Early American Automobiles
Duryea, The First American Automobile
1895 Chicago Herald-Times Automobile Race
This page is about the Duryea automobile, "America's First Automobile" and the 1895 Chicago Herald-Tribune Race with pictures of all the paricpants and others that showed up but did not participate with most of the material copied verbatim from journals of the day .The year was 1895 and it had been five years since James Frank Duryea had been working on his experimental wagon, and two years since its first appearance in September, 1893, on the streets of Springfield that was to become the first successful gasoline driven automobile in America. Charles had begun thinking about the idea in 1886 and considered several different motor powers. Charles owned a bicycle shop in Peoria, IL and held a patent on his carburetor and other lesser ones. Frank was an accomplished mechanic that was working in Springfield, MA. In1890, Charles approached Frank about designing an automobile using his his engine. What took place in the meantime is well documented by the inventor of the first successul automobile in America.
Copied from J. Frank
early in April, 1892, at Springfield, Massachusetts. Long before it was finished he left Springfield for Peoria, Illinois, his home for the next four years. In the meantime, I did all further planning and experimenting, and completed the vehicle. At his departure the engine had never been operated. All further work was done during my brother's
absence in a distant city. As a matter of sworn evidence, given by him under oath, he resided in Springfield only ten months, while I continued on there for twenty-three years and established a successful business, which was long one of that city's major industries. Both Charles and myself have published accounts of our respective contributions and these are at variance with one another in important particulars. Who is to be believed? In his attempt to claim sole credit for that epochal pioneer work on the automobile, I regret to say that Charles E. Duryea promoted many unsubstantial claims. The more important of these discrepancies can be disproved either from his words and writings or by reference to the printed testimony of qualified observers.
The ten "Deadly Parallels" set forth in this pamphlet dispose of his most publicized misstatements. Many more could be cited and disproved with equal ease if time and space permitted, but these samples aresufficient. The reader can hardly miss the lesson of these parallel columnsthat building the first gasoline automobile in America was a joint undertaking of the Duryea brothers, and, further, that the cars which I drove to win America's first two races were
designed and built by me, rather than by Charles, who claimed all credit for those
as well as for the first one begun in April, 1892, by J. Frank Duryea. Letter by Charles Duryea, 19 Nov, 1926 to Stacy Machine Shop who did the machine work
Refuting Charles Claim That He Sold the First Car in America
This opening paragraph contains five false claims, viz.:
CLAIM AND COMMENTI. CHARLES E. DURYEA'S CLAIM TO SOLE RECOGNITION 1. "It is my belief that I designed and built the first gasoline automobile actually to run in America." Reference to the Letter to the Stacy Mahine Company that Charles E. Duryea sent to the Saturday Evening Post of May 16, 1931 Comment: We here see that in Charles' letter to the Stacy Company, of November, 1920, reproduced on the opposite page, he concedes "glory that belongs to the Duryea brothers." Later he took steps to obtain all credit for himself. On January 10, 1925, he dictated # statement in which he claimed that a car was completed and that I gave "Billy" Russell a ride in it on April 19, 1892; further, that a new engine was built and the car was driven on the street July 7, 1892.
CLAIM AND COMMENTCHARLES E. DURYEA'S CLAIM THAT HE WON THE FIRST TWO AMERICAN RACES
"Won the first two American races." "Cannot be disputed." From Charles E. Duryea's Saturday Evening Post article of May 16, 1931
The Chicago race of November 28, 1895
While Charles E. Duryea was coursing up and down
Chicago's streets in a sleigh behind a team of horses, as he
Charles Duryea even fooled Ripley's Believe it or Not editors. Charles E. Duryea, the Father of the Automobile
April 19, 1892
by Dr. Mary C. Clune, Ph.D.
193o. Attached to this long document is a mimeographed sheet of notes bearing the reproduced signature of Charles E. Duryea, which fact indicates that he knew of and did not in any way disclaim in 1930 the honor falsely ascribed to
him in the above title. Comment: In 1900 Charles E. Duryea already had known of the Benz patents of 1888 for many years, yet his knowledge did not prevent his effort as late as 1931 to wrest from Benz and other Europeans their well-deserved and documented priority in basic automobile development.
The foregoing misstatements might fall of their own weight except for a continuing effort to keep them in circulation. At the World's Fair in New York City, Charles E. Duryea's son, M. J. Duryea, clad in motoring costume of the Gay 'Nineties, climbed into an old Stevens-Duryae car for press photographs. The attendant publicity was calculated to connect his father with Stevens-Duryea Company, a successful development of mine with which Charles E. Duryea never had any connection whatever. It was this crude attempt to push me out of Stevens-Duryea history that aroused me to defend my work on the earlier Duryea cars in this publication.
Alleged historical material of
an elusive and fragmentary kind has been placed in libraries
where it is accessible to historians
and authors who go there for research. An instance of changed evidence was the revision of Dr. Mary E. Clune's paper,
"Springfield, Birthplace of the Atomobile." This paper appeared in 1930 in typewritten form
followed by an addendum of six laudatory pages by Charles E. Duryea. The warm tone of his applause is indicated by the opening paragraph of
that addendum: "If the reader will permit any addition to the foregoing
masterly, logical, conclusive and undeniable report on the birthplace of
After this modest start, the writer ranges wildly through automobile history, telling a number of wonderful and hitherto unheard of conclusions such as this: "The auto engine started in the U. S. A." Eight years after the Clune paper appeared, my brother Charles died. About that time things began to happen to the Clune manuscript. To its innocent first title, "Springfield, Birthplace of the Automobile," was added, "Charles E. Duryea. Father of the Automobile, April 19, 1892." The six Charles E. Duryea pages, being too confused and ridiculous for 1938 propaganda, were omitted and the Clune paper was mimeographed for wider circulation with only one added page.
This page contains four*
NotesA, B, C, D followed by reproduction of an oversize
signature"Chas. E. Duryea." Of importance is the typed statement of his son, M. J.
Duryea which appears directly below his father's signature. This statement says: The Public Libraries
of New York, Detroit Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Springfield, as well as the Library of Congress,
have photostatic copies of much of the material used in Dr. Clune's research. M. J.
Mass., 1938. son Charles E. Duryea, enough to suggest an effort to
influence history. Furthermore, some of that material shows evidence of Change just as the
Gune article does in its later and revised form. For instance: In 1938 there was
placed in the Detroit Public Library, where research into automobile history is popular, a
quantity of Charles E. Duryea's items. Perhaps it was at that time that the peculiar
document here reproduced was deposited
It remains for me to state again,
as I have often done before, that my brother Charles deserves generous credit for starting
work on America's first gasoline automobile. But I completed the job during his long
absence and in doing so had to abandon many of his ideas in order to design better ways of
accomplishing that objective. T F D Turn the page and you will see the altered version and
the true version side by side, with an affidavit from Ernest I. Miller of the Detroit
Public Library stating that the altered version was placed there by Charles E.
Duryea on June 28, 1938.
The caption reads the the year was 1892, delibertly done so by Charles Duryea to fool the public This is a cut from an 1912 Automobile edition.
Because the Duryea Wagon was considered to be the first practicable automobile built in American, Its description has been copied for historical purposes.
Full Description of the Duryea Wagon
Charles E. Duryea, an inventor of Peoria, 111., has for a number of years taken a deep interest in the solution of the motor vehicle problem. For three years he and his brother, J. Frank Duryea, experimented with a motor wagon at Springfield, Mass. After many preliminary tests the vehicle was finally brought out in the spring of 1892, and publicly exhibited upon the streets of Springfield. It proved to be one of the first practical gasolene vehicles constructed in the United States. In appearance the vehicle does not differ materially from an ordinary heavy built buggy. It weighs about 700 pounds, and has ball bearings and rubber tired wheels and the tires also being of Mr. Duryea's invention.
In the foreign motor carriages a brake is generally used for
steering purposes, while there are separate switches for each change of speed. The change
of speed is accomplished by throwing in various sets of gears. In the Duryea vehicle the
change of gears, by an ingenious arrangement of cams and levers, is effected by a vertical
movement of the lever without an instant's loss of time. The difficulty of management with
a lever comes in the constant possibility that one of the wheels will hit a stone and turn
the carriage aside. In an ordinary carriage, where the wheels turn on a point half way
between themselves, it would
The arrangement by which this is accomplished is very ingenious.
The axletrees, which are fixed to the body of the wagon, divide at the ends into vertical
forks. Into these are fitted pieces resembling ordinary carnage hubs in shape, which hold
the axles. Through these pieces run the bolts of the head in the direction of the contact
of the wheel with the ground. Co-ordination of movement in these separately swung wheels
The variable speed ranges from three to sixteen miles an hour,
the normal rates being three, six and ten. To obtain these different rates the motor does
not change its speed. The increase is made in the gearing which is alternately rawhide and
iron, and runs quite still. To obtain a greater speed than ten miles an hour the pressing
of the button at the front of the seat will increase the speed of the motor. The mechanism
runs upon ball-bearings wherever possible and otherwise metal lined bearings are used,
rendering oiling unnecessary. It may be geared to different speeds to suit the roads of
any locality, and may be run at any speed desired within its limit of 20 miles an hour.
Water is carried to prevent the motor from overheating, and the supply must be renewed
each day. The time required to recharge with fuel and water is only five
The motor has a capacity of four horse-power. It is compactly
located in the box of the body, weighs 120 pounds, and is of an improved Otto type, double
cylinder, self-regulating as to work required. Peculiar devices are employed in the
mixture of the gasolene with air to produce the proper quality of gas, only a small drop
of gasolene being used at one time. The gas so produced comes in contact with an electric
It has been run several thousand miles in and around Springfield and has been an object of interest to persons near and far. The Duryea Motor Wagon Co., which has been organized to manufacture the Duryea wagons at Springfield, Mass. are building two vehicles for the Times-Herald contest. They will manufacture for the market the road wagon illustrated here, as well as other types of automobile vehicles, and will be prepared soon to furnish their motors separately to the carriage and wagon building trade.
1895 Duryea Motor Road Wagon, Springfield, Mass.
Copied from the Autocar Magazine November 2, 1895,
A MARVELLOUS AMERICAN AUTOCARAmerica, as well as France, has gone beyond the experimental stage in the matter of autocars, and several very satisfactory machines are now running on American roads, chiefly with the Daimler o Kane-Pennington motors. As in England, and on the Continent, immense interest is being taken in the movement, and the following account of a new carriage introduced there will be read with interest.
