James Ward Packard
|Died||March 20, 1928 (aged 64)|
|Employer||Packard Motor Car Company|
James Ward Packard (November 5, 1863 - March 20, 1928) was an American automobile manufacturer who founded the Packard Motor Car Company and Packard Electric Company with his brother William Doud Packard.
Packard was born in Warren, Ohio on November 5, 1863, to Warren and Mary Elizabeth Doud Packard. After attending Lehigh University, he joined his older brother William Doud Packard (1861-1923) in founding the Packard Electric Company there in 1890 where they manufactured incandescent carbon arc lamps. His sister Alaska P. Davidson (1868-1934) later became the first female FBI agent.
The brothers then formed a partnership with Winton Motor Carriage Company investor George L. Weiss called Packard & Weiss in 1893. The first Packard automobile was released in 1899. In 1900, the company incorporated as the Ohio Automobile Company and was renamed the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902. The company relocated to Detroit in 1903. The company eventually merged with the Studebaker Corporation in 1954, and the last Packard was made in 1958.
Following the company relocation to Detroit, the Packard brothers focused on making automotive electrical systems via the Packard Electric Company. General Motors acquired the company in 1932, renaming it Delphi Packard Electric Systems in 1995. The company was spun off and became independent of GM in 1999.
In 1927, Packard commissioned the world's most complicated watch to never be outdone, but banker Henry Graves Jr. surpassed his rival in 1933 to become the owner of the most complicated watch ever made, spending 60,000 CHF, nearly five times the price paid by Packard.
James Ward Packard was 30 years old when he began to make automobiles. Before that he had experimented with electrical devices and organized two companies to manufacture them. In 1893, having studied the motor plans of Daimler and Benz and the body-building methods of Levasseur, he had drawn the plans for the first Packard; the financial depression of the next few years prevented him from manufacturing cars for the several years afterward. It was not until 1899 that the first Packard rolled out upon the roads, a high, sloping car, followed by children and stared at by scornful farmers. ...
James W. Packard of Warren, Ohio, founder, first President and later directing head of the Packard Automobile Company, died today at the age of 64 in the Cleveland Clinic Hospital. He had been in ill health for three years and underwent an operation two years ago for a malignant growth.