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1899 Dewabout

Roger Frazee

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Has anyone heard of or seen a Dewabout?  My wife found the following information and photo on Facebook,  I thought I'd pass it along.


The Dewabout was built in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1899 by Thomas Branthwaite Dewhurst. It was the first automobile built and driven on the streets of Lexington. The design was basically a buggy, with a motor and running gear. The vehicle weighed three hundred fifty pounds, with a two cylinder, four horsepower, air-cooled gasoline engine. It was steered by a tiller, ran on pneumatic bicycle tires and seated two persons. It had a cruising speed of fifteen miles per hour.


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Dewhurst was the proprietor of the Blue Grass Cycle Shop on Main Street, east of Limestone.  He designed the Dewabout “by following to a certain extent the pictures of machines of various kinds published by newspaper and magazines.”  He also was an inventor – with patented designs for a rural mailbox and golf ball-making machine.

On June 12, 1901, the completed Dewabout made a short test drive along Cheapside and out East Main Street.  The test drive was done at four in the morning to have the streets clear of horses.  The motor did not have a muffler and was very loud.  Soon after, the Dewabout made a trip to Georgetown and back.

In 1902, the Dewhurst was under construction with a six horsepower, muffled engine.  The Dewabout was sold to Frank P. Scearce in 1902 and the Dewhurst to Joseph S. Botts later the same year.


Dewabout Motor Car


Edited by mike6024 (see edit history)
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