Duryea, Frank

Duryea, (James) Frank

(1869–1967) inventor; born in Washburn, Ill. He and his brother Charles Duryea grew up with an interest in mechanics, and in 1892 they designed an automobile together. Frank worked over his brother's engine design—the first of many conflicts between them—and is generally credited with producing America's first gas-powered highway automobile, which had its trial run on September 21, 1893. Frank Duryea produced the luxury Stevens-Duryea automobile until 1915, when he sold his interest in the company and began a retirement that lasted 52 years.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.