“Ask the Man Who Owns One”

An Illustrated History of Packard Advertising

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About the Book

A major force in the American automobile scene through the 1950s, Packard made a mark on American advertising as well. The cars themselves seemed built for promotion—the red hexagon in the hubcap, the yoke grille, and the half-arrow belt-line molding acted as a logo of sorts, setting a new standard in visual continuity and branding. The company’s image became so firmly established, in fact, that Packard eventually ran advertisements which pictured the cars but purposely omitted the name, instead asking readers to “guess what name it bears.”
This book traces Packard’s advertising history from 1900 through 1958, based on original research that includes several first-hand interviews with the people who made it happen. Filled with reproductions of Packard ads (some in color), the book looks beyond the surface to examine how the advertisements reflect and interpret the company’s management and business convictions, how they were influenced by business conditions and competitive pressure, and how they changed with the times.

About the Author(s)

An auto enthusiast and advertising executive, Arthur W. Einstein, Jr., lives in Stuart, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Arthur W. Einstein, Jr.
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 282
Bibliographic Info: 133 photos (16 in color), appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016 [2010]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6791-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5661-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Foreword by Steven Rossi      1
Preface      3

1—Roots      7
2—The Ohio Years      10
3—Growing Up in Detroit, 1904–1914      34
4—The War Years, 1915–1920      71
5—The Roaring Twenties, 1920–1929      97
6—Brother Can You Spare a Dime? 1930–1934      125

Between pages 150 and 151 are 16 color plates containing 16 photographs

7—Changing the Guard, 1935–1942      151
8—A New Packard Emerges      193
9—Rest in Peace      224

Appendix 1: Saturday Evening Post Ads      235
Appendix 2: Odes to Packard in Song and Literature      247
Chapter Notes      249
Bibliography      255
Index      257

Book Reviews

  • “an interesting history…a joy for automobile and advertising enthusiast alike…highly recommended”—Choice
  • “any Classic Car enthusiast with even a slight interest in Packard will be drawn to this book. It is a delight, covering the subject unlike any past effort I have seen”—Classic Car Club Bulletin
  • “who better than a car loving advertising executive to pen a book on the advertising history of the Packard Motor Car Company”—Antique Automobile
  • “filled with hundreds of the many special Packard newspaper and magazine advertisements…highly informative read”—Hemmings Classic Car
  • “full of insights into a specialized area of endeavor that people outside that profession are not normally privy to”—SpeedReaders