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Wayne W. Light miscellany

Creation: 1905-1918
Accession: 2446


Wayne W. Light (1882-) was a lawyer andlight delivery vehicle inventor. The collection consists of items amassed by Light to document his attempts to become an automotive inventor and manufacturer.


  • Creation: 1905-1918



84 item(s) (1 folder in carton)

Biographical Note

Wayne W. Light (1882-) was a lawyer and light delivery vehicle inventor. He was born August 5, 1882 to Wellington W. Light (1860-1895) and Mary M. Benson Light (1861-1895) in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he was later admitted to the Berks bar.

Around 1905, Light organized the Quick Delivery Company in Philadelphia to operate a commercial express delivery service for local businesses. Over the next decade he developed a light delivery vehicle with three wheels and a chain drive that he hoped would replace horse-drawn wagons in city delivery, helping in the process to reduce traffic congrestion and speed delivery times.

In 1914, Light formed the Wayne Light Commercial Car Company Inc. to manufacture the vehicle with a factory in Marion (Jersey City), New Jersey. Apparently, the product was not a success, either because World War I interfered with production or because trucks were rapidly evolving, and larger payloads soon became the norm.

By 1916, Light was working as sales manager for the VIM Motor Truck Company in Philadelphia, which made more conventional light delivery trucks.

In the later half of 1940, Light moved to New York City, where he worked as an engineering counsel.

He married Helen P. Houser (1890-) in 1910 and they had William W. Light (1917-) and Frances T. Light (1922-2007). An exact death date is unknown, but it was sometime after 1948.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of items presumably amassed by Wayne W. Light to document his attempts to become an automotive inventor and manufacturer. Most were apparenly once mounted in a scrapbook from which they have been removed by a later owner. They make an interesting study of a failed inventor and a period in which automotive designs were in flux before settling into more familiar forms. The items include advertisements clipped from trade magazines, newspaper clippings, copies of patent drawings, photographs, and a few letters and lists of influential people to be solicited. There are photographs of VIM vehicles and a rendering of one of its factories in Philadelphia.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Language of Materials


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Wayne W. Light miscellany
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA