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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 580
Here is yet another Packard bicycle headbadge from the early 1900s. Again, this name on the bicycle had nothing to do with Packard Motor Car Company. But again it was one of many, many that a bicycle distributor company offered to their dealers. In this case the company was known as "Johnson And Meyer Co." and they were located in Memphis, Tennessee. The company was a wholesale distributor for both motorcycles and bicycles and covered several states.

This is how the bicycle business worked in the USA back then. Names on bicycles often had zero to do with who made them and there was not a big brand-to-manufacturer connection. Even Schwinn-built bicycles rarely ever said "Schwinn" on them until after World War II.... all of why the term "Schwinn-Built" was coined and used regularly (as in prewar dealership neon signs).

Again, please understand and know that a "Packard" headbadge on a bicycle had nothing to do with either PMCC or with selling Packard motorcars, although it may have given a de facto boost to the image of the bicycle in question. ANY bicycle dealer buying bicycles through this wholesaler could CHOOSE this headbadge to be on ANY of the bicycles the dealer sold to retail customers. There was zero connection to selling Packards or to PMCC.

Attach file:



jpg  J&MCoPACKARDheadbadge copy.jpg (10.13 KB)
1249_5cdda7bf3ee76.jpg 173X250 px

Posted on: 5/16 11:11:50
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15253
Does that hold true with other Packard branded merchandise? There is a post at PAC regarding a Packard vacuum cleaner for sale that the seller says was given away with the purchase of a Packard automobile.

Posted on: 5/16 11:47:23
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Howard
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 580
Quote:

HH56 wrote:
Does that hold true with other Packard branded merchandise? There is a post at PAC regarding a Packard vacuum cleaner for sale that the seller says was given away with the purchase of a Packard automobile.


There was a decent article done in the Packard Club Cormorant Magazine a few years ago regarding this very subject. I don't recall the issue but you may be able to find it by going to the Packard Club web site and looking back in the index for back issues (it is labeled "Mag Index" rather than something someone outside of the club might instinctively recognize).

Many years ago when I was doing some work for a big car museum in Washington, we had a Packard piano in there. Some fellow (who wasn't really old enough to know for sure) wandered in the door one day and began to spin a yarn about Packard pianos given away with Packard cars... and then went on to say that the piano company was "just up the street" from PMCC on East Grand Blvd.... and then went even further into the fantasy by claiming workers at PMCC and the piano company had production quota "competitions" with a Packard automobile rolled over to the piano plant while a piano was brought over to the Packard plant to be played to inspire workers on the assembly line for go faster. So help me!

And... people were going for the story!!!

Problem is that the Packard Piano Company (or Packard Piano & Organ Co.) was located in Indiana... and that's hardly just "up the street" and one helluva long way from the Packard Motorcar Company in Detroit–especially back in the heydays. BUT? Some folks will say anything about this kind of stuff... and there are always those who are all too willing to believe it.

The vacuum cleaner story? Nah. It may have happened somewhere, somehow, some way, some time... but I don't believe it anymore than the story about the Packard pianos or Packard bicycles given away with Packard cars. If this was a factory program it should have been in factory records.

Just because something was branded with a name "PACKARD" (whether it was an electric razor, a pair of shoes, cologne, or a bicycle suspension–yes there was such a thing) does not mean it was in any way connected with either PMCC or any PMCC-authorized sales program.

Here is a good hint for any claim that any item with a "PACKARD" brand name attached to it (and there were probably over a hundred such items that had zero connection with the company) was a PMCC promo.

Look for official factory programs of dealer sales promotions in PMCC factory publications, dealer publications, etc. If there was any official, real program to give away any item that just happened to be named "PACKARD" as an incentive to purchase a Packard automobile it should have been publicized, promoted or at least mentioned somewhere, somehow in PMCC publications. After All, a company promotion that dealers and sales people haven't been told about could not be very effective, could it?

Posted on: 5/16 12:26:50
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 580
As further proof that CWC-built "Packard"-branded bicycles were not given away as incentives to buy a Packard automobile, take a look here. Below are CWC-made headbadges for both Packard and "Cadillac" bicycles...

Now let's sit back and see how long it takes for stories to circulate about Cadillac bicycles being given away to sell Cadillac automobiles...

Attach file:



jpg  CWCPackard&CadillacWM.jpg (601.65 KB)
1249_5d03ebfd3329b.jpg 2048X1536 px

Posted on: 6/14 11:48:55
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 580
...And now that you've seen a few Packard bicycle headbadges, here is one on another of my Packard bicycles. This time, I'll let you folks guess who made this one and when. Hint: it wasn't Packard Motor Car Company (nor was it CWC or Colson or Schwinn) and this Packard bicycle definitely was NOT given away with a Packard automobile...

Attach file:



jpg  PackardHeadbadge copy.jpg (535.59 KB)
1249_5d14f5eff415b.jpg 2048X2402 px

Posted on: 6/27 9:59:45
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 580
Since you saw the 2-tone green 1941 Schwinn-Built Packard Autocycle Deluxe photo taken during its restoration, you might want to see this. Think of the Autocycle Deluxe as you might a senior Packard. Here is another restoration I did years ago (pardon the tires needing air after many years of storage). This is a 1940-1941 Schwinn-Built Packard "DX"... consider it a "junior" model to the senior 1941 Packard Autocycle Deluxe in earlier photos. The DX series was priced and optioned well below the senior Autocycle Deluxe series.

