In 1902, Joseph Merkel started building one-cylinder engines motorcycles. A year later, in 1903, he started to put these engines into his own Merkel motorcycles under the Merkel Motor Co. In 1908, he started the Light Manufacturing and Foundry company and started making the “Merkel Light” motorcycle. His first two-cylinder motorcycles started to be sold in 1910. In 1911, the company was bought out by the Miami Cycle and Manufacturing Company that produced the trademarked “Flying Merkel” with the iconic bright orange paint.