Mr. Charles E. Duryea, who sends it to us, says: When the writer began to study this question nearly ten years ago, the trolley car was considered a very uncertain article, more likely to fail than to succeed, possibly practical in Richmond, Va., but out of the question, or, at least, very visionary, at Columbus, O., where winter snows fall in earnest. Steam was regarded as the only practical motive power, and, with few exceptions, those who were sufficiently progressive to give the matter thought regarded the steam vehicle as the only possible solution of the self-propelling road vehicle problem.
A practical experience as engineer of a steam- power plant had convinced the writer that steam could never be made practical for the purpose. Electric batteries, primary or storage, were then, as they yet are, too heavy and weak for the purpose. The only promise seemed to be in the line of hot-air engines or gas engines, using liquid fuels. Of these, the gasoline vapor explosion engine was selected, and, beginning with the getting "rattled" in close quarters such as a crowded street, but to provide against any possible runaways the speed can be varied towards a stop with ease, while towards faster speeds some exertion is needed; by this arrangement any excited or frustrated jerks at the lever would in all probability stop the vehicle. A further element of safety is found in the fact that it will run over a good-sized rock with either wheel "hands off." This ensures that the steering is not twitched out of one's hand accidentally and the carriage upset on its passengers, as is both possible and probable with many steerings heretofore used. The engines are two in number, duplicates throughout, and are so made to avoid the possibility of a single engine going wrong and leaving the wagon helpless.
So successfully have they worked that, although the wagon has covered several thousands of miles summer of 1886, much study and some experiments were expended toward a solution of the problem. Five years rolled away before the plans and the world were considered as being suited model, and in '91 active work began. Since then there has been no stop except to throw away one modelandrebuild or begin another, until the beginning of '95 found the wagon shown herewith ready for the road. It is neat and compact, steers as easily as a bicycle, starts and stops by the manipulation of the steering lever, so that the whole control of the vehicle is in one hand and in reach of either passenger; it runs forward or backward at will, and can be handled with a nicety not obtainable in a horse; having but one handle necessary to the control there is no chance for confusion or since its first trip, it has never had a horse to help it back to its stable, a record few such vehicles up to the present date can boast of.A crank is used to start the motor, and this is really the key to the carriage. Pull the button, apply the crank, give the motor one turn, and the carriage is ready for use. Push the button, and the motor stops. Carry away the crank, and it is securely locked. A gallon of gasoline costing ten cents will run it thirty miles over very ordinary roads in two hours carrying two people. By no great change in the vehicle four people instead of two may be carried. Oiling and filling with gasoline after each ten hours of use are required; this slight
attention is all that is required outside of an occasional cleaning and a renewal of water in the cooling reservoir. The frequency of the latter depends on the atmospheric temperature and the work. If the road permit, much higher speed than fifteen miles per hour may be obtained, and, in fact, our only limit so far has been the danger of throwing ourselves out or damaging the wagon by taking the roads too rapidly. Neither horse drivers nor cycle riders can appreciate the sensation of rushing over the roads at the speed attained, for horses cannot do it for any length of time, and cyclers do not get the room of the carriage, even if they get the speed. We have been fully informed as to what others, especially foreigners, have done in this line, and 1 believe we do not mistake when we say that we have a more powerful and more perfect vehicle at less than half the weight of the foreign article. If this is true, as we believe, and if we make the further improvements already in sight, it is safe to say that long ere five years roll around, the horse will be on the highroad to disuse as a road draught animal. The motor carriage uses air tires, and is a good road maker. Filth and bad roads, inseparable from the horse, will become a thing of the past, and the self-moving vehicle of all kinds and for all places will take its place by the side of the cycle in the hearts and services of progressive people. (End of Article) In Hayden Shepleys, a renowned early American automobile researcher and author of Automobiles Made in Essex County, MA,1975, states that Currier-Cameron Carriage Co. Amesbury, MA, had an early working relationship with the Duryea brothers from the beginning. K. Doubleday, author of Automobile Bodies Made in Amesbury, states that not only did Currier-Cameron Co. made bodies for them, but also built chassis. Charles Duryea stated that he "ordered" thirteen automobiles for 1896.
Trying to out do another fellow human being has been going on since man was first created. Competition is in the veins of man. The Romans made it famous in their chariot races. The winner was allowed to live, but woe to the loser. Years before the automobile was invented, the king of sports was horse racing. Then came the automobile and within a short period of time, it was put to the test. There are four types of competition: speed, strength, endurance, and a combination of any of these.The first one, Chicago Herald-Times Chicago to Evansville Race, was intended to be speed. It turned out to be an endurance test within a time limit.
Getting into PositionOn Novemebr 28, 1895, in Chicago, under the severest of conditions, a two cylinder four horse-power automobile was able to drive through 12 inches of snow, the wind was blowing up to 60 mph, and the temperature was 13-39 degrees during the race for 56 miles. let's visit the greatest race in the history of the American automobile as recorded by four sources of the time There were many races later that could be called the greatest, but for the sheer hardship and for what it meant to its place in history, there was no other one. This race proved to be that an automobile was better than a horse and when word was spread about the race, the American public knew that it was the beginning of a new era in transportation. In November of 1985, three magazines began publishing strictly about automobiles. They were Autocar, London, England, 2nd , Horseless Age, 25th, New York, and Motocycle, 30th. Chicago. These three, along with the Herald-Tribune, gave detailed accounts of the Consolation Race on November, 2nd, and the rescheduled one on November 28th. .
Initially, the race was supposed to have been on the 2nd of November, with 83 applicants. However, only a very few were able to participate. The Herald-Tribune was ready to cancel the race, but with an outcry of a large number of people present, they agreed to a race with the winner receiving $2,000. It would be known as the Consolation Race with the main race rescheduled for November 28th, on Thanksgiving Day. The reason being, that there would not too much traffic on a Thanksgiving holiday.
Copied from the 1895 Motocycle Magazine, Nov.29
July last, H. H. Kohlsaat, proprietor of the Chicago Times-Herald, offered through the medium of that paper, prizes amounting to $5,000.00 to be awarded after a contest or competition, for motor vehicles, to take pace at Chicago, on November 2d. The published offer and the rules laid down for the competition are as follows: With a desire to promote, encourage and stimulate the invention, development, perfection and general adoption of motor vehicles or motocycles, theTimes-Herald offers the following prizes, amounting to $5,000, divided as stated:
First prize$2,000 and a gold medal, the same being open to competition to the world, Second prize$1,500 with a stipulation that in the event the first prize is awarded to a vehicle of foreign invention or manufacture, this prize shall go to the most successful American competitor. Third prize^$l,000. Fourth prize$500. The third and fourth prizes are open to all competitors, foreign and American.
It must not be supposed that in this contest the question of speed is the only requisite to be considered. It would be possible for an ingenious mechanic to construct a machine with which he could easily outstrip all others in this contest, and yet that device would be of no utility, and the outcome of no value to the world from a practical point of view.
It is the earnest desire of this paper, that this contest shall add to the sum of our mechanical knowledge in this, the new branch of the science of transportation. In this spirit, the following rules are laid down for the guidance of all who may desire to enter into the The date of the contest will be on Saturday, Nov. 2, 1895. The judges may postpone the contest if in their judgment the state of the weather or the condition of the roads will not permit a fair trial competition
ROUTE OF THE TIMES-HERALD MOTOCYCLE CONTEST
The contestants will start at the junction of Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park, and at the signal from the judges will take up the following course: West on Midway Plaisance to Washington Park: north-west through Washington Park past the refectory to Garfield Boulevard or Fifty-fifth Street; west on Garfield Boulevard to Western Avenue, which is also a boulevard; north on Western Avenue Boulevard to Thirty-fourth Street, at which point the boulevard is left, and a short turn is made to the west, and the route continues north on Western Avenue proper to Twenty-sixth Street, thence west to the boulevard; north and west on the boulevard to California Avenue; north on California Avenue to Ogden Avenue and Douglas Park; northwest through Douglas Park to Fourteenth Street Boulevard, which turns and leads north to Garfield Park ; through Garfield and Humboldt Parks by the connecting boulevards to the intersection of Humboldt Boulevard and Milwaukee Avenue; north-west on Milwaukee Avenue to Jefferson Park, and thence north-west and north on the Chicago and Milwaukee gravel road, which is a continuation of Milwaukee Avenue; through Niles, Wheeling, Half Day and Libertyville to Gurnee, where the route turns directly east on Grand Avenue to Waukegan. From Waukegan the route proceeds south on an easily followed road through South Waukegan, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Fort Sheridan. Highland Park, Ravinia, Glencoe, Winnetka, and Wilmette to Evanston. From Evanston south on Chicago Avenue to Grand Avenue ; east on Grand Avenue to Kenmore Avenue; south on Kenmore Avenue to Lawrence Avenue; east on Lawrence Avenue to the Sheridan Road; south on the Sheridan Road to Grace Street; east on Grace Street to Pine Grove Avenue; south on Pine Grove Avenue to Cornelia Street; east on Cornelia to the Lake Shore Boulevard, and thence south to Lincoln Park, and along the Lake Shore drive to the Grant monument, where the finish will be made.
Two weeks before the contest the following notice will be conspicuously displayed at all points along the route where a turn is made, or where the intersecting roads are such as to render the exact course uncertain:
ROUTE OF THE TIMES-HERALD THE MOTOCYCLE CONTEST.
This is for the guidance of those who desire to familiarize themselves with the route in advance of the day of the contest. On November 2nd, there will be stationed at all such points an officer of the contest with a flag, who will point out the course to the contestants.
In making awards the judges will carefully consider the various points of excellence as displayed by the respective vehicles, and so far as possible select as prize winners those constructions which combine in the highest degree the following features and requisites, rating them of value in the order named:
A. General utility, ease of control and adaptability to the various forms of work which may be demanded of a vehicle motor. In other words, the construction which is in every way will be the most practical.
C. Cost, The costs includes the original expense of the motor, and its connecting mechanism, and the probable annual item of repair.
D. Economy of operation, in which shall be taken into consideration the average cost per mile of the power required at the various speeds which may be developed.
E. General appearance and excellence of design. While it is desired that competing vehicles present as neat and elegant an appearance as possible, it should be assumed that any skilled carriage-maker can surround a practical motor with a beautiful and even luxuiious frame.
The judges appointed are:General Merritt, U. S. Army, chief of the department of the Missouri, with Colonel Marshall I. Ludington as coadjutor; Prof. John P. Barrett, city electrician of Chicago, with Leland L. Summers as coadjutor, and Henry Timken, president of the National Carriage Builders Association, with C. P. Kimball as coadjutor.
The following are the official rules of the contest:The hour of start from the junction of the Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park has been changed from 8 a.m. to 7.30 a.m.
RULES OF CONTEST.
Art. 1. The contest or race will be international in character, and any vehicle complying with the conditions may compete.
