The 1893 Duryea Automobile In the Museum of History and Technology

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            During the last decade of the nineteenth century a number of American engineers and mechanics were working diligently to develop a practical self-propelled vehicle employing an internal-combustion engine as the motive force. Among these men were Charles and Frank Duryea, who began work on this type of vehicle about 1892. This carriage was operated on the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1893, where its trials were noted in the newspapers. Now preserved in the Museum of History and Technology, it is a prized exhibit in the collection of early automobiles.

            It is the purpose of this paper to present some of the facts discovered during the restoration of the vehicle, to show the problems that faced its builders, and to describe their solutions. An attempt also has been made to correlate all this information with reports of the now almost legendary day-to-day experiences of the Duryeas, as published by the brothers in various booklets, and as related by Frank Duryea during two interviews, recorded on tape in 1956 and 1957, while he was visiting the Smithsonian.


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