Selden Automobile

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The original United States Patent Office model of the Selden automobile, 1879-1895. This patent model of the George B. Selden gasoline automobile was submitted in 1879. He was granted a patent in 1895. Around 1906, and not in 1887 as is so often thought or implied by automotive historians, a full-sized version of this vehicle was built as an exhibit for the court while the famous Selden patent suit was underway. It was, however, powered by Selden's original engine built in the 1870's. (Widder, p. 200).


United States Patent Office


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Another image can be found in Widder, Robert B., A PICTORAL TREASURY OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, 1966, p.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder 1

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Unknown. Patent model was built in 1890s

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Selden, George B
  • Exhibitions
  • Automobiles
  • Selden automobile


  • Photographic print
  • Object

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Object; Medium: Photographic print

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