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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Steam-powered cars in the spotlight at Hagley

Feb 21, 2016 10:29AM ● By J. Chambless

A 1908 Stanley Model EX from the Marshall collection.

Hagley Museum and Library will host a storytelling series this spring to accompany its exhibition “Driving Desire: Automobile Advertising and the American Dream.”  The exhibition is on display in Hagley’s Visitor Center through Jan. 1, 2017.
In the next talk, Tom Marshall will reveal the story behind the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars in “Selling American Innovation,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3. The Marshall family of Yorklyn, Del., embraced the new technology of steam-powered automobiles with the first Stanley dealership in Delaware in 1910. Marshall and the Steam Team of steam automotive experts will share stories from his life growing up in a car family.
The program, in the Copeland Room of the Hagley Library, is free and open to the public. Reservations are appreciated at 302-658-2400 or at Participants should use Hagley’s Buck Road entrance. 
The majority of Hagley’s information on automobile advertising is from catalogs and print advertisements donated by Z. Taylor Vinson. Vinson was a senior lawyer at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who avidly collected automobile literature. His interest in automobile literature began at the age of four, when he was given a 1938 Ford Trade catalogue. From there, Vinson expanded his collection, even writing to British, French, Italian, and Czech embassies in Washington, D.C., to request the addresses of automakers in those countries from whom he could obtain literature. By the time of his death in 2009, Vinson had amassed more than 1,200 linear feet of automotive memorabilia, and documents covering 1,900 international automobile manufacturers from 1893 to 2009, including trade catalogs, books, artifacts, and magazines.

For more information, call 302-658-2400 weekdays or visit

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