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Side view of 1893 Duryea

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Side view of 1893 Duryea
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 49,442-A

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Smithsonian Automobile Collection — Car collection, pre-1900

OTHER VIEWS
Rear view of Duryea
Rear view of Duryea


Front view of Duryea
Front view of Duryea


J. Frank Duryea, taken 1945
J. Frank Duryea, taken 1945


“National Museum Gets Early Automobile,” American Machinist, December 16, 1920. An article on the donation of the Duryea to the museum.
“National Museum Gets Early Automobile,” American Machinist, December 16, 1920. An article on the donation of the Duryea to the museum.

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Haynes automobile


Duryea automobile
Catalog #: 307,199, Accession #: 65,715
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This 1893-94 Duryea is one of the earliest American-made automobiles. The Smithsonian collected this vehicle in 1920. In September 1893, Charles E. and J. Frank Duryea tested the car on the road with a friction transmission before installing the gear transmission present in the car when it was donated to the Smithsonian in 1920.
Physical Description
This four-wheeled vehicle has metal tires with a buggy body and top. The one-cylinder, four-cycle, four-horsepower, water-cooled gasoline engine, with make-and-break electric ignition, lies almost horizontally beneath the body, and its cylinder head extends backward above the rear axle. Bevel gears transmitted power from the vertical crankshaft to a main horizontal shart, and then spur gears transmitted it to a small jackshaft having a small double-shrouded pinion at each end. Three friction clutches on the main shaft—two for the forward speeds and one for reverse—are operated through cable connections by an up or down movement of the steering tiller. The hand-starting crank is in the rear.
Details
Date Made:
1893-94
Locations:
Massachusetts
Credit:
Gift of Inglis M. Uppercu
History
Charles E. and J. Frank Duryea were early U.S. automobile makers. Their one-cylinder gasoline automobile was built in Springfield, Mass. The Duryea Motor Wagon Company constructed 13 identical automobiles in 1896, making them the first American company that moved from making one car to making multiple copies for sale. Although they did not build the first American automobile, the Duryeas—like a number of other early automobile pioneers—claimed they built the first American car.

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