ORIGINAL DRAWINGS OF THE FIRST CAR IN AMERICA TO BE AUCTIONED
Dateline: January 4, 2007 ... Yonkers, NY
Contact Name: Bob Snyder, Cohasco, Inc.
Contact Phone: 914-476-8500
Contact Fax: 914-476-8573
Website Addresses: http://cohascodpc.com or http://dpc.nu
YONKERS, NY - January 4, 2007 - Drawings of America's first mass-
produced car, in the hand of its designer, are among an archive of
automobile documents and books were auctioned on January 3, 2007.
The Duryea automobile beat Henry Ford into the history books when they
made thirteen cars by "mass production" in the 1890s. Five pencil and
ink drawings of its engine and transmission show the humble beginnings
of the American car.
Brothers Charles and J. Frank Duryea also won the first auto race in
America in 1895, for which they took home a ,000 prize. A Duryea car
has been in the Smithsonian since 1920.
The archive, the world's most comprehensive private collection
relating to the Duryea brothers, also includes original photos of
later Duryea contraptions, one looking like a phone booth on wheels;
another, a three-wheeler steered by a tiller.
A friend of the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, and other pioneer
inventors, Charles Duryea once boasted that he would have invented the
airplane if the Wrights hadn't.
Rare letters in the collection from Charles Duryea are filled with his
"world language", with its odd spelling. Reminiscing about the most
primitive origins of the automobile, he writes, in 1931, "Talkt with a
man y'day whose frend actually put a stuft horse in front of the power
vehicle, to avoid scaring horses. Another man remembers that a steam
man pulled a cart about Broad & Erie in this city [Philadelphia] about
1876 or earlier..."
Also in the collection:
- The oldest known American auto racing "poster", from 1897, showing
a Duryea "horseless wagon" and autographed by J. Frank Duryea, the
car's designer. It also advertises the "Boy Wonder" bicycle racer
- The first sales catalogue for an American car, the 1897 Duryea,
made in Springfield, MA
- The original manuscript record book of Charles Duryea's next car
venture. On July 20, 1900, it records, "The first carriage was taken
out of the shop and operated on May 29th, after which some changes
were made and the wagon body finished and was shipped on July
- Original literature representing over twenty other automobile
adventures of the two brothers after their splitup
- Possibly the first book completely devoted to the automobile, an
1896 French volume, showing the Duryea.
The collection, containting over 300 items, some of them unique, was
offered by Cohasco, Inc., a Yonkers, NY auction house. Its value
is estimated at 5,000 to 0,000.
Among over 600 other lots of non-automobile collectibles in the
- A Custer newspaper volume covering his adventures through the
fateful year of 1876, with blood-curdling details of Little Big Horn
- A letter of John Rowe, the man whose tea was thrown overboard in
the Boston Tea Party (0-450)
- A unique manuscript from the year 1147, in which a hunchback
knight witnesses a mother sending her four sons on the Crusade to
combat Muslims in Jerusalem. They may never have returned (,000-
- 99 inches of AP teletype unfolding the drama of Kennedy's funeral
and Oswald's shooting, as it happened on Nov. 24, 1963 (,900-
And many other unusual items.
Photo-quality images and other details are available upon request. For
more information, please contact Bob Snyder of Cohasco, Inc. at P.O.
Drawer 821, Yonkers, New York 10702.
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