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J. W. Packard and his Watches

Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 5:42 am
by Dave Czirr
While browsing yesterday's New York Times Book Review, the name J. W. Packard suddenly popped out from a page. To anyone who has read much about the early years of Packard, that J.W. was an avid designed and collector of elaborate pocket watches is no surprise - the story of his Patek Philippe which took 5 years to build is reasonably well known. The book being reviewed was about the competition between J. W. and his rival in this competition, Henry Graves, for the most exquisitely complicated mechanical timepiece.

A GRAND COMPLICATION
A Race to Build the World's Most Legendary Watch
by Stacy Perman
Atria Books, 343 pages, $26

Re: J. W. Packard and his Watches

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:39 am
by Dave Czirr
Well, I've started the book, about half-way thru. The author is obviously not an automobile historian and there are a few (forgivable?) errors about such things as the origins of the Liberty engine, and the automatic spark advance and driveline of the first Packards, but it's proving to be an interesting read. While the thrust is about the timepieces, there is some new (to me anyway) information about the time period between when J.W. graduated Lehigh, his first employment and the beginning of his career in Brooklyn and New York, and when he returned to Warren to form his electric business.

Certainly not a book for just a general Packard enthusiast interested in the cars, but for those interested in the formative years of J.W's career and the beginnings of the Packard Electric ventures, I think most will find it quite worthwhile. And of course for those interested in the timepieces themselves.
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