Drake Community Library

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Drake Community Library
930 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112
Marilyn Kennett
Digital Projects


Drake Community Library is a contributor to the
Iowa Heritage Digital Collections Project.

The Iowa Heritage database is a searchable collection of
images from a variety of Iowa library sources.

This collaboration has allowed Drake Community Library to share its photograph collections with a much wider audience and also helps to preserve their physical condition.

The Spaulding Collection is now accessible from this database.

Billy Robinson Collection

Spaulding on capitol steps
E.H. Spaulding, driver of Spaulding car.
The only loaded car to climb Iowa State capitol steps, ca. 1913.
See Iowa Heritage Digital Collections for more.

Spaulding cars
Spaulding cars in front of the factory, ca. 1913.

The Spaulding Manufacturing Story

H.W. Spaulding began making carriages and spring wagons in Grinnell, Iowa in 1876.  In 1909 the Spaulding Manufacturing Company added automobilies to its production line.  Spaulding automobiles were known for their quality construction from rugged materials.  Automobile production ceased at the Spaulding factory in 1916 when it could no longer compete with the cheaper Ford automobile. 

Read the full story from Great Cars of the Great Plains by Curt McConnell. This book is available to check out from Stewart Library.

View the entire (12 item) photograph collection as part of the Iowa Heritage Collections database.


Billy Robinson
Billy Robinson

The Billy Robinson Story
Grinnell's Pioneer Aviator

William C. Robinson came to live in Grinnell, at the age of 12, in 1896. He was a handyman, tinkerer, and bicycle repairman who designed and built his own flying machine.  In 1911, with the help of Charles Hink, Robinson constructed a 60 horse power radial motor for his monoplane.  In 1914 he set a record for non-stop flight, carrying mail from Des Moines to Kentland, Indiana. Robinson perished, while flying his biplane, attempting to set an altitude record on March 11, 1916.

Read the full story from Grinnell -A Century of Progress: 1854-1954 published by the Grinnell Herald-Register, 1954.

View the entire (38 item) photograph collection at Grinnell Historical Collections as part of the Iowa Heritage Collections database.



email us:   grinlib@iowatelecom.net