Saturday, November 28, 2020

Duryea Wins the Great Motocycle Contest -- November 28, 2020


Fort Worth Gazette, 29-November-1895

On a cold, snowy Thanksgiving Day, 28-November-1895, the first automobile race in the United States, sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald, took place. The vehicles were supposed to drive from Chicago to Evanston and back. Notice that the word "automobile" does not appear in the article. 

Wins the Great Motocycle Contest
The Result May Mark the Beginning
of a New Era in Dirt-Road

Chicago Nov 28. -- The Charles Duryea gasoline motocycle finished first in the Times-Herald's contest for prizes amounting to $5000.

The contest was in every respect the most novel, the performance of the winning vehicle the most remarkable in the history of the motor vehicle contests.

Monday night Chicago was visited by a blizzard of snow and slush that buried the roads and prostrated half of the telephone and fire alarm wires in the city. Wednesday the weather moderated and when the races started the streets were twelve inches deep in snow slush and mud.

In the face of this six motocycles made the start. The Duryea of Springfield Mass.; the Morris and Salem electrocycle; the Muller motocycle of Decatur, Ill.; the R. H. Macy of New York; the De La Vergne of New York and the Sturgis electrocycle of Chicago.

Thousands witnessed the fight of these vehicles against the fifty-four miles of slush which constituted the course from Jackson park to Evanston and return.

Five of the contestants passed through Lincoln. Duryea started at 8:55 and passed the auditorium, a distance of eight miles, an hour later. He made the finish at 7:18 p. m., completing the course in ten hours and twenty-three minutes. For miles on the West Side the boulevards were almost unbroken fields of snow bank and slush.

The fight for speed honors was between Duryea, Muller and Macey. Duryea is an American Inventor and his motor is a radical departure from that of the foreign type used on the wagons of his two competitors.

The carriage with which he made the race was manufactured two years ago. Since that time Mr. Durvea has made many improvements on his motor, but was unable to complete the work on the new vehicle which he had entered for the contest. He accordingly made the run with the old motocycle. The prizes will be awarded on the showing made in the road race, and in the scientific tests which have been made under the supervision of the best experts in the country.

For ten days these tests have been in progress and have been followed with great interest from hundreds of manufacturers from all parts of the United States. These tests will prove of great value. The Paris-Bordeaux race was worthless from a scientific standpoint, but the contest just closed may result in the establishment of reliable data concerning motocycle manufacture. The Muller came in second.

Horseless Age, January, 1896

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