1965 -2005

Dr. Delco’s Delco-Light Museum

A lifetime of seeking, collecting, restoring, preserving, and sharing the great American story of the inventive genius of Charles F. Kettering as embodied in the successful Delco-Light Farm Electric Plant and the industry it created.

 

For nearly 40 years, Dr. Delco welcomed visitors to his Delco-Light Museum to marvel at the wonders of the electric plant that Charles  Kettering developed for farms, homes, and businesses beyond the reach of city electric systems. A step back into a time when a person or business could produce their own electricity with a Delco-Light plant and use it power a complete selection of appliances - dramatically changing and improving rural life. Every item in the museum was meticulously restored and capable of operating at the touch of a switch. 


Born the 1936, the same year President Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Act into law, Wayne Sphar’s interest in electricity began as a young boy. His grandfather, Russell, worked as a lineman for the local electric utility, the West Penn Power Company. After storms and in the middle of the night, Wayne would frequently travel with his grandfather on his rounds to repair downed lines. His interest in electricity would really take off when he came across a Delco-Light plant at a local junk yard. After painstakingly restoring this machine to operating condition, he showed it running and operating lights at an antique engine collectors show. It was the hit of the show. From that point forward, he became known as Dr. Delco and sought out anything Delco with a vengeance. Writing letters, running ads, participant in antique engine and farm equipment shows, and driving down the back roads all over the country year after year for 40 years. Over the decades Wayne would acquire a collection of 40 Delco-Light plants, multiple examples of the complete selection of the 32 volt equipment that was available - well pumps, washing machines, fans, radios, coffeemakers, ...his favorite accomplishment, and historical documentation sales and marketing, owners manuals, service manuals, installation instructions, and a wealth of information on other farm electric plant manufacturers. A few years back Dr. Delco closed the museum and sold the entire equipment collection to a private collector and placed in secure storage.


We hope the information that we are and will be sharing will rekindle an interest in Charles Kettering’s Delco-Light Plant and the amazing effort that Dr. Delco put into preserving this important part of our history. Enjoy a photo tour of Dr. Delco’s Delco-Light Museum in it’s completed state or our Delco YouTube video collection - including an Introduction to Dr. Delco, a Delco-Light Museum Tour, the Dr. Delco interview, and a three part silent movie made in 1918 by a successful Delco-Light distributor in Nebraska.


                         Welcome                 Kettering                 Delco-Light                  Resources