The vehicles shall have three or more running wheels, and shall derive their motive power from within themselves. No vehicle will be admitted to the competition which depends in any way upon muscular exertion except for the purpose of guidance.
Art. 2. The vehicles shall be capable of carrying at least two persons, one of whom shall be an umpire selected by the judges, the other or others may be the representatives of the owner of the vehicle. An umpire must accompany each vehicle over the route.
Art. 3. The route will be from the Midway Plaisance, Chic, via Jefferson Park and Half Day to Waukegan and from Waukegan south through Winnetka to Lincoln Park, following the official course outlined in detail by maps which will be furnished to each contestant. Jefferson Park, Half Day, Waukegan and Winnetka are relay places, at which motive power may be replenished.
Art. 4. There will be stationed at each relay point a timekeeper, who will report the time of arrival and departure, but stoppage at relay stations will be optional with contestants, and no allowance will be made for delays in replenishing.
Art. 5. It is expected that each contestant will make his own arrangements for replenishing motive power, or taking advantage of the relay facilities.
The umpires will be furnished with a correct statement of supplies, furnished at the starting point, at each relay point, and where possible of the amounts remaining after completion of course.
Art. 6. Vehicles will assemble at the junction of the Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park at 7.30 a m., Nov. 2, 1895, and take such positions as may be assigned them by the judges.
Art. 7. Each vehicle entered shall carry a card conspicuously displayed, this consisting of a white card 12 inches square provided with a black letter 6 inches long. Each contestant shall be designated by number. The numbers and order of starting shall be designated by the judges.
Art. 8. The starting point will be the Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park, from which point the vehicles will proceed through Washington Park and the route outlined to the corner of Halsted Street and Garfield Boulevard. Up to this point the carriages will move along without attempting to pass each other, maintaining the order in which they started, and endeavoring as nearly as possible to keep the same distance apart as at the time of starting. No trial of speed will be permitted between the limits of the Park and Halsted Street. At this latter point they will halt and be started by signal from the judges.
Art. 9. Contestants may change conductors at such points as they may desire. The umpire appointed by the judges will remain with the vehicle until it finishes the contest, either by completion of the course or by withdrawal.
Art. 10 Each vehicle shall be provided with three lights. These should be of any of the standard carriage or bicycle pattern; two lights shall be placed in front of the vehicle and one red light in the rear. These lamps shall be lighted not later than 5 p. m.
Art. 11. Each vehicle shall be provided with a trumpet, foghorn or other signal capable of sounding a warning signal of approach.
Art. 12. When two vehicles going in the same direction and at different rates of speed find themselves in proximity the slower one must keep to the right and leave half of the road available. Any vehicle attempting to prevent by maneuver the passage of any other vehicle will be disqualified. The umpire on the vehicle will be expeccted to enforce this condition.
Art. 18. The ordinary rules of the road must be observed by all vehicles, and in meeting ordinary vehicles it is expected that care will be exercised to ensure proper safety to the ordinary transients.
Art. 14. Any civil or penal responsibilities must rest entirely with the contestants who incur them. The judges, umpires or referees assume no responsibility of any nature whatsoever.
Art. 15. If several vehicles arrive together, or successively in front of an obstacle which necessitates the stoppage of the first vehicle, the other vehicles must stop in their order without attempting to pass each other till a distance beyond the obstacle of one hundred yards has been covered.
Art. 16. The umpire of the first vehicle to reach the obstacle shall have the ruling power.
Art. 17. The umpire of each vehicle will take the time of arrival at an obstruction and the time of its removal. This time shall be reported to the judges.
Art. 18. In no case may two vehicles move along abreast of each other in a tri il of speed. A vehicle wishing to maintain its position must do so before proximity necessitates the surrender of right of way as per article 22.
Art. 19. The awards will be made upon the conditions of first, utility, adaptability, excellence of design, cost and economy of operation. Second, speed.
Art. 20. No vehicle will be admitted to the competition unless the safety of occupants, spectators, and users of the public highways will be insured.
Art. 21. The judges reserve the right at their discretion to debar any vehicle which may contain elements either of danger or from its construction an evidence of weakness or general impracticability.
Art. 22. For the purpose of debarring any vehicle which may in the opinion of the judges contain elements sufficient for its rejection, preliminary trials will be held on October 29, 30, 31. All contestants must present their vehicles for examination in test as specified.
Art. 23. A detailed examination of the vehicle and its mechanism will be made by the judges and such experts as they may select. Tests will be made to determine the economy, efficiency, etc., of the vehicles, and it is expected that owners of the vehicles will offer every facility to the judges for this purpose.
Art. 24. Any vehicle which has taken part in the recent competitions held abroad will be allowed to compete in the contest provided, however, that it shall be optional with the judges as to whether detailed tests upon these vehicles are to be made.
Art. 25. In as much as the preliminary trials may not involve the detailed test of efficiency and economy which would be an important criterion of merit, it is understood that any vehicle which shall compete in the contest shall be placed at the disposal of the judges for subsequent tests should they desire it.
Art 26. The subsequent tests of vehicles may be over such route and at such times as the judges may designate.
Art. 27. Every effort has been made by the judges to define the route, and direction posts have been placed to aid the conductors of vehicles. The conductor of the vehicle will be responsible for not following the route, and no claims will be allowed on account of delays or inconveniences experienced on account of mistaking the route. Conductors will be expected to familiarize themselves in advance, and thus avoid any trouble from these causes.
Art. 28. A time limit of thirteen hours will be set. Any vehicle failing to cover the route in thirteen hours, corrected time, will be disqualified. In computing the corrected time from the time of starting and of finishing, the reports of the umpires will be taken as to legitimate delays experienced upon the route.
Art. 29. Unavoidable obstacles, such as railroad trains at road crossings and other unusual obstructions in the roads, will constitute the only grounds for an allowance of time by the judges.
Art. 30. Delavs, experienced from imperfection of mechanism, break-downs, difficulties in starting, or similar causes, will not constitute grounds for time allowances.
Art. 31. Any repairs which may be required along the road must be executed by the occupants of the vehicle. Outside assistance will not be allowed, the umpires excepted.
Art. 32. Any infraction of these rules may disqualify a vehicle at the option of the judges. The judges also reserve the right to modify or amend these rules.
ENTRIES OF PERPESTIVE MANUFACTURERS
Arnold, B. J, Chicago; Andrews, A. B., Center Point, Iowa.; Ames, D. J.. Owatonna, Minn ; Ames. A. C, South Chicago; Bradley, Wheeler & Co , Kansas City. Mo ; Bowman, E. West, Evanston, 111.; Barrows, C. H.. Wiilimantic. Conn.; Barcus, N.. Columbus. Ohio; Brown. W. H.. Cleveland, Ohio; Beck, C. W.. Chicago; Chicago Fireproof Covering Co., H. C. Todd, Chicago; Chicago Carriage Motor Co , C. O. Hansen. Chicago; Cook &Gowdey, Chicago; Conkbn, Oliver F., Dayton, Ohio; Carpenter, H. H., Chicago; Cros-<. E. D. (M. D.), Chicago; Cronholm & Stenwall, Chicago; Clapp. Henry W., Springfield, Mass ; Davis Oasolene Engine Co , Waterloo. Iowa; Daley, M. H., Charles City. Iowa; De Freet. Thomas M , Indianapolis; Duryea Motor Wagon Co., Springfield, Mass.; De 1 a Vergne Refrigerating Mach ne Co , New York; Hrick, George, Joliet, 111 ; Elston, R. W., Charlevoix, Mich.; Feerrar. J. C. W., Lock Haven. Pa.; Gawley, T. R., Aurora, Neb ; Guilford. R. W , Auburn, Ind.; Hildebrand. J. A . Chicago: Hartley Power Supply Co., Chicago ; Hertel. Max, Chicago ; Hill & Cummins, Chicago; Hall. John W., & Sons, Jacksonville, 111.; Haynes & Apperson, Indiana Natural Gas Co., Kokomo, Ind.; Hagaman. J. D.. Adrian, Mich.; Holmes. Lyman S., Glovers wile, N. Y.; Haviland. Frank W., N. Y.; Holtbn, Milton E., Chicago; Flachs, W. J. H., Quincy, 111.; Lewis. George W.. Chicago; Lasher, R. E., St. Louis, Mo.; Leppo Brothers,Belleville.Ohio: Laporte Carriage Co , Laporte. Ind ; Lowery, V. L. D., Eaton, 11l.; M'Donald, P E, & Brennan. W. F., Chicago; Alliance Carriage Co. Cincinnati, Ohio; Moehn, J. N.. Milwaukee; Meredith. Edwin. Batavia, 111.; Mills, M. B , Chicago; Moms & Salom, Philadelphia; M'Arthur, A. W., Pockford, 111.; Mueller, IL. Decatur, 111; Mills & Pearls, Chicago; Maguire Power (Jenerating Co., Chicago; Norton, Fred. (5.. Waulegan. Ill: Praul. John E., Philadelphia; Pierce Engine Co., Racine, Wis.; Parks, W. J.. (Ellinger & Parks), la Salle, 111.; Patterson, William. ( hicago; Pierce-Crouch Engine Co , New Brighton. Pa,; Pierce. W. A., Sistersville, W Va.; Roberts, S. W.. Chicago; Kiel Import Co. (Benz motor). Chicago; Columbia Perambulator Co., Chicago; Bobert«on, G. W., Mount Vernon. Ind.: Radford. W. J., Oshkosh, Wis.; Strong & Gibbons, Chicago; Smith. Ira D., Pittsburg. Pa.; Stone & Maynard, Avonia. Pa.; Smith. Otis E , Hartford, Conn.; Shaver. Joseph, Milwaukee ; Sturges Electric Motocycle, Co , ('hicago; Schoening. O. J., Oak Park, 111 ; Sintz Gas Engine Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.; Schindler, A. J., Chicago; Templeton, John, Chicago; Thomas Kane & Co., Chicago; Taylor; Flwood E., Fitchburg, Mass ; Vanall, Frank, Vincennes. Ind.: Verret, N. J., Pine Bluff, Ark.; Woolverton, G. C, Buffalo, N. Y.; Wayne Sulkyette & Road Cart Co., Decatur, 111; Wilkins, Vernon H, Evanston, 111 : Booth, Carlos C, Youngstown, Ohio; Okey, Perrv, Columbus, Ohio: Simons, W -A. Chicago; Tinkham Cycle Co., N. Y.; Wilson, David H. Chicago.
From this list of ninety applicants, six showed up for the race.Before we continue, lets think for a moment about the number of applications that were submitted. It had only bee three short years since the Duryea Brothers had put the first successful gasoline-driven automobile on the streets. Lambert had made a three wheel model shortly before this, but it met with no success and only one was made. Consolation Race
Copied from the Motocycle Magazine
The great race was postponed, but in order to afford those who had responded to the muster a chance to win some laurels.
