HST 306 Automotive Hall of Fame

HST 306 Automotive - Travis Marschner HST 306-001 Automotive Hall of Fame Charles Edgar Duryea and James Franklin Duryea Charles Duryea was born in

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Travis Marschner HST 306-001 Automotive Hall of Fame Charles Edgar Duryea and James Franklin Duryea Charles Duryea was born in 1861 and lived until 1938. He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1966. James Duryea was born in 1869 and lived until 1967. He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1996. The story of the Duryea brothers is about a sibling rivalry of epic proportions. For most of the 20 th Century, it was commonly believed that Charles was the inventor of the first American gasoline powered automobile driven in Springfield Massachusetts on September 22, 1893 and also the winner of the first American automobile race, sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald in 1895. Younger brother Frank spent his entire life trying to convince the world that he, in fact, could lay claim to both statements, or at least share the credit. He argued that Charles had moved from Springfield to Peoria, Illinois in September 1892, and was not even present on that historic day in Springfield in 1893. Charles claimed to have driven a gasoline- powered vehicle in his second-floor shop in 1892 and the car driven in 1893 was built from blueprints of his creation. Frank claimed that the blueprints resulted in an unworkable vehicle and that he had to redesign the car’s engine and transmission, creating new blueprints to do so. Charles claimed to have won the first American automobile race in Chicago in 1895. Frank argued that he won the race in a car of his own design and that his brother Charles followed in a horse-driven sleigh. Even though the Smithsonian Institution eventually recognized J. Frank Duryea’s equal contribution, Frank spend the rest of his life trying to prove that he was the true “Father of the American Automobile.” Until he died, Charles insisted that his brother Frank was merely his employee. The brothers were rarely photographed together. The picture above to the left is one such photograph of Charles and Frank Duryea with Charles controlling the tiller. To this day, the families of both Charles and Frank continue to dispute who created the first gasoline-powered automobile in America. Errett Lobban Cord (1894-1974) Errett Cord was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1920, at the age of 26, E.L. Cord, a high school dropout, had no more than $45 dollars in
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total assets and was unemployed. Just four years later, he was in charge of the Auburn Automotive Company and well on his way to becoming one of America’s wealthiest and most celebrated individuals. Between 1920 and 1924, Cord managed a service station in Los Angeles, a trucking company in Death Valley and sold Moon automobiles at a dealership in Chicago. He proved so successful as a car salesman, selling more vehicles himself than all the Moon dealers combined in five Midwestern states, that he caught the eye of Ralph Bard, head of the Chicago investment group that controlled Auburn Automobile Company. Bard brought Cord in as vice president and general
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2011 for the course HST 306 taught by Professor Anderson during the Fall '10 term at Michigan State University.

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HST 306 Automotive - Travis Marschner HST 306-001 Automotive Hall of Fame Charles Edgar Duryea and James Franklin Duryea Charles Duryea was born in

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