The American Challenge and British Response

  • Kenneth Richardson


Even though seventy-nine machines, mainly native-built, appeared at Chicago in 1895 for the Times Herald road race, it seemed likely to some Euro­pean observers that the United States market would be conquered by Euro­pean manufacturers such as Daimler and Benz, since actual American production was being so very slow to develop. It is true that, as early as 1879, a petrol-driven road engine had been designed by George B. Selden of Rochester, New York, but Selden was a patent lawyer by profession and for one reason or another does not seem to have been very interested in manufac­ture. At one time Harry J. Lawson seems to have been tempted towards the American market, by his contact with E. J. Pennington, whose influence over him must remain one of the mysteries, but that fortunately came to nothing. Frank Duryea drove through Springfield during 18931 in one vehicle and later he and his brother Charles produced a much improved model which led the London to Brighton run in 1896, but there was no way in the United States of getting it into large-scale production. The American industry was not getting off to a flying start.


American Industry Billiard Table Motor Industry Machine Tool Industry British Industry 
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Copyright information

© Kenneth Richardson 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Richardson
    • 1
  1. 1.Lanchester PolytechnicCoventryUK

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