Nov. 2nd, just after dark, when the lanterns were glowing on the guide posts in the motocycle consolation contest, H. Muellers Benz motor wagon dashed into Lincoln Park and won the prize of $500 offered Friday. The prize was to be offered was to have been divided between those who covered the entire route to Waukwegan and back within the time limit of thirteen hours, but owing to an accident of the Duryea machine, the Benz Wagon norivals, and the judges awarded the prize to H. Mueller of Decatur, Ill. Rather than bring about a collision, Charles E Duryea ran his motor wagon in a ditch, hoping to run it up safely on the farther bank. One of the wheels was smashed and the wagon was wrecked, so that the Duryea machine was out of the race before it had reached Half Day. The decision of the judges in awarding the consolation prize to Mr. Mueller was considered satisfactory to everybody, and both Mr. Duryea and Mr. Mueller are determined to enter the big motorcycle contests to be held on Thanksgiving Day. The entire route of ninety-two miles was covered by the Mueller wagon in nine hours and thirty minutes Of this the judges allowed seven and a half minutes for stop pages at railroad crossing, making the actual time nine hours, twenty-two minutes, but the Mueller wagon was delayed much more than this. The actual time being for the spin being eight hours, forty-four minutes. The motor consuming five and one half gallons during the entire trip. The contest was only a supplementary to the big time race on Thanksgiving Day. Nearly ninety entries were made for the original contest which has been postponed. Whether few or many of the original entries will make the race the contest will be decided absolutely Nov. 28, and the prizes amounting to $5,000 will be awarded by the judges on that day. The contest was postponed solely on account of the pressure brought to bear on the judges by those competitors who felt they had not had sufficient time to complete their inventions. By offer of prizes Mr. Kohlsaat had virtually started a new industry and given a stimulus to invention in the direction of horseless carriages. As the matter was in its infancy the competitors felt they needed more time, and following the precedent in the Paris-Bordeaux and the Paris-Rouen horseless carriages races, the contest was postponed. Engineers, electricians and carriage manufacturers were pleased at the postponement of the big contest be- cause they considered that the object was not to have a race, but to show that horseless carriages were practicable and would speedily become a factor in metropolitan locomotion, and that American inventors were just as progressive as Europeans in this new enterprise.
Directly in line with this, P. E. Studebaker, the carriage manufacturer, wrote as follows:
Chicago, Nov. 2.To the Editor, Times-Herald: While the postponement of the motocycle race is a disappointment in some respects, it seems to me that there are certain features of it which reflect greater credit upon the Times-Herald than would have occurred even if the race had been carried on as announced.
If the seventy-five or more men had entered the race, as expected when your offer was first made public, people would have said that horseless carriages were easily made; that many different varieties were on the market, and the exhibition would simply have been an exhibition of manufacturers, similar to any exhibition of manufacturers. But the fact that 75 per cent of the men who expected to enter the race have not been able to do it, and the further fact that it has been developed that ever so many difficulties are in the way, shows that the influence of a great paper like the Times-Herald was needed to encourage and develop this new enterprise.
No one has lost faith in the possibilities of motocycles, nor has anyone prophesied that they will not ultimately supplant carriages drawn by horses, but the results of the work in the past few months have shown that such an action as that taken by the Times-Herald was absolutely needed to bring about this great change rapidly. It was the spur that was needed. Your action has hastened the development of the motocycle several years, and what is more important, it has had the effect of transferring the manufacture of the motorcycle from Europe to America.
As I understand it, none of the seventy-five to a hundred manufacturers, who sent their names in early for the race have lost heart or given up the manufacture, but they have all found that there are so many new conditions that more time is required than they expected. I congratulate the Times-Herald most heartily on the great success already achieved in attracting attention to the possibilities of the motocycle, and thus concentrating the inventive faculties of the nation on this new departure.
Copied from the 1895 Motocycle Magazine
Owing to a general feeling among those who had entered in the Tines-Herald Contest that insufficient time had been allowed them for preparation, the judges wisely decided to postpone the event until Thanksgiving Day, November 28th. Only eight vehicles could be mustered on the Washington Driving Park on Friday, the day before the race, and one or two of these were in an unfinished condition. They were the track, some of those present having come from remote points to witness the exhibition
Seven vehicles were present for this run. They were the Benz wagon, imported from Mannheim, Germany, and owned by the H. Mueller Mfg Co., Decatur, III,; the Duryea wagon, of the Duryea Motor Wagon Co., Springfield, Mass.; two electric wagons built by Morris & Salom, Philadelphia, Pa.; a motor bicycle and two victorias entered by Thos. Kane & Co., Chicago, 11l., and an unfinished electric wagon exhibited by the Columbia Perambulator Co., Chicago, 111
Mueller Benz, Manheim Germany
1894 Duryea Motor Wagon
THE TESTING APPARATUS. A unique testing apparatus had been set up at the Park and it was stipulated in the rules of the contest that each vehicle should be subjected to this test before being allowed to compete in the Race. Three vehicles only were put through the ordeal, the Benz wagon, the Duryea, and one of the victorias of Thomas Kane & Co. The figures of these tests were not given out however, the judges having decided to reserve them until the publication of the complete tests, which are to be made previous to the Thanksgiving Day event.
APPARATUS FOR TESTING MOTOR VEHICLESA large crowd of experts and curiosity seekers gathered around these vehicles as they were put through their paces on the machine. The machine adopted consists of a raised platform with an incline leading to it, permitting the motocycle to be run upon the platform without difficulty. Immediately in the rear of the platform is a shaft containing two revolving drums and a friction brake. The friction brake is a standard dynamometer and registers accurately the power consumed by the revolving drums and shaft. The vehicle is also attached to the platform through a dynamometer, which registers accurately the pull it exerts. Revolution counters are attached to the revolving wheels and drums, so that the speed at which the wheels travel is accurately measured at all times.
The weight of the vehicle causes the wheels to adhere to the revolving drums, and the friction is sufficient to tend to drive the vehicle forward as it would upon an ordinary road. This friction is adjustable and is measured, so that the vehicle may run at full speed and its forward pull be measured, also the number of miles per hour it would travel. With this device it is possible to measure the load the vehicle will carry, how steep a grade it will climb, the consumption of fuel, the power and the efficiency of the mechanism.
also of hard metal, the rolling friction is small in connection with the bearing friction. It requires from eight to ten pounds pull to move a ton of weight on ordinary roads. This will amount to from forty to 100 pounds, depending on the wheels and on the road. Messrs. Summers and Lundie intend to determine this factor for various roads, and also the friction of the axles, wheels, shafts, etc., of the motor vehicles.
What is termed rolling friction enters largely into the problem. This term simply means the friction the road has for the wheel of the vehicle. The road tends to sink slightly under the weight of the wheel, and in doing so forces the wheel to climb a small hill in order to move forward. This small hill is made at every new position assumed by the vehicle, and consequently there is a continual expenditure of power in forcing the carriage forward. The amount of pull required to draw the vehicle along varies with the depth the wheels sink into the road.
In railway work where the road is steel and the wheels are the judges announced on Friday, November 1st, a consolation race, to be run over the course the following day, with a prize of $500. for the winner, or winners, if more than one vehicle covered the course. The time limit was fixed at thirteen hours. At 8.15 o'clock on November 2nd, four vehicles assembled for the start at the junction of the Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park. These vehicles were the Duryea motor wagon, the Benz wagonof the H. Mueller Mfg Co., and two Kane-Pennington victorias. The owners of the latter stated however that they had no intention of running over the course, but would merely exhibit their machines on the city boulevard. Morris & Salom also exhibited their electric wagons at the start.
The Benz wagon was sent off first, followed after a brief interval by the Duryea wagon. Both wagons moved at a moderate speed until the corner of Halsted Street and the Fifty-fifth Street Boulevard was reached, when the race proper began. In the Benz wagon were seated Oscar Mueller, son of the owner, C. G. Reid, of Chicago, and S. F. Gilmore, of Princeton, Ind., who acted as umpire. Charles E. and J. Frank Duryea occupied their own vehicle. The Duryea wagon soon took the lead but lost it through the snapping of the drive chain, which was of too light construction. Forty-eight minutes were occupied in repairing this, the Benz wagon having meanwhile passed on and secured a good lead.
The Duryeas quickened race in the effort to overtake their competitors and seemed likely to succeed when an unfortunate accident put them out of the race. A few miles out of the city they overtook a farmer, driving a team in the same direction. In his flurry the farmer turned to the left instead of the right, and to avoid a collision the Duryeas were forced into the ditch. The ditch was considerably deeper than appearances indicated and the shock broke one of the front wheels, completely disabling the wagon, which had to be shipped by train to Chicago.
The Benz wagon proceeded over the course, an object of interest to thousands en route. Supplies of gasolene, and ice for cooling the machinery were taken at the appointed stations on the journey, and at 6.43, nine hours and thirty minutes from the time of starting, the Benz wagon reached the goal at Lincoln Park. The amount of gasolene consumed during the entire trip is said to have been five and a half pounds.
The distance covered was ninety-two miles and allowing for delays the actual time occupied in making the run was only eight hours and forty-four minutes. The only other machine that attempted to cover the course having met with an accident, the judges awarded the special prize of $500 to the H. Mueller Mfg Co., of Decatur, 11l.
Messrs. L. L. Summers and John Lundie of the board of judges, made a rigid examination of the victorious machine as soon as it was brought to a standstill, and as a result made the following official statement:
"We made a careful examination of the motor at the end of its journey. There was no perceptible heating of any of the bearings. The cylinder was not unduly heated. The water jacket was not steaming and the last water which had been taken in was cool. The hard rubber tires were in first-class condition barring the one which had simply been misplaced by an unavoidable accident and which was restored to position without difficulty. The left hand rear wheel was slightly sprung. We found no cutting of the bearings from dust or grit. Although the belts used in connection with the machinery showed dust deposit, this had no injurious effect upon them. In fact, we found the machine in very good con, dition and it could have repeated the trip at once. It stood the test of the journey, with all of its hardships, in a magnificent manner."
The number of miles actually run wai ninety-two. The gross time taken by the Benz motor in traveling this distance was nine hours and thirty minutes. The start was at 9.13 Saturday morning and the finish at 6:43 in the evening. In making the run the only time delay allowed by the judges under the rules and conditions of the race was for stops at grade railroad crossings, where trains might temporarily blcck the way. The BeDz machine lost seven minutes through this cause. The judges therefore corrected the running time from nine hours and thirty minutes to nine hours and twenty-two and a half minutes. This will be the official record of the length of time occupied, showing an average speed of approximately ten miles an hour.
