A Brief History of the Marque
BJ van den Berg of Den Hulst began trading in 1904 and began building bicycles in 1911 using Gazelle frames. Motorcycle and triporteur production began in the late pre-war years, with Villiers and JLO engines of 98cc to 150cc.
Production resumed in 1953 with an autocycle using a Boy engine under the URD marque, and this was followed by a machine with a 50cc JLO. Mopeds joined the catalogue in 1956 with Sachs and Berini motors.
The Union Boomerang arrived in 1961, designed by Charles Burki1.
1965 saw an amalgamation with Kaptein, and the Union brand was sidelined in favour of Kaptein Mobylette mopeds built in France.
1. Charles Burki was a famous Dutch artist who began designing motorcycles in the 1920s. His life story is remarkable - shortly after moving to Java in the Dutch East Indies he was imprisoned by the Japanese who sent him to Japan as a laborer. The transport ship was sunk en route by the Americans, but unlike most of the others aboard, he survived, and arrived safely in Japan. It probably wasn't personal, but the Americans then bombed the city where his labour camp was located. He survived Nagasaki too.
A number of books have been written about his life including Charles Burki. De kunst van het motorrijden (The art of motorcycle riding) by Vincent Demmers, Bussum, Thoth, 1997
Source: Wikipedia NL
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