1866 Dudgeon Steam Wagon

1866 Dudgeon Steam Wagon

Usage conditions apply
The Dudgeon steam wagon is one of the earliest self-propelled road vehicles built in the United States. Richard Dudgeon, a machinist who was known for his commercially produced hydraulic jacks, designed and built a steam-powered wagon because he hoped to end the abuse and mistreatment of horses. The wagon resembles a small locomotive, but it has a steering wheel and seats for the driver and eight passengers. Dudgeon drove the vehicle on New York City streets and at his farm on Long Island. It burned coal and ran at a top speed of 25 to 30 miles per hour.
Currently not on view
Object Name
steam wagon
Other Terms
steam wagon; Road
date made
Dudgeon, Richard
place made
United States: New York, New York City
overall: 5 5/16 ft x 5 ft x 11 5/16 ft; 1.62458 m x 1.524 m x 3.45338 m
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Kirkland H. Gibson
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object