LIFE and Times with Packard Motor Car Company

Richard Mayer’s love of history and photography led to a new, exciting hobby: virtual browsing the collections of art and history museums across the world, all through Google Arts & Culture. This non-profit initiative enables cultural institutions to preserve and share their holdings digitally so patrons can enjoy them regardless of time and distance.

During these browsing sessions, Mayer discovered that the service has a massive holding of photographs from the LIFE Magazine Photo Collection. The scope of the collection—with its number of photographs in the millions—was a welcome surprise to him, as he has taken a special interest in the photographs created by LIFE Magazine. “From a very young age, I have always been intrigued by the photography of the LIFE Magazine staff photographers of the early to late 20th Century,” he stated. “I still draw inspiration from their phenomenal photographs today. After finding this cache of over 4 million images, I’ve been like a kid in a very immense online virtual candy store!”

As a Packard enthusiast and PPG volunteer, he was even more excited to find that this cache of LIFE Magazine photographs held so many images related to the Packard Motor Car Co. He found multiple collections documenting special events and manufacturing processes, all containing photographs he had never seen before.

In the next several posts, we’ll be sharing where you can view these collections online, along with some of Mayer’s observations about the events and photos depicting them. Let it inspire you to conduct your own research into what Google Arts & Culture has to offer, and who knows—you might find some gems yourself!