Duryea Motor Carriage, 1893

This experimental vehicle is one of the earliest American-made automobiles. On September 21, 1893, Frank Duryea road-tested the vehicle – a second-hand carriage with a gasoline engine – in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1896, Frank, his brother Charles, and financial backers founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, the first American company that manufactured and sold automobiles. Thirteen production models were made; the only surviving example is in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. This forerunner was donated to the Smithsonian in 1920 and was restored in 1958.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Duryea, Charles E.
Duryea, J. Frank
overall: 81 in x 64 in x 97 in; 205.74 cm x 162.56 cm x 246.38 cm
on pallet: 88 in x 69 in x 103 in; 223.52 cm x 175.26 cm x 261.62 cm
overall: 80 1/2 in x 64 in x 97 in; 204.47 cm x 162.56 cm x 246.38 cm
Associated Place
United States: Massachusetts
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Road Transportation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Inglis M. Uppercu

Visitor Comments

2/10/2016 11:08:34 AM
Theresa R. Augusti
As a history docent at the Museum of Springfield History, we often talk about the "model" of the 1893 Duryea that was build by a Springfield teacher and that we have on display in the museum. Does the Smithsonian have the "original" car - or do you have a copy also? I believe only 1 car was ever manufactured. Thank you for your assistance.
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