Duryea Motor Carriage, 1893

Duryea Motor Carriage, 1893

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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
Associated Place
United States: Massachusetts
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 81 in x 64 in x 97 in; 205.74 cm x 162.56 cm x 246.38 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Inglis M. Uppercu
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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There were 13 built and they assume that is the last surviving one in storage at the museum. The top as well as the entire car was black.
Can you tell me the colors of the canopy and the body of the 1893 Duryea.
"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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