But the machine lost other time than that at grade crossings. Its total loss of time was forty-six minutes, making its real running time for the entire distance eight hours and forty-four minutes.
The great race for the $5,000 prizes is positively announced for Thanksgiving Day, the judges declaring that no climatic conditions or pleas for more time will influence them to postpone it. Should the weather prove too inclement to permit a race over the new sixty mile course, the competition will take place in some suitable enclosure like Tattersall's
There were eighty-three entrants from all parts of the country that had applied to be entered, but only thirteen showed up showed up and after seeing the conditions, only six chose to participate. Only two finished. Many of these original entrants were gasoline models, showing what was taking place in all sections of the country. This was a year before Henry Ford tested his car.
1895 Times Race
Nov. 28, 195
Sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald Newspaper
This material was gathered verbatim from several sources.
1895 Motocycle Journal
On the evening before the race eleven competitors declared they would start, but when the motorcycles were sent on their fifty-four mile run only six wagons had appeared at Jackson Park and Midway Plaisance.Thousands were waiting at Jackson Park and Midway Plaisance at 8:30 o'clock to watch the contest. Gasoline engines .were to be pitted against electric motors, and tremendous interest was taken in the race. All along the route and at the turning corners from Jackson Park to Evanston and return hundreds waited patiently until the vehicles came in sight. The boulevards were crowded with rigs and cutters, all dashing up and down over the snow, looking for the horseless carriages
The six vehicles were:
5Duryea Motor Wagon Company, Springfield, Mass., gasoline
9H. Mueller & Co., Decatur, Ill., gasoline
7De La Vergne Refrigerating Machine Company, New York, gasoline.
18Morris and Salom, Philadelphia, electric.
No. 22 Macy Benz. Gasoline
25Sturges Electric Motocycle. Chicago, electric
Haynes & Apperson, of Kokomo, Ind., had a handsome wagon and started for Jackson Park early in the morning, fully intending to be in the race. In making a sharp turn at Indiana Avenue and Thirty-eight street to avoid a street car the forward wheel of the motocycle was smashed and Haynes & Apperson had to give up all idea of racing.
1895 Max Hertel Autocycle
Something snapped in the steering gear of the wagon belonging to Max Hertel, of Chicago, and he did not enter the contest. A. C. Ames, of South Chicago, and George W. Lewis, of Chicago, could not get ready in time for the start, and they abandoned all idea of racing
The Lewis Motocycle
.1896 Benton Harbor Motor Carriage Baushke & Brother, of Benton Harbor, Mich., failed to get their wagon here in time for the race.
1895 Hills Locomotor, Hill and Cummings, Chicago, IL Neither could the Hill Locomotor make it.
Beginning of the Race"Ready!" shouted Judge Kimball, as he stood watch in hand, at the side of the Duryea wagon. J. F. Duryea leaped into the wagon, followed by Arthur W. White, the umpire. At 8:55 o'clock the word "Go" was uttered and the motorcycle passed swiftly through the crowd, which opened and closed on it as it rushed on. A minute later the Benz wagon, of the De la Vergne Refrigerating Machine Company, was started, amid the cheers of the crowd. Frederick C. Haas, the inventor of the steering gear on the De la Vergne, operated the machine, with James F. Bate as umpire. The Benz motor in this case proved unequal to the task of getting over the bad piece of road from the starting point to Fifty-fifth Street. The wheels slipped around in the snow, but failed to go forward. Then Mr. Haas decided he would not attempt to race, and the wagon was shoved over the deep snow to a better part of the road. Macy's wagon started in good shape at 8:59 o'clock, with Jerry O'Connor as the operator and Lieutenant Samuel Rodman, Jr., as umpire. Mr. O'Connor had to jump out and push his machine over the snow on Midway Plaisance before he reached a hard track. The Sturges electric motocycle left at 9:01, with Harold Sturges, the owner, and T. T. Bennett, the umpire, on board. The Morris and Salom electric wagon, left a minute later, with Mr. Morris and Hiram P. Maxim, the umpire, on board. The Mueller gasoline motocycle was not started on its way until 10:06:45. Oscar Mueller operated the wagon, while C. B. King acted as umpire. Superintendent Foster, of the South Park district, had his officers mounted and controlling all crowded points along Sixtieth Street when the Duryea motocycle received its first cheer after the start at the corner of Cottage Grove avenue and that street, just at the entrance to South Park. Lieutenant Bonfield had the city police conspicuously in evidence at the same point, the crowd there even as early as 8 o'clock numbering 300, and by 9:07, when the Duryea passed, fully 500 were watching and waiting.
In the parkway every drive was filled with swell turnouts, occupied by capitalists who may wish motocycles for pleasure traveling next summer, and inventors who were more or less skeptical as to the ability of the machines to overcome the everlasting slush and snow abundance of the bright day.
The Macy motocycle was the second machine to cross the line, 9:15, eight minutes behind the Duryea. Then came the De la Vergne motor, eight minutes later, and four minutes after that the Sturges electric motocycle, which, by permission of the judges, did not attempt the snowy ways of the park, but turned down the clean tracks of Cottage Grove avenue. It was followed in three minutes by the Morris & Salom motor. The crowd then dispersed, disappointed that the famous Mueller machine had not put in an appearance, and when at 10:14 that machine did reach the avenue there was scarcely a baker's dozen present to greet its plucky attempt to wrest victory from the jaws of defeat.
The run through South Park for all of the machines was uneventful, save where the snow blocked speedy trial, and finally brought the De la Vergue people to the determination to quit the contest and await a more favorable time. There were a thousand people on Fifty-fifth boulevard to cheer the guides of the motors as they headed for Michigan avenue, but, with a practically unbroken street, the motors could not show their best speed, and contented themselves with a gait which strictly harmonized with the character of the path.
Down Michigan Avenue, where travel was better, the scene was more spirited. A moderate estimate would place the number of people on the walks between Fifty-first street and the Auditorium Hotel on Michigan avenue at 10,000, and they were all discussing the motocycleits merits and demerits.
Chief Badenoch drove from point to point along the avenue observing the arrangement of his officers. This arrangement was admirable. As Park row was approached the crowds overlapped the pavements and, with the innumerable vehicles on the avenue, threatened to make the way impassable. The officers were vigorous in their efforts to have the avenue free, and in this they succeeded. The judges, after the start, had come to the Leland Hotel, where they observed the Duryea and the others pass. The Macy was the second to pass the Auditorium. It overtook the Duryea at Rush and Erie streets, where the latter temporarily broke down. But the Macy machine, before achieving this triumph, created great excitement near the Art Institute by colliding with an Adams street horse car from the rear. The machine had taken the rail behind the car, and when the car stopped, in an effort to stop also, the motor slid on the rail and stayed in the rear dashboard of the car. No one was hurt, and the delay was only that of a moment.
When the Sturges motocycle passed the Leland, the judges and a crowd of spectators shouted: "Good boy, Sturges."
The Mueller machine was also cheered and the excitement was great when at Tower place it passed the Morris & Salom motor and began its long effort to overtake the Macy, and if possible conquer the Duryea. A shout came from the Mueller crowd as they passed the north side water tower:
"We are just one hour and sixteen minutes out from Jackson Park."
The distance was all of nine miles, and the spectators on the pavements and even in the windows of L. Z. Leiter's mansion applauded back.
The football games were interfered with as to an early attendance on the benches. The streetcar lines from the west and north and south brought all the "rooters" to the route of the motocycles. The colors of Michigan and the University of Chicago, of Boston and the Chicago Athletic Association lent brightness, if that were possible, to one of the brightest Thanksgiving mornings Chicago has ever seen. People did not mind standing in the yielding snow. Those on Rush street, Tower Place and the North Shore Drive waited for all of three hours before they saw the first wheel. They were enthusiastic. Passing through the groups gathered here and there it was surprising to hear the scientific discussion going on as the merits of motorcycles and the eventual good they were to work in urging forward the "good roads" problem of America.
Some horses shieda few; some children stared, but thanks to the tremendous agitation in favor of the horseless vehicle started in this country by The Times-Herald few there were that did not have an intelligent conception of the nature of "the beast." Even so sedate a man as Lieutenant Hubbard, of police fame, had decided early in the morning that the Duryea machine was certain to win.
Streams of people poured into Lincoln Park to see the big race go by. By 10 o'clock all of the approaches to the Grant Monument were covered, and a large crowd had collected on the level ground in front of it. By 10:20 both sides of the driveway were lined with people for a long distance in either direction. A raw wind was blowing, and General Grant sat closer on his horse and seemed to be glad that his left ear was protected by a large patch of snow. At 10:30 No. 22, the R. H. Macy Co., wagon came in sight and was loudly applauded. It was going at a conservative gate, about six miles an hour, but looked as though it could have gone faster if there were any occasion for it. It was just forty minutes ahead of No. 5, the Duryea wagon, which was going at seven to eight miles an hour and was evidently trying to overtake No. 22. Not half of the crowd had remained in the cold wind to see the second contestant, but had straggled over to the ball grounds to look at a football game. Just thirty-two minutes later, at 11:42, No. 19, the H. Mueller& Co., wagon came into sight and puffed its way slowly and laboriously through the park. Its pneumatic tires had been wrapped with twine to keep them from slipping, and one of the operatives was sanding the belt on the motor for the same reason.
The crowd was chilly, the football players thought of their Thanksgiving dinner, and everybody went home.
At 12:15 the Sturgis Electric Motocycle, No. 25, moved slowly through the park. It carried three people. The driver claimed that the battery had been overworked getting through the deep snow of the Midway, and that he had been compelled to make frequent long stops to keep it from burning out. At the north end of the park the hopelessness of the race was apparent, and the machine was pulled off the course.
After passing through Lincoln Park, the Duryea wagon still kept behind the Macy motocycle, but it was making quick time with the determination to overtake its rival. The practically unbeaten roads to the first relay station proved trying to the vehicles, the rubber-tired wheels slipping in the snow.
The Race a Great Success.
Frederick U. Adams, who had charge of the race for H. H. Kohlsaat, said last night that the contest was satisfactory in every particular and that the tests threw those made recently in France far in the rear. He said: "The Paris-Bordeaux race was worthless from a scientific standpoint, but the contest of today may result in the establishment of good data concerning what many believe the vehicle of the future. The progress of the preliminary tests has been watched by thousands of manufacturers in every part of the world and there is no doubt that there will be a great interest in the manufacture of these horseless vehicles now that it has been demonstrated what can be done with them.
