Duryea Brothers Test-Drive America’s First Gas-Powered Car
On September 20, 1893, the Duryea brothers successfully tested America’s first gasoline-powered car in Massachusetts.
In the 1890s, brothers Charles and Frank Duryea made a living building bicycles in Springfield (now Chicopee), Massachusetts. In their spare time, the brothers began experimenting with motors. One day they purchased a horse-drawn buggy for $70 and fitted it with a four horsepower single cylinder gasoline engine. They also installed a friction transmission, spray carburetor, and low tension ignition. The brothers took their car for its first test drive on September 20, 1893. They took it for another test drive two months later, on a busier street, and attracted the attention of the local newspaper.