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Packard History Before Automobile Production

The first post from The Roderic Blood collection shows newspaper clippings above, from the Western Reserve Chronicle, Warren, Ohio December 3, 1851, advertising an early business venture undertaken by Warren Packard, who formed the company that would later bear the family name.

Below is a Packard Electric Company electric motor, which was produced  by William Doud Packard and James Warren Packard at the Packard Electrical Company which they formed in 1890. Editors additions; They also manufactured incandescent light bulbs starting in 1891. An interesting history of these pre-automobile ventures can be found in the 1921 book on the History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Ohio, Volume 1, by Joseph Green Butler just below.

The four photos below appear to be taken in France and are all labeled as the “Property of Warren Packard”. They show interest in the French cars that were no doubt ridden in and observed before the company went into production. There appear to be early electric cabs in the photos along with some form of a truck and a De Dion Bouton is seen in the last photo. Hopefully our readers will be able to date these early vehicles. Roderic Blood Collection photos, courtesy of  The Larz Anderson Auto Museum.

8 responses to “Packard History Before Automobile Production

  1. For years we had a Packard Electric window fan which was acquired second-hand, and used it as a whole house fan for at least 20 years. When it lost power in the mid-1980’s, I took it to my independent auto mechanic who was able to revitalize the motor like he did starter motors, and it ran for several more years before I left it when selling a house. Who knows, it could still be cooling a home.

  2. Posted for Eddie Berrisford,

    The first car in left hand thumbnail is a Panhard & Levassor, circa 1900/1901 fitted with forward controls. The motor would probably be a 4 cylinder ‘Phoenix’ of 2.4 litres. The other two cars are too indistinct to identify, but may well also be Panhards. The Panhard was the car of choice at the turn of the 19th centuary offering reliability and speed in a degree of comfort. At the end of 1901, the Panhard became obsolete almost overnight when Daimler (whos motors P&L used to power their cars) produced the first Mercedes cars, so named after the daughter of the French distibutor for Daimler cars, Emil Jellinek, and as they say the rest is history. The old firms name finally died in the 1960’s.

  3. Posted for Laurent Friry,
    Very nice pictures of French veteran cars. I have try to identify the cars.
    France I : could well be a Mors, built by the Louis and Emile Mors around 1898.
    France II : this picture has been taken in Paris, we can clearly see the sign of the Café de la Paix (on the right). This café is still today at the same location : at the corner of the boulevard des Capucines and place de l’Opéra.
    France III : this is definitely an electrical cab, probably built by Jeanteaud.
    France IV : this is a Peugeot, may be a type 19 built between 1897 and 1902 in Audincourt, France.
    Best regards,
    Laurent

  4. Posted for Ariejan Bos,

    The left hand thumbnail, this could be a line of Kriéger electric cars: a cab, a delivery van and an electric victoria at the end. Unfortunately the quality of the photograph is not sufficient to get a good impression of the last car in row. The wheel on the right hand side of the cab’s driver seat I saw on another electric cab of the period and could be a hand brake.

  5. Posted for Ariejan Bos,

    The last thumbnail, this car is a Peugeot type 19 victoria (production years 1897-1902). Probably it is an earlier version of this type with the flat running board. Later versions had a rounded running board.

  6. Posted for Ariejan Bos,

    Thumbnail II , Photograph of street scene in Paris ca 1900. For the car on the left I have no clue yet. The horse-drawn omnibus would have brought you from Montmartre to St.Germain-des-Près and passes restaurant du (Guerre et de?) la Paix.

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