Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Jump Back in Time Progressive Era (1890-1913)
Jackson Park
Chicago's Jackson Park, where the first American automobile race took place

Enlarge this image
The First American Automobile Race
November 28, 1895

The Chicago Times Herald sponsored that first race with $2,000 going to the winner and $500 to the fan who named the horseless vehicles "motocycles."

Two years earlier, the winners, J. Frank Duryea and his brother Charles, had built and driven what they claimed to be the first American gasoline-powered automobile. Yet by the time the Times Herald race came along, more than 70 entries were filed. This huge response prompted President Cleveland to ask the War Department to oversee the event. After their victory, the Duryeas made 13 copies of the Chicago car, and J. Frank Duryea developed the Stevens-Duryea, an expensive limousine that remained in production into the 1920s.

Back page 2 of 3 Next

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us