September 28, 1938 – Charles Duryea dies

On this day in 1938 US automobile inventor Charles Duryea passed away. Duryea, who was an engineer, and his brother Frank are known as the first people to manufacture a working automobile in the United States (see September 22 for more information on the introduction of the automobile to America). Duryea was originally from Illinois and him and his brother started out as bicycle makers in Washington D.C. After relocating to Springfield, Massachusetts the brothers began working on their Duryea Wagon. Charles designed and engineered the machine while Frank built, tested and raced them. On September 22, 1893 they first road tested the vehicles. After refining their design and producing 13 of the same cars in 1896 the Duryea Motor Wagon Company became the first automobile manufacturer in the country. They never saw very great success in their automobile manufacturing ventures, but they did produce vehicles through at least 1917.  Charles died of a heart attack in Philadelphia on this day in 1938.  Pics:Charles Duryea (left) with brother Frank in an 1894 DuryeaAn 1894 pre-production Duryea at the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum – By Infrogmation of New Orleans – Photo by Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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