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Tag: duryea

September 22, 1893 – Duryea Brothers test first car
This Day

September 22, 1893 – Duryea Brothers test first car

On this day in 1893, brothers Frank and Charles Duryea debuted their first automobile on the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. That initial drive came to a sudden halt after just a few hundred feet when their self-engineered transmission failed. Frank made a slight adjustment to the design and had the car back up and running, covering a half a mile later in the day. This event is often regarded as the first time an American manufactured, gasoline powered car was driven in the country. Above: Duryea Patent. Top: Duryea Brothers They build a second Duryea Wagon in 1894, using it to enter the Chicago Times Herald race the next year. The Duryea completed the 54 mile course ahead of the pack, winning the first automobile race in America. The Duryea Motor Wagon Company offici...
November 28, 1895 – Chicago hosts the first US automobile race
This Day

November 28, 1895 – Chicago hosts the first US automobile race

The first organized automobile race in the United States took place on this day in 1895. On July 10, earlier that year, the Chicago Times-Herald announced it would host the race and offered a winning prize of $5,000, about $143,000 in 2017. Astonishingly, the newspaper received 83 entries. When the big day came, only six vehicles managed to pull up to the starting line. The course was originally to take vehicles from Chicago to Milwaukee, but inclement weather altered the route. The final course looped 54 miles from near the current Museum of Science and Industry, up to Evanston, IL, and back. Many of the automobiles scheduled to race were either incomplete or damaged en route to the event.  A bitter storm passed through the area before the Thanksgiving day race, leaving the r...
September 7, 1896 -“Get a Horse!”
This Day

September 7, 1896 -“Get a Horse!”

The start of the race When the first auto race to take place on an American race track began on this day in 1896 it started so slow that spectators were shouting, "Get a horse!" The race, sponsored by automobile manufacturers hoping to attract new buyers, took place at the Narragansett Trotting Park in Cranston, Rhode Island. It marked the first time a US auto race was held on a track, opposed to on public streets. Narragansett was a one mile-long dirt oval track at the state fairgrounds that was generally reserved for horse racing. But on this day seven cars took the field to participate in the five lap “Providence Horseless Carriage Race.” After the trot of a start more than 60,000 spectators became wooed as they watched as a Riker Electric complete the five lap race first, averaging...

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