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Inventors The Duryea Brothers

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Duryea First Amercan Gas Powered VehicleAmerica's first gasoline powered commercial car manufacturers were two brothers, Charles Duryea (1861-1938) and Frank Duryea. The brothers were bicycle makers who became interested in gasoline engines and automobiles. On September 20 1893, their first automobile was constructed and successfully tested on the public streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. Charles Duryea founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in 1896, the first company to manufacture and sell gasoline powered vehicles. By 1896, the company had sold thirteen cars of the model Duryea, an expensive limousine, which remained in production into the 1920s.

America's First Automobile Race
At 8:55 a.m. on November 28, 1895, six motor cars left Chicago's Jackson Park for a 54 mile race to Evanston, Illinois and back through the snow. Number 5, piloted by inventor J. Frank Duryea, won the race in just over 10 hours at an average speed of about 7.3 miles per hour. The winner earned $2,000, the enthusiast who named the horseless vehicles "motorcycles" won $500, and the Chicago Times-Herald, sponsor of the race, declared, "Persons who are inclined to decry the development of the horseless carriage will be forced to recognize it as an admitted mechanical achievement, highly adapted to some of the most urgent needs of our civilization."

America's First Recorded Automobile Accident
In March 1896, Charles and Frank Duryea of Springfield, Mass., offer the first commercial automobile: the Duryea motor wagon. Two months later, New York City motorist Henry Wells hits a bicyclist with his new Duryea. The rider suffers a broken leg, Wells spends a night in jail and the nation's first traffic accident is recorded."

Automotive Hall of Fame
Charles Duryea (1861 - 1938) Inducted 1973
Frank Duryea (1870 - 1967) Inducted 1996

The Duryea Automobile
The products of Charles Duryea's fertile mind.

Charles E. Duryea
In 1892, Charles and Frank Duryea begin building their first car in, Springfield, MA.

Duryea Motor Wagon
Charles Duryea and Frank Duryea were the first Americans to build a successful automobile, and the first to incorporate an American business for the expressed purpose of building automobiles for sale to the public.

Duryea Automobile
Articles and images about the Duryea automobile.

History of the Duryea Brothers
In 1889, Illinois natives Charles Duryea and Frank Duryea came to the Springfield area. Charles became interested in developing a horseless buggy, and invited his brother, Frank, a toolmaker at Chicopee's Ames Manufacturing Company, to join the project in 1892.

The Duryea Brothers
A first person narrative of Charles Duryea written as if it was spoken by the inventor himself

©Mary Bellis

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