The Duryea brothers, Charles and Frank, spent much of their lives after 1895 involved in an argument about which of them had invented the automobile, a pointless activity since neither of them had! However, when not bickering, each was responsible for entirely separate makes of motorcars to which their names were attached. Charles made Duryea automobiles in various forms whilst Frank teamed up with the J Stevens Arms & Tool Company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts and the first Stevens-Duryea appeared at the end of 1901. This was a typical American runabout with an underfloor two-cylinder engine, although the transmission had individual clutches for each speed with constant mesh gears. A fold-down front seat was fitted which gave the passengers a good view of the road ahead.
A conventional four-cylinder car was introduced in 1905 and it was joined the following year by a 50hp 'Big Six'. Large expensive touring cars that were made at the rate of only 100 or so a year more or less sustained the business for the next twenty years.