Following the progress of the motocycles was a cutter containing Frederick C. Haas, who had abandoned the race with the De La Vergne machine on Michigan Boulavard and Sixteenth street; A. E. Richter and a reporter for the Times-Herald. In crossing the tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee &St. Paul Road near Cavairy cemetery, the cutter was just ahead of the Macy wagon. The sleigh's runner caught in a frog and the occupants of the cutter were thrown on the tracks. Before they had time to pick themselves up and count bruises the Macy wagon came along. The steering gear of the motocycle had given out, and as the wagon came opposite the overturned sleigh it switched suddenly and smashed into the cutter. No damage was done, however, and the motocycle passed along.
While coming back through Rogers Park the Macy carriage met a hack which did not give the right of way. In trying to turn out the tire of the motocycle slipped, and its left front wheel collided with the rear wheel of the hack. By the collision four spokes were badly chipped, and the steering gear bent so as to be almost useless. Fortunately the gauge of the vehicle was the same in width as the street car tracks, and by keeping on the car tracks it managed to reach the second relay station a mile farther on.
The second relay station at North Clark Street and Devon Avenue presented a lively scene from 11 until 4 o'clock. The roadhouse of William Bock at that corner was the headquarters for a hundred men who were enthusiastic over the contest. Several watched the race pass the first relay station at Grace Street and Sheridan Drive, and then came to the second station by the electric cars. J. A. Lucas, of Ravenswood, was one of those who stayed till the last carriage had arrived. Two fresh teams, with comfortable rigs, were at the relay station to take the men who were driving along with the contestants. Frank R. Mac Pherson, manager of the Macy outfit, had a team and brought with him plenty of naphtha to replenish the supply for his motor. H. Wedel was at the relay in readiness to care for the wants of the motocycle entered by the De la Vergne Company, but as his machine did not come that far he had nothing to do. Fred B. Mueller with his cousin, Adolph Ewers, awaited the Mueller machine with supplies. Various motocycles and different styles of motors were discussed while the crowd waited for the motor wagons to make their appearance.
An excited crowd flocked to the street when the Duryea machine was sighted. It came along at a good pace, and crossed Devon avenue at 1x9:41 o'clock. Two men were in the carriage. It did not even slacken speed at the second relay station, but continued south on Clark street. In a short time the Macy carriage came into view. It reached the relay point at 1:16:41 o'clock. In it were Lieutenant Hodman, the umpire, and Engineer Jerry O'Conner. A collision with a hack a little distance back had thrown its steering gear out of order so that it followed the car tracks around the curve, being unable to turn out. A stop of an hour and twenty minutes was made at the relay station for repairs. The machinery was also cleaned. Six gallons of naphtha and seven gallons of water were taken on. The machine resumed its journey at 2:37:26 o'clock,
The third and last motocycle to pass the second relay station was the Mueller machine, which arrived at 3:23:16 o'clock. Upon it were Charles G. Reid, Oscar Mueller and Charles B. King. Several stops had been made to oil and to fix the clutch, which had been bent by the rough roads. The right sprocket chain had also given some trouble. After replenishing the fuel, the machine started again at 3:28:40 o'clock, and was working smoothly as it disappeared around a curve in Clark Street.
After passing the second relay station, at Grace and North Clark streets, the Duryea wagon ran smoothly along the car tracks, going at a high rate of speed. The spectators who stood at the corners of the streets cheered as the motocycle passed swiftly by. A mistake was made at Lawrence Avenue by the operator. He mistook the direction of the hand on the guide post and went along Clark Street instead of down Ashland Avenue at far as Roscoe street. He went two miles out of his way, but struck the regular course again by going west on Diversey Street. The observation sleigh, which followed later, followed the indication on the guide post, but a search was made in vain for the Duryea wagon. None of the hundreds waiting for the motorcycles had seen it, and it was at first thought that the wagon had broken down. But it managed to keep ahead of its rivals. The Mueller wagon passed the Macy at the second relay station, where the New York machine was delayed for repairs. Swift runs were made to the next relay station.The run out Roscoe Street and Belmont avenue, and then southeast on Milwaukee avenue and through Humboldt and Lincoln parks, was fairly uneventful, but slow Western Avenue boulevard was not very gay with sleighs and foot passengers, but in the vicinity of Brighton Park, on Twenty-sixth street, and at California and Ogden Avenues, about Douglas Park, and you to Fortieth Street, the crowd blocked the sidewalk. They skated, coasted and ran on a dozen false alarms that the first motor was in sight and finally, grown weary of waiting, resolved themselves into snowball parties. At Douglas Park this form of amusement became so serious that the park and city police sought to make arrests. Then the crowd turned loose on them with their white missiles and completely drove them for a time from the street Two hundred small boys charged on the officer, knocked his hat from his head, covered him with snow and made him retreat. An attempt to call for the patrol wagon revealed the fact that not a telephone, nor police alarm box in that district had been working since the storm of Monday night.
Duryea Reaches Douglas Park.
Wet and cold, darkness already coming on, and not a motocycle in sight, the small boys and the little girls and the older folks went home. Consequently, when, a few minutes before 6 o'clock, the Duryea motor came through Douglas Park laboring with every bad roadway, there was no one to greet it on California Avenue but a representative of the Times-Herald. Ahead of the machine drove the umpire, and after the good wheeling on California Avenue was found he had a lively time keeping ahead of the vehicle. On Thirty-fourth Street and the first approaches to Western Avenue the roadbed was comparatively hard, and the motor made magnificent time, traveling one space at the rate of eight miles an hour with ease. Lacking spectators, except here and there a solitary workman on his way home, or the belated watchman of one of the ill-smelling soap factories of the district hastening to his odorous place of duty, the men on the motor gave vent to war-whoops, cheers, catcalls and other manifestations of joy over the victory they were winning.
Western avenue boulevard was not so easy going The path was poorly broken and the under bed rough. Progress to Fifty-fifth Street was slow and tedious, but the motor held to her work without a break. As the boulevard was turned onto the final run on the home stretch the cry rang out: "This is 5:5:55."
To Ashland avenue but one sleigh' was passed. The darkness was on, and, hidden behind two horse-moving rigs, the motorcycle was comparatively unnoticed. But at Halsted a woman crossing the street with an escort caught sight of the strange rig and jumped back from the crossing frightened. On the opposite corner at a drug store a crowd of men cheered. Young boys began to chase the motocycle and shout, but they could not keep up.
No delays were met with but a stoppage for gasoline and the holding of the motor at the crossing of the Fort Wayne Road by passing trains for four minutes. After this the run to South Park and then to the starting line of the morning was uneventful. Not fifty people saw he last stages of the finish or knew that the Duryea had established a world's record in the capacity of a motocycle to conquer even King Winter himself. It was just 7:18 when Frank Duryea threw himself out of the seat of the motor and announced the end. His hand was grasped by the few who saw him cross the line. The congratulations were hearty. The crowd of travelers were hungry. The Duryea was wheeled about and started for her quarters on Sixteenth street.
At 8:53, with John Lundy, one of the judges, holding the watch, the Mueller motor crossed the line, second in the race, and, considering the lateness of the hour at which she started, really only twenty-four or twenty-five minutes behind the Duryea. Her journey through the parks and boulevards of the city proper was even more lonesome than that of the Duryea to the spectators. An enthusiast might be found at some point, who had waited all the afternoon for the sight, but these were few. The gayeties of the evening had called away the large and jolly crowds of the morning, and only the officials of the race and the reporters saw: the end of the great battle against the snow and a too kindly sun.
Lieutenant Samuel Hodman, umpire for the Macy motocycle, reported last night shortly after twelve o'clock that the Macy had been compelled to quit the race at California and Ogden avenues at 6:15 p. m. At that time they were only twenty-five minutes behind the Duryea machine, and were ahead of the Mueller motocycle. Their motor gave out at that point, and although they labored with it for five hours or until 11:30, they were unable to make it run satisfactorily again. They consequently abandoned the race. The Mueller machine passed them while they were trying to repair the defects of the motor, but they could not follow it.
Lieutenant Hodman was convinced that the collision which the Macy had on Evanston Avenue early in the day with an ignorant, obstinate coachman, and which injured the steering apparatus, so destroyed the adjustment of that important mechanism that after that time the motor could not be run at its full capacity and eventually broke down altogether. Still, at California and Ogden avenues, where it quit, the Macy was second in the race, with a fair show of overtaking the Duryea and producing a neck to neck finish
Charles Duryeas Story of the Race
Copied from the 1895 Horseless Age Magazine
His brothers Franks name was never mentioned. He was referred to as the operator.
Charles E. Duryea
Our wagon had been loaded into the car at Springfield, Mass., in a big hurry and in a big rain. Consequently some things were jammed and everything rusted. It had reached Chicago late on Wednesday and the car got lost in the flood of Thanksgiving stuff in the railroad yards, and could hardly be got at for unloading purposes. At last we got it up to the platform and unloaded. It was too cold to look the thing over on the platform, so we started the motor and moved over to a nearby carriage repository. Here we saw that everything was in running shape and as it was already late, we hurried up to the testing room. Here we expected to clean the wagon up, but we were soon put on the testing machine and had no opportunity to do so. We were kept on the rack without supper till after midnight, and when we turned in at one o'clock, with orders to be called at six, we were almost too tired to sleep.
Six o'clock found us up before the call reached us, and after forcing ourselves to swallow a little something in the way of breakfast, we reached the testing room a little after seven o'clock. We filled up with gasolene and started for the start, all the other wagons having already gone. A pleasant half hour's run down the Cottage Grove car tracks brought us to the famous Midway. In making several turns we noticed that the left wheel and the steering lever did not seem to synchronize, but an examination failed to show any way of correcting the trouble in the time yet ours before the start. So we simply trusted to luck and tried to forget that our steering was not all right. As we turned down the Midway, a kind spectator informed us : "One is just ahead of you there..It has been stuck in the snow for the last twenty minutes."We looked and saw a Benz wagon crossing the Midway, evidently hunting for an easier street to get to the start on.. Our wheels kept turning and seemed to slip very little so we kept on through the Midway, thinking that if we could not get over to the start, we could not get back over it after the start, and a few minutes later we drew up at the starting point, being the first to arrive except one that had been hauled there on a dray. Shortly after eight we turned our wagon around and got it in position for the start, and at 8.55, our wagon in the charge of the inventor's brother, J. Frank Duryea, with Arthur W. White as umpire, was started. It was soon lost to view behind the crowd near the Illinois Central tracks, and our interest centered in the De la Vergne wagon, of Benz model, started one minute later. Scarcely had it got beyond the crowd at the tracks until a commotion there indicated something of interest and we started down that way.
