Rear View Mirror

The History of the Automobile in America,

it’s mechanical and auto body technology and development, the people who drive them, the laws they are subject to, the evolution of the roads they drive on, and almost inevitably, the technology required to recover a collision-damaged vehicle and return it to drivable condition, are all intertwined. The history of the collision repair industry, most specifically, the many companies that support the industry, have a long and interestingly varied past.

These items are offered as informational only, and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of American Honda.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February, 1893

In Springfield, MA, J.Frank Duryea and Erwin F. Markham test drive a vehicle of their creation, the Duryea Motor Wagon, inside the vacant second-floor of the Russell Machine Shop, where the car had been built.  Crude, even by the standards of the day, the “car” was little more that an engine and running gear placed on a carriage body.  On its first run, the vehicle’s transmission failed to disengage not allowing the vehicle to stop properly.  Walking beside the slow-moving vehicle, and seeing that a “crash was imminent”, Frank frantically grabbed the rear axel, slowing the speed so that when it reached the opposite side of the room, the front wheels only made  a slight bump against the wall.  Although not on a public street, could this be said to be the first automobile accident?  No damage was reported.  As far as we know, no insurance claim was made.

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