A Duryea four-wheeler, manufactured in Reading, PA, in 1901.
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Color photograph of a black Duryea with read trim and red spokes.

Credit: Courtesy of the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles

Blessed with machine shops, skilled workers, and iron and steel foundries, many towns in Pennsylvania were ideal for the manufacturing of motor carriages. In 1900 automotive pioneer Charles Duryea moved to Reading, PA, and there began the manufacture of automobiles through his Duryea Power Company. This 1901 Duryea, on view at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, featured a 3-function center-mounted single stick control for steering, and transmission shifting. Other Duryea innovations included pneumatic tires, an inclined king pin, and parts manufactured by others, a method today known as "out-sourcing."

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