Before reaching the scene, the Macy wagon, also of Benz model, passed us and we met the Muller, a Benz with some changes, being hauled by a team to the starting point. When we got to the scene of interest, we found a dense crowd and asked the first one handy : " What is the matter?" "All stuck in the snow except the first one," was the answer, and going further we found a good natured crowd with their shoulders to the helpless wagons, shoving them along to the slogan : "It is a good thing; push it along." By this time the two electric wagons had arrived and found themselves in like difficulty. While the heavier one was pushed slowly along by the crowd, the driver of the other said : " It's against the rules to receive outside help, but" (sotto voce) "I guess you had better push us." At this the crowd laid hold, and the sight of four motor vehicles propelled by man power saddened the enthusiasts but tickled the cynics. We did not wait to see whether the sixth wagon fared any better, for it did not start for over an hour and rumor says it also had to be pushed) but caught a train far down town where a light sleigh and a splendid team of horses were awaiting us.
On the train we speculated as to how many would get through and what time they would make. The writer felt that our wagon could be depended to hold the four mile speed in the worst places, and the intermediate speed in anything like decent going, and as the other wagons had but two changes of speed to our three we could gain on them in spite of themselves. " Barring accidents, we will win," was an axiom rather than a boast for we had faith in our motor, our gears and our steering. We expected our wagon to reach Van Buren Street in about an hour and a quarter, and were both surprised and pleased to see it roll into sight in a little less than one hour from the start. The waiting crowd cheered and we swung our hats as it passed us. We then fell in behind it and let our horses move themselves to keep up. Around the corner and up on the Rush Street Bridge it went without any slacking of speed, where some of our followers got stalled. It was gradually gaining on us as it speeded over the rough but fairly snow free street whenHorrors ! See that left steering wheel refusing to answer ! The wagon stopped. We drove up and investigated.
Our luck had proved untrustworthy. Either in the accident November second or in shipment, this portion of the steering had been strained and unable to hold out longer, here it gave way. While no more serious than some of the breaks that occurred to sleighs later in the day, it seemed serious because of the fact that we were in a contest and every minute allowed the other fellow to come closer. With a monkey wrench the broken part was removed and the operator started to look up a shop where some tools could be had, for we did not have a machine shop with us. The rules forbid outside help but did not forbid borrowing facilities. Being a holiday the shops were closed and it took a deal of looking to find any open, but finally one was found and the damage repaired in short order, not perfectly, but sufficiently good to get along with.Fifty-five minutes after the stop, the wagon was off again with a steering that steered, even if it was not perfect. In the meantime the Macy wagon had passed us and gotten thirty-five minutes ahead while a third wagon had rolled into sight several blocks back. As we got into the deep snow of Lincoln Park our horses gained on the wagon and we followed it without difficulty. Here the faulty steering was quite apparent and the wagon could not make the speed it otherwise would have made. Still it kept up a good gait and we believed we were gaining on the wagon ahead. We occasionally hailed an interested spectator and from him learned how many minutes ahead the first wagon was. It soon became plainly evident that we were gaining, and after passing Lawrence Street we felt that our horses must be rested, so we watched the wagon disappear to the north while we turned over to the west in search of a hostelry on Clark Street where man and beast could be fed. We estimated that it would be 1.25 P. M. before the wagon reached the second relay and it was a question as to whether it would lead or be led at that time. Some wild hurrahs arose when at 1.10 it came in sight and drew up where we were waiting, with a clear road for at least a mile behind and nobody ahead. A look over the motor, some cool water in the place of the warm, an assurance that there was fuel sufficient and a bite to eat for the operator and umpire took about ten minutes, and again it was off down Clark Street at a speed too fast for our horses which were ready but unable to follow about mile down, Ashland Avenue leaves Clark Street and leads due south while Clark bears off to the east and Lincoln Park. We turned off Clark Street in the hopes of getting better going, expecting to see the wagon ahead of us on Ashland. It was not there nor had anybody seen it. We drove over towards Clark and inquired, and then back toward Ashland. Still no wagon. Again over to Clark and by merest luck found a man who had seen it going down Clark near Diversay. Others confirmed this report and we started that way. At Diversay we found the Sturges wagon waiting for a new supply of batteries, having used up power enough to have driven it sixty miles on decent roads and only covered about a dozen miles. We inquired of Mr. S , and he said our wagon had come down there by mistake and had turned over on Diversay Street
as being the nearest way back to the course. We saw a crowd far down the street and went that way. In the meantime , the wagon had gone down Clark Street to Lawrence where it should have turned over to Ashland, and there the operator and umpire had discussed the matter and concluded that there was no turn there, for there was no sign in sight to indicate a corner. So they had followed Clark Street, and not till they had found themselves more than a mile to the east of and away from the course, did they realize that they were last and had lost more than two miles of distance even by the shortest possible route back to the course. They had also lost in the character of the road, for while Ashland had been scraped by snowplows, Diversay was almost unbroken and this made a loss of time that would not have been recorded if they had not lost the course. To add to the ill luck, one of the electric fixtures gave trouble, and when we caught up to them the umpire was guarding the wagon while the operator was fanning a pile of charcoal with a piece of tin in an attempt to heat the part sufficiently to bend it. This was finally done and the journey resumed, after nearly an hour's delay. A few minutes brought us to Belmont Avenue with our wagon a half mile ahead and some other wagon in sight behind. What wagon was it? It was not gaining on our team, and so our wagon was gaining on it. Inquiry brought out the fact that our wagon still led and we began to feel that unless some delay more serious than those already experienced should come in, we would win without barring accidents. At California Avenue we turned off the course and took a short cut for the course at Humboldt Park. This enabled us to get ahead of the wagon and saved our team several miles. We had scarcely gotten there when the wagon showed up and led the way to the south without stopping. The deep snow had scarcely been broken except by sleighs which packed a narrow roadway, but not hard enough for a wagon nor wide enough. As a result the wagon slewed from side to side as the wheels slipped off the packed portion or cut through it.
Worse going for a wagon could hardly have been made out of ten
inches of dense packed snow, and yet this is what the first wagon had to fight through the
whole way down the west side. An army of sleighs and rigs followed and occasionally one
would get in the front and in the way. There was much enthusiasm and many snowballs. We
Not so with the operator, however, and he proceeded to examine
the gear. He found a chip flaked off one of the teeth
The wagon went up without any trouble or effort, and was the only one to do so without being pushed. By this time dark threatening clouds accompanying a warm south wind began to appear, and most of the cavalcade left us before reaching Douglas Park, through which we threaded our way almost alone. We here overtook a Times-Herald man, who had almost tired of waiting, and with him to lead the way kept on plowing our track toward the south. The warm wind made riding more pleasant than earlier in the day, but a drop of water occasionally suggested a shower, and the snow was still stiff.
Western Avenue Boulevard is ordinarily as fine a drive as one need wish for, but on that night it seemed some bit of original prairie, and not till we had nearly reached its southern end near 55th Street did we begin to notice that the snow had softened under the warm wind sufficiently to begin to act as slush and permit the wagon to cut through and roll on better surface. The speed visibly increased, and as we began to get into traveled portions of 5.r,th Street it became necessary to urge our tired horses. A short stop to see that there was fuel sufficient, and a few short delays caused by passing trains was all that delayed us. A few words of cheer enlivened the lone- some places, while the shouts and exclamations of the out-door populace made things merry where civilization was found. Down through Washington Park, and along the Midway to the start, we rolled at a speed almost too much for our tired teams, and at 7.18 the trip was completed. Congratulations all around.
We had won the first road contest in America. We had proven the motor wagon to be superior to the horse on roads decidedly unfavorable to wheels. We had forever answered the objections of ultra conservative people to the effect that the motor wagon could not be of use except on good roads ; we had opened a new era ; we had set forth a new type of vehicle. No contest or trip over summer roads, or under pleasant skies could have demonstrated our claim for our vehicle as did this trip. Our stops for all purposes amounted to nearly three hours, so that in less than seven and one-half hours we had covered more than fifty-six miles of pre-determined road, made very bad by one of the worst snow-storms known in the north-west. An average of seven and one-half miles per hour could not be maintained by the average horse over a good road for that distance, and over these roads it was simply impossible, but the wagon did it.
Our team were exceptionally good roadsters, thad covered but
about three-fifths of the total distance,
The umpire was willing to try a sleigh ride, so the writer changed places with him, and the wagon was at once started toward the stables at 16th Street, which it had left twelve hours before. The writer offered to take the steering and rest the operator, but was met by the statement that there was no fatigue from that source, and that so far as muscular effort was concerned, the trip could be repeated at once. An uneventful run brought us to the stables, the last to leave them in morning and the only one to make the trip and return at will the same night. We had covered fully seventy miles since leaving there in the morning, and our motor had made turns enough to have carried us three times that far on decent roads. We had power to spare at all places, and had no occasion to get out and push, and we were the only ones with this record.
Our motor had not stopped in the last twenty miles, and when we
pushed the button to stop it, there was no indication that it was not ready for the same
work again. When the doors had closed behind it, we left it. There was no muddy
unhitching, no cleaning, no feeding ; it was our faithful servant. At our will it stopped,
and at our will it would start again, and barring accidents it would do what we asked. The
knowledge of this gave a pleasure not found connected with horses. We were born and
brought up where horse flesh was plentiful, and the back of a horse was our second cradle.
We know something about the horse ; we have petted his mane gently and with a heart full
of love and poetry only to be thrown over his head and walked on at a moment when we
thought not. We have fed him bountifully and kindly only to be kicked against the other
side of the barn as we left his stall. We have spent years educating him, and felt that
In nearly all accounts of the Duryea motor wagon which have thus far appeared, the name of Charles E. Duryea has been mentioned as the sole inventor, while the very important part performed by his younger brother, J. Frank Duryea, in the development of the machine, has been lost sight of. As the motor in its present form is the work of the younger brother, it is fitting that a few facts should be given about his life and his mechanical education.
J. Frank Duryea was born in Illinois, in the year 1869. Having a
taste for mechanics he came East to obtain a practical knowledge thereof. His first
experience was gained in a bicycle shop at Washington, D. C Later he studied tool making
and machine construction in shops in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
In 1897, the brothers decided to sell the company to the National Motor Vehicle Co. located in New York City. Frank was made the supertendent and designer. The company's model name became the American. In late 1899 it was renamed the Gasmobile. He remained with the company for two years when he decided to build his models in Springfield.
Charles B. King
Contrary to Henry Fords 1904 Ford automobile advertisement about his automobile being the first one in Detroit, Charles King had the first one. Henry Ford was following him on a bicycle.
