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The First Successful Gas-Engine Automobile Built in the United States (September 21, 1893 – 1895)


On September 21, 1893 Charles Duryea and Frank Duryea demonstrated their one-cylinder "Ladies Phaeton" at Chicopee, Massachusetts. This was the first successful gas-engine automobile built in the United States.

In 1894 the brothers built a second automobile. This car, driven by Frank, won the Chicago Times Herald race in Chicago on a snowy Thanksgiving day in 1895. Frank Duryea travelled 54 miles (87 km) at an average 7.5 mph (12 km/h), marking the first U.S. auto race in which any entrants finished. That same year, the brothers founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, and began commercial production, selling thirteen cars by the end of 1896.