William G. Henderson was the original founder of Henderson Motorcycle Company in 1911. In 1917, the Detroit based Henderson Motorcycle Company was sold to Ignaz Schwi
nn, the owner of Schwinn, a company that manufactured Schwinn bicycles and Excelsior motorcycles.
After Henderson sold the company to Schwinn, he continued to work there as
an employee. In 1919, differences of opinion caused William Henderson to resign from the company.
In 1919, William Henderson worked with Max Sladkin of the Haverford Cycle Company, and founded the Ace Motor Corporation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The basic design of the Ace motorcycle was a luxury four cylinder model with a chain drive, but William Henderson had to be careful so as to not infringe on and patents that were owned by Schwinn and Excelsior when he built the Ace motorcycles.
Production of the new Ace motorcycles began in 1920. Just two years later, William Henderson died in a tragic motorcycle accident. He was test riding a new Ace Sporting Solo when he was struck by a motor vehicle.
The Ace Motor Corporation ceased production of motorcycles in 1924, and in the two years following that, the company changed hands several times.
In 1927, the Ace Motor Company was purchased by the Indian Motorcycle Company. Production of Ace motorcycles was moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Ace motorcycles were marketed as the Indian Ace for one year, after which the Ace name was discontinued. The four cylinder Indian motorcycles were produced until 1942.