The only things not strictly authentic factory equipment here are the seat (which LOOKS like the original but is a reproduced replica) and the period aftermarket bicycle cormorant ornament. These ornaments were made of pewter and were made before and after WW2 ... just for bicycles.

Were there other Packard bicycle ornaments? You bet. And most were a lot more detailed and intricate than this one! And yes, there was literature produced. But again... not in connection with PMCC.

Attach file:



jpg  1940-41SchwinnBuiltPackardDX.jpg (199.80 KB)
1249_5d2002b0c9520.jpg 1280X960 px

Posted on: 7/5 18:58:47
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 580
There were numerous Schwinn-Built Packard bicycle headbadges. Early ones were circular or oval shaped. Some were even square or rectangular. However, here are two shield-type Schwinn-Built Packard headbadges, side-by-side for comparison...

Attach file:



jpg  ShwinnPackardPrewar&PostwarShieldWM2.jpg (643.56 KB)
1249_5d3c5a7476f51.jpg 2048X1536 px

Posted on: 7/27 7:07:01
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Re: Packard Bikes
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Joined:
2014/6/21 15:28
From Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 377
Thanks for setting the record straight that Packard bikes were NOT (a) manufactured and/or sold by the Packard Company, (b) a give-away with the purchase of a Packard, or (c) strategy to sell bikes to the children of buyers of Packards (aka) up-selling.

The guys on American Pickers have dispensed that erroneous info on more than one occasion.

as always
Garrett Meadows

Posted on: 8/13 8:58:04
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/24 9:59
From Davis, CA
Posts: 580
Quote:

skateboardgumby wrote:
Thanks for setting the record straight that Packard bikes were NOT (a) manufactured and/or sold by the Packard Company, (b) a give-away with the purchase of a Packard, or (c) strategy to sell bikes to the children of buyers of Packards (aka) up-selling.

The guys on American Pickers have dispensed that erroneous info on more than one occasion.

as always
Garrett Meadows



You are most welcome! I've been collecting this stuff intensely since the 1950s, so I'm happy to share the knowledge with others. But there seems to be no end to the wild stories made up to go with these bicycles. And no silliness or conglomeration of parts that won't be put together and presented as if it is accurate and historical. As one museum said, "..we don't care if it's not accurate... .we never let the facts get in the way of a good story"... they actually said this.

Unlike with automobiles (which still suffer from skewed histories but have better documentation and known histories) the bicycles suffer wildly. Anybody can say anything–and they often do about vintage bicycles–even in so-called "books."

And anybody can assemble a bunch of parts from heaven knows where or why and call it a "Packard bicycle"... and then add the stories about how PMCC gave them away "to sweeten deals"... and voila! Sounds great to the uninformed and may even look great if you don't know what you're seeing. But otherwise this is a very tortured and twisted history.

Some day when I get the energy, perhaps I'll try to tackle the absurdities of the "history" of neon–such as it is... and how it relates to Packard. I did this for the Packard club in their magazine, but the internet and neon people didn't read it and apparently don't care. But for now, here's another Packard myth that people ought not believe. Nobody knows what Earle C. Anthony and Packard did with neon signs and lighting better than I do. But the internet and books and museums will take you on a merry ride to fantasy land where facts are challenged, but myths accepted without question! Another story for another day.

As for the TV show... I don't watch television, but I occasionally will watch (especially when I'm traveling) the pickers show (as fake as it is) and others like it. Including some of the ones where they think "restoration" means a wild paint job, a modern crate engine and a set of big, shiny wheels. Always interesting to see some of the things they show but the factoids are usually pure internet stuff–some good, some awful. TV shows have converted the entire concept of collecting old things into a buy-low-sell-high phenomenon having nothing at all to do with passion, history or desire to preserve old things. Cha-ching!

Posted on: 8/16 13:51:35
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Re: Packard Bikes
Home away from home
Joined:
2014/6/21 15:28
From Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 377
I admire a "voice in the wilderness" such as yourself. I'm a purist when it comes to history's facts.

I bristle and groan whenever I heard some goofball on TV repeating urban myths/legends as "facts" or overly simplify history in the interest of the low-brow viewer.

Sadly, the bulk of TV viewers don't have the wherewithal or concern to research whether or not the "facts" or "research" touted on The History Channel or reality TV show has an iota of credibility or is even tangential to the truth.

I was watching one show on the JFK assassination and the supposed "expert" identified JFK's limo as being black in color. OMG! Admittedly it looks "black" but it was not. The limo's color was a dark metallic blue specifically selected by JFK. The color was subsequently called "JFK blue."

When my wife died in 2004, I got rid of our TV. There were so few shows I was remotely interested in watching, I couldn't justify the inflated service fee. Besides, by 2004, I could watch much whatever was of particular interest to me on Youtube and/or Amazon.com.

Speaking of a totally disinterest in TV. When my late grandfather retired from a job he had been in for 40 years back in 1972, the office chipped in and bought him and my grandmother a console color TV. Up until then, they had an on old black and white TV just to placate us grandchildren. Well, you won't believe this, but my grandmother put a decorative cloth off over the color TV and used it as a table. They never watched it.

take care and keep up the good fight.
Garrett Meadows

Posted on: 8/17 6:13:53
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