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Steele, Harry G., Mrs.

American, 1882 or 1883 - 1974

Steele, Grace C.; Messner, Grace Cecelia; Steele, Grace Messner

Biography
Grace Cecelia Messner was married in 1904 to Harry Garfield Steele, probably in Pittsburgh. Around 1920, the Steeles moved to Pasadena, CA, where Harry bought a small interest in the U.S. Electrical Manufacturing Company, eventually became its majority stockholder, and built the motor manufacturing company to one of the major manufacturers of the industry. The Steeles had five children: Virginia (d. 1975), Harry (d. 1961), Barbara, Audrey, and Richard. [As of 1984 the three surviving children were living in Orange County, CA.] Harry Steele was an avid collector of ancient coins as well as of Chinese porcelains. He became interested in the latter during an extended trip to China and the Far East in 1936. Subsequently the Steeles taught themselves about the subject of Chinese ceramics and began to build their collection. A room in their Pasadena home was set aside to display the collection. Harry Steele died in 1942; the Steele collection of Chinese porcelains was donated to the National Gallery of Art in 1972 by Grace C. Steele.
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