In addition to housing the largest collection of operating Stanley steam cars, the Marshall Steam Museum holds an important connection to F.E. and F.O. Stanley through T. Clarence Marshall, who became a Stanley agent in 1910 and brokered sales for the company for nearly a decade. Modern “dealerships” as we know them today did not yet exist; instead, interested buyers met with a local agent to order their new car from a catalog. The agent would then arrange delivery, teach the owner how to operate the car and take care of any necessary maintenance or repairs.

Long after Clarence relinquished his Stanley dealership, he remained interested in steam cars, collecting and restoring an estimated 50 or more vehicles. He passed down his passion for mechanical matters to his son, Tom, who eventually founded the Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve (which operates the Marshall Steam Museum in partnership with Delaware State Parks) to share the magic of steam new generations.

Restored Marshall Collection, 1949

The Marshall car collection in 1949 outside of what is now the Marshall Steam Museum. (Marshall Steam Museum)