Re: Packard Bikes

Posted by Leeedy on 2021/4/5 22:43:26

Packard Newbie wrote:
Hey Leeedy,

Thanks for the picture(s)!! I can sure see what you mean about that horn button not being the best design and not lasting. Looks like it could very easily get damaged with just regular wear and tear use and I'm not surprised that they are 'scarce as hen's teeth'. Must say, you have quite the collection/archives of vintage bikes... Hat's off, and thanks for sharing. Chris

Hi Chris, you are most welcome anytime. Happy to help out and happy to respond with accurate info. And this stuff is a lot tougher to find than automotive!

I try to provide original info from the sources.

By the way, all the bicycle had to do was to fall over or the button snag on clothing or anything and it was GAME OVER. Buh-byyye brittle bakelite button!

As for the original special Schwinn-Built handlebars with the built-in bakelite "A.S." button, I shudder to think of what an original set would cost today ...IF anyone could find one. AND yes, the Schwinn-Built Packard bicycle I showed earlier in an ad from 1937 had this exact handlebar and built-in button.

Today, after all these years, most people collecting and restoring Schwinn-Built bicycles from this series and 1937-38 don't even know about the special handlebars and built-in button. This is despite all of the TV shows, "books." internet DIY experts and DIY web sites. "Schwinn" is talked about, rampantly boosterized, fanatically intellectualized, promoted, adored, written about and argued about to death. BUT... bet you won't find AND SEE this source info out there! Especially without shoulda-woulda-coulda guesswork and supposition.

A huge amount of American bicycle history isn't real history. It's gossip, guessing, repetition of myths and whoever has the loudest voices, the most followers. and seals of approvals. Accompanied by uninterpreted reprints or mis-identified reprints. This is what happens when no one knows any better. Make up a good-sounding myth, get enough people to agree on it... and the myth becomes "fact." Like Packard dealers giving away Packard bicycles to sell a car to a balking buyer. Regardless of the truth that this was never the cause or reason for the existence of Packard bicycles.

REgarding the archive collection, yes, over 80,000 original vintage bicycle catalogues, photos, books and more ranging from 1860s to the 1990s, specializing in the Classic Era of American-made bicycles, 1920 to 1965 (as I first defined it in Bicycle Dealer Showcase magazine in 1978). And over 600 films (real films, not videos).

One of the biggest blunders of the book publishers was to refuse to publish the original Classic Bicycles history book I wrote in the 1970s. One very large company told me (and I still have the letter) that there was no serious market for a book on this subject. AND that they also said they would NEVER publish a book on bicycles (ten years later they knocked off my book and used poser people doing cheap imitations of me).

Today, they're still making money off of my ideas and early efforts–all without saying so or even being honest enough to acknowledge my expertise. After all these years, the book publishers and the hobby STILL don't have it right or complete. This is despite dozens of imitators and knock-off attempts.

My manuscript from the 1970s and book remain unpublished to this day. Yet they contain photos and information that [i]no one around today has ever seen or read[/i]. The almighty publishers that were wrong at the end of the 1970s are still wrong today. But they'll never admit it. And book publishers are STILL not placing credit where credit is due as my work continues unrecognized today. But look at the interest in this subject generated just here alone... on a Packard automobile site! And how much bicycle AND automotive history has been revealed just here in this thread?

Anyway, you are most welcome.

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