SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

America's First Car: 1920

America's First Car: 1920

"Wayne Smith Auto Co., front." Mr. Smith went to Washington, and built this dealership at the corner of M and 22nd. A street view of the building shortly after its completion in 1920. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

America's First Car? Not!

I have never before seen Haynes as being credited with being America's first car.

This honor goes to Duryea who by the close of 1896 had produced 13 automobiles (along with several prototypes), won a race in Chicago in 1895, and also the inaugural London to Brighton Run in 1896.

According to wikipedia, Haynes only produced five cars in 1898 (the first year of production shown).

The first Duryea is from 1892/1893 while the first Haynes is from 1894.

Not The Biograph

While similar in appearance this is not the building that became the Biograph Theater which is actually about 6 blocks west on M street from where this building once stood.


This building later became the Biograph theater, showing old movies and art films. Went out of business with the advent of the VCR.

Just another day at work.

There is a man bent over in the front office (window on the left).

Haynes was no cheapie

The 1920 Haynes 12-cylinder, 4-door roadster was listed at $3250. That's more than 37,000 2011 dollars. Wayne Smith would have had to look for another line in a few years, though, since Haynes went out of business in 1924.

Wayne's Haynes!

Sorry, I couldn't resist the rhyme!

First with the Finest

Doesn't it say "America's First Car," not "Finest"?

[Oops. Fixed! - Dave]


Not only America's finest, but also its first.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.