Hope was about all many Americans had in the fourth decade of the 20th century, and even that could be hard to come by. Little Orphan Annie, Shirley Temple and The Wizard of Oz helped the country keep its chin up in the wake of the Depression, as the Great Plains and points east were enveloped in a giant Dust Bowl. The depressed economy put the brakes on technological progress and froze U.S. motorcycle design at the 1930 level, while foreign manufacturers continued to advance. A tax levied on bikes over 224 lbs. prompted the British to produce lighter-weight machines, getting a leg up on once-dominant Harley-Davidson and Indian.