Charles King was the referee in the Mueller Benz automobileThe Chicago Times-Herald offered a prize of $500 for the suggestion of a name deemed most acceptable for the future; the award finally going toTh the General Manager of the NewYork Telephone Company for the name " Motocycle" Although this term was Textensively used by this paper, it never gained popularity and was shortlv abandoned. THE CHICAGO TIMES-HERALD believed it within its power, while promoting the Race, to also create a name which would be adopted to replace "Horseless Carriage" and other names then in use. Hence the TIMES by ARTHUR POUND Slingerlands, N. Y. November 1st, 1945.
Half a century ago, more or less, a great industry was born which in the meantime has revolutionized American social life, advanced our economy, equipped our armed forces with military vehicles, engines and weapons, and today leads a gigantic industrial reconversion planned to raise living standards the world around. Many of the pioneers of that extraordinary adventure in automobile design and manufacture have passed away; yet there remain quite a number who had a hand in that lively enterprise, some of whom are still in excellent fettle considering their early trials and labors.One of the most remarkable of these men is Charles B. King, now of Larchmont, New York, but formerly of Detroit where he resided from 1882 to 1916. Mr. King has some definite priorities which entitle him to honorable mention in any list of automobile pioneers. He was one of the first Americans recognized by European leaders in his field. As umpire and emergency driver, he took part in the first American automobile race which occurred fifty years ago, on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1895, an event which he describes with authority in this pamphlet. He proposed the American Motor League, our first organization to promote the general interests of the industry. Andmark this wellhe was the first person to drive an automobile on the streets of Detroit. That vehicle and its engine are both illustrated herein. Other "firsts" in automobile history and desWrittenign are his, but Mr. King is unique among his contemporaries by reason of the zeal with which he has preserved data and exhibits bearing upon his long career as a creative force in automotive, marine and aviation fields. Few men concerned in the birth of an industry realize that the records of their transactions and experiences from day to day may have historical significance. Intent on orders, profits and power, they neglect until too late the possibilities of fame in the future. Documents are lost or destroyed which later would have great historical value if they could be located. But by some uncanny sense of prevision, Charles B. King kept intact his files and most of his old correspondence, plus the more fugitive material such as newspaper and magazine clippings, prints, illustrations, catalogsthe revealing contemporary evidence of a fast-striding and forgetful industry. To these collections he added a large library on self-propelled vehicles, scouring the world for volumes on the rise of transportation from earliest times to the present. Then, throughout the years he gathered or himself reconstructed a large number of engine models illustrating the development of motive power through successive phases of steam, electrical and internal combustion locomotion. The result is enhanced opportunity to check facts, claims and opinions, plus a balanced view of the important relations of industry and transport to the history of the modern world. It is possible that other industries develop men of equal breadth and understanding, and that all industries will eventually do so when society fully recognizes that an imperative of human progress is the duty of living life to the full. But in the present dispensation, few can match Charles B. King as a combination of many arts and capacities in one human package. He can still turn out a neat gadget at the lathe, produce competent drawings and blueprints, paint well in oils or watercolors, etch on steel and copper and print from these plates. For a number of years in middle life his etchings in black and color were well hung in the great Autumn Salons of Paris. Best known of his etchings is "A Rainy DayFifth Avenue", which over a long period was published annually in the "Handbook of the New York Public Library." Then in the realm of music he has command of numerous instruments and plays them with sincere effect. No one has ever distilled from life more good, clean fun than Charles B. King. Not many have added more than he to the store of specialized tools and knowledge which render American machine shop practice a mighty bulwark of our commonwealth,, and no man of his age works more diligently to keep America truly informed on how and why its strength developed so majestically in the old days of small means and high endeavor.
MUELLER-BENZ CAR, WINNER OF SECOND PRIZE IN THE TIMES-HERALD RACE
9H. Mueller & Co., Decatur, Ill., gasoline
Oscar B. Mueller,
Driver of the car entered in the Race by his father, H. Mueller of Decatur, 111., is here
shown with Race Officials. Charles B. King was the Umpire of this car.Col. Marshall I.
Ludington, Henry Timken, C. P. Kimball, Oscar B. Mueller
"AN UMPIRE'S EXPERIENCE IN THE TIMES-HERALD RACE ON NOV. 28th" An account by Charles B. King in the Dec, 1895 issue of THE MOTOCYCLE, Chicago
"The writer was assigned as umpire to the Mueller-Benz carriage No. 19, and at the appointed hour was waiting on the historic Midway Plaisance for the arrival of the racers. A large snow plow drawn by four horses was hard at work cleaning a place for the start. The day was bright and clear, but the snow so deep that an anxious expression was seen on the faces of all the contestants. "Amid cheers from the crowd, the starts were made. Mr. Mueller's carriage left last, and at 10:06 dashed up the Midway more than one hour behind the others. "It was a holiday, and the city was decorated and ready for the event. The windows were crowded, the corners swarmed with the small boys, and at all important points we were welcomed with cheers and a shower of snow balls of assorted sizes, thrown from ranges varying from one to one hundred yards.
"We hurried on, one of our wheels grazed the edge of an open
manhole, we passed the cable cars, rushed down the tracks over frogs and split switches
and were soon in view of the Auditorium Hotel where a large crowd was waiting. "We
were fast overtaking the Morris & Salom Klectrobat, and could plainly see the sparks
coming from one of their motors. They were soon passed, also the Sturges at the corner of
Lake Shore Drive and North Avenue. Mr. Kohlsaat's residence was saluted, and as it faded
away on the horizon we took an inventory of our Thanksgiving dinner. It consisted of three
rolls. They were carefully divided between Oscar Mueller, Charles G. Reid and the umpire.
"Having passed the well traveled roads and fin- ished dinner, the carriage was soon
plowing slowly through the heavy slush toward Evanston. The throbbing of the engine could
be felt and it seemed conscious of the important duty it was performing.
"Various reports came to us as to the fate of the others. Some stated that one carriage had been entirely smashed by a hack, others heard that the Macy vehicle had been overturned by an electric car, Duryea from all accounts had gone astray and was running over the wrong course. We understood that he had some accidents and judging from the reported distance ahead, we believed that with our time limit that the Mueller was in the lead.
"It was a day for showing the benefits of the pneumatic tire over the solid rubber tire. We were equipped with the latter, and from the start saw its disadvantages. The solid rubber tire acted like a knife, and cut through the slush, and even into the mud below. The pneumatic tires on the other hand presented a slightly flattened surface which enabled the carriages thus equipped to ride on the crust and maintain a speed that was impossible with us. "The pneumatic tire is the coming tire for motor vehicles. We all came to this conclusion before the day was over.
"The excitement was intense and with the light lunch we felt somewhat weakened as the afternoon wore on. Mr. Reid left us after a journey of thirty-five miles. He was much fatigued having worked late the night before. After passing through Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas Parks, the night settled down, and our course was dimly illuminated by distant lights. "Upon reaching Halsted Street, Mr. Mueller became so weak that he was unable to steer the carriage. The umpire here assumed full control and took the liberty of changing the course in order to avoid the heavy snow on 55th Street. The course was thus somewhat lengthened, but as the streets were better lighted, a higher speed was maintained. Halsted Street was followed as far as 63rd Street, and turning there the car tracks led us to the finish.
"Mr. Mueller part of the time being unconscious, gave the umpire his full share of responsibility in caring for him and also in guiding the carriage. Dashing down the tracks at full speed the finishing point soon came into view, and at 8:53 P. M. we crossed the line, winning second prize and the applause of the anxious crowd."This test has proven conclusively that no horse could have covered the course in the time that we did, and with the roads in such terrible conditions. This test is a valuable one to our army, and to the world. The endurance of these vehicles has been tested, they have come to stay and James Whitcomb Riley's lines seem more than ever appropriate when he said:
'No song is mine of Arab steed;
My courser is of nobler blood.
With cleaner limb and fleeter speed
And greater strength and hardihood
Than ever cantered wild and free
Across the plains of Araby.'" AFTER THE RACE
Reprinted from THE CHICAGO TIMES-HERALD
November 30th, 1895 "CHARLES B. KING, the umpire on the Mueller wagon, had the most exciting time in his,life during the race. He said: "'Oscar Mueller, Charles G. Reid and myself were on the vehicle. We started more than an hour after the others. We turned west on Twenty-Second Street to Michigan Boulevard, beingcheered all the way. We stopped at the first relay station two minutes to get a bag of ice, reaching Davis Street and Chicago Avenue at 2:30 P. M. Here we made a short stop to bend back a clutch in place. At 3:32 o'clock we stopped at the second relay station for five minutes, where we took on three gallons of gasoline. We stopped occasionally to make inspections and found the engine to be working perfectly without missing an impulse. After leaving the second relay station we struck the worst part of the route, where the snow was soft and unbroken. About this time we began to feel the effects of the strain. Oscar Mueller had not been able to get any breakfast and the three of us had only had a sandwich apiece for lunch. After about thirty-five miles had been covered Reid changed his place on the motocycle for one on a cutter. Mueller seemed to go to pieces quickly after this. When we reached Halsted and Fifty-Fifth Streets, Mr. Mueller lost consciousness. I seized the lever and guided the wagon south to Sixty-Third Street, then to State Street, on to Sixty-First Street, over to Washington Avenue, and from there down Midway Plaisance to the finishing point. During the trip we took on board six gallons of gasoline, six pails of ice and three pails of snow were used at times to assist in the cooling.
To complete the story of this day I must now fully relate its closing episode, my memorable Thanksgiving Dinner at the Hotel Del Prado. After driving for the last hour of the Race with Oscar Mueller unconscious by my side, I crossed the finish-line for second place at 8:53 P. M., the Mueller-Benz car thus winning the Times-Herald prize of $1,500. Oscar Mueller was then lifted out of the car and taken away in a hack. It was only after this that I began to realize the strain of that day, which had left me cold, fatigued and hungry, for I had pushed the car through many drifts, as well as along certain stretches of the route. Aside from this, I assisted in other ways, while also writing my Umpire's Report. Therefore, one naturally did not wish to be interviewed by the many reporters gathered there at the line, so I abandoned the car during the excitement and found my way to the Del Prado Hotel about a block away.
Here I entered the lobby in a wet and bedraggled condition with dirty hands and face and went to the desk to register for a well-earned Thanksgiving Dinner. The clerk looked me over and said: "You don't belong here; you belong down-the-line!" (That remark recalled to me certain "Taverns" on Stony Island Avenue during Chicago's Columbian Exposition in 1893.)I then explained to the clerk that I had just driven the Mueller-Benz car for the last hour of the Times-Herald Race to win second place. His attitude changed at once and he then gave me a most friendly welcome, saying: "You will have the best we have in the house and it won't cost you a cent!" Then, after cleaning up somewhat, I found I was "the attraction" of the lobby; however, I was soon called to partake of the most sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner I may ever recall. And thus came to an end a never-to-be-forgotten day.