Men are not the only ones who love Packards. Did you know that in the 1930’s, Hartford, Connecticut was the first city to introduce the Packard Guild? According to the Hartford Courant, the purpose of the Packard Guild was “the introduction of Packard mechanical supremacies and comforts to new families.” The Packard Guild consisted of several young ladies who were making their first venture into the business world. The Hartford Courant article goes on to say that, “The Guild members arranged to acquaint their friends with the Packard by taking them for comparative rides at leisure moments.” Some members of the Packard Guild included Miss Suzanne Welch (1st Director of the Hartford Packard Guild), Mrs. N.C. Prickett (Director of the Washington Packard Guild), Mrs. Chester Lockwood, Miss Anne Daingerfield, Dorothy Blauchard, Harriet Hotchkiss, Miss Virginia Ford, Mrs. William Cushman, and Miss Virginia Paddock (member of the Detroit Packard Guild).
The members of the Packard Guild worked closely with the Packard Motor Car Company as well as individual dealerships and salesmen to promote and sell Packards. In fact, the Detroit Packard Guild’s very own member, Miss Virginia Paddock, was recognized in 1935 for her sales of a 1201, a 120, and a 1108 demo which all followed from demonstrations she had arranged in January of 1935. The members of the Packard Guild were also mentioned in the Hartford Courant in 1934 for their invaluable assistance at the Auto Show Packard display, where they assisted the courteous and efficient Packard salesmen.
Other activities the Packard Guild put on were afternoon tea parties, garden shows, showroom demonstrations, and lectures. One such event was the Flower and Garden Show in 1934 which was held at the Packard Building in Hartford, Connecticut. This two-day, two-evening event was formally opened by Hartford’s very own Mayor Beach who declared the show a worthy enterprise for the people of Hartford. He also hailed the Packard Guild for the excellent work they had done in organizing and executing the show. The show included several gardens as well as a display of early English garden prints from the Dunthorne Collection. Mr. Gordon Dunthorne, who held an M.A. from Oxford University, had made a lifelong study of both English and American gardens, and his print collection was recognized as one of the outstanding collections of that time. The prints on exhibit included many rare prints of 17th, 18th, and 19th century flowers and gardens. Mr. Gordon Dunthorne spoke on Oxford University and its gardens to members of the Garden Club in Hartford and the surrounding vicinity. The lecture was followed by an afternoon tea. The entire show was then open to the public that evening as well as all day Friday. Well over 1,000 people attended the show.
In honor of Women’s History Month, it is refreshing and exciting to see that even as early as the 1930s women were not only the owners of such majestic automobiles like the Packard, but they played an integral part in getting the Packard name out to the general public and selling the vehicles as well.