thanks for looking.

1 (205).jpg
 

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Pass a copy of the picture around to as many people as possible friends/family/neighbors. If they don’t recognize Robert, ask them to look closely at the car and house in the background. Maybe get a clue that way.
As for the motorcycle looks like around a 1938 Chief.
 

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There is a "The good old days in Charleston" for my city on Facebook. See if there's one for Ontario and post it there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks everyone for their replies so far.

From what I've learned online it is not an easy task to go to the licensing agency (MTO, or Ministry of Transport- Ontario) and do a "reverse look-up". That is set up due to privacy purposes. They don't want you getting a posse together and going after that guy who cut you off in traffic I suppose. I'm also leery that they'd still have records going back 80+ years. But I will keep this option open as we slowly open up here coming out of the pandemic. I never thought this would be easy. Just trying to create my own luck, and I thought the bike itself would be the key to it overall.

The other detail I've just noticed is how wide that street is...and, in the middle are what looks to be 2 sets of trolley/streetcar tracks. That would place this photo in a city (again, likely one here in Ontario). When I did a quick online check as to what Ontario cities had those back in 1939 I was surprised by just how many there were.

List of street railways in Canada - Wikipedia

And yes, I would love to repatriate the photo to Robert's family or even the current owner of that Chief, assuming it has beat the odds and still survives today.
 

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Contact a good private investigator in your area and ask if they have access to CA license plate records. Here in the US, private investigators (I am one) are able to access certain info not available to the general public. The age of the record would likely mean it would be archived in a box somewhere, if available at all. Nonetheless a good PI might be able to help.

Good luck.
 

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Definitely trolley tracks. Toronto and Hamilton both have/had extensive systems. I’ll stare at it a while longer.
 
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