LIFE and Times: Packard’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

PPG volunteer Richard Meyer’s deep dive through Google Arts & Culture revealed an exciting collection of photographs taken by LIFE photographer Francis Miller.

The ninety-six images featured were taken during the Packard Motor Car Company’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, a festive event held in May 1940 to mark the company’s half-century of operation. It appears that the party didn’t stop for much—some of the pictures were taken on PPG property, but others show a convention center and theatre.

But that’s not the last of the collection’s unexpected features. “For some reason,” muses Mayer, “this [collection] also shows several pictures of a man in a suit posing with a Cadillac . . . Either [those pictures] were tagged incorrectly, or this man was somehow involved with the Packard anniversary.”

Adding to the value of this collection is the fact that these images are unlike anything available in the PPG’s vault, which Meyer realized after a careful perusal. “I’ve seen many pictures of the 50th anniversary in the past,” he stated. “These LIFE photos are different than any of the ones I’ve seen so far.”

Take a look through the collection, try to find the Cadillac Mystery Man, and enjoy these mementos from this historic celebration!