Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Charles E. Duryea & World's First Real Automobile

This postcard from Reading, Pennsylvania honors Charles E. Duryea, the inventor and builder of America's first gasoline automobile in 1892 in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Duryea automobiles which were manufactured in Reading from 1900 to 1911 climbed Mount Penn in high gear there. Duryea Drive, which ascends Mount Penn in a series of sharp bends, was a testing place for early automobiles and was named for Charles Duryea.

From the back of the card:
Charles E. Duryea in a DURYEA (three cylinder) won First Prize, Automobile Club of N. J., Eagle Rock Hill Climbing Contest, Nov. 5, 1901. This was the FIRST AMERICAN HILL-CLIMB, regularly organized. A similar stock DURYEA freelance in the 1902 New York-Boston Run, ran around everything. Three cylinder DURYEA cars were also manufactured in Coventy, England.


  1. It's almost like a cross between a bicycle and a car.

  2. Later he produced the Duryea GEM that was a cross between a car and a motorcycle.

  3. Interesting! I love the postcard, especially the line "had all present day essentials" :-)


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