Saturday Scenes

Thu 20 December 2012

The Horseless Carriage

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:10

On the 15th of December in 1861, Charles Duryea was born, who is known as the manufacturer of the first American gasoline-powered car. In 1893, Charles and his brother Frank Duryea purchased a used horse-drawn buggy for $70 and installed a 4 horse-power, single cylinder gasoline engine. The brothers agreed: one would build it and the other would race it. Two years later, their car, driven by brother Frank, won the first motor-car race in the United States. The race course was a 54-mile loop from Chicago to Waukegan and back again.

Frank Duryea wins first U.S. horseless-carriage race – This Day in History – 11/28/1895

Ten hours and 23 minutes after the race began, the Duryea wagon sputtered across the finish line. Meanwhile, according to news accounts, the Mueller moto-cycle “puffed its way slowly and laboriously along, its pneumatic tires wrapped with twine to keep them from slipping, and one of its operators sanding the belt on the motor for the same reason.” It crossed the finish line an hour and a half after Duryea had–though Mueller himself, who had fainted from all the excitement, was no longer at the wheel. The Macy’s Benz was perhaps the most hapless racer of all: It collided with a streetcar on the way to Evanston and with a sleigh and then a hack on the way back, and never did finish. Neither did the De La Vergne Benz.

The race introduced Americans to the motor-car and the Duryea brothers got to work producing more. The following year, they built thirteen cars, making them the largest automobile factory in the US. The Duryea car is also world-famous, as it was involved in the world’s first known auto accident. A motorist named Henry Wells hit a cyclist with his brand new vehicle, giving the cyclist a broken leg. Wells spent the night in jail as a result.

Meanwhile on the 15th of December in 2012, our photographs included a wide range of transport options, including cars, buses, aircraft and a donkey! Take a look:

Every week, a few dozen people are driven to post Saturday scenes:

You should join us next weekend! It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress WPMU Theme pack by WPMU-DEV.