James W. Packard: Created the American Rolls Royce
Unlike many of the automobile pioneers who received their primary training with blacksmiths, or under watchful eyes of mechanics in wagon, bicycle or railroad shops, James Ward Packard and his older brother, William Doud, learned their trade as engineering students at Lehigh University. Like the other pioneers, the path they first traveled did not begin with the horseless carriage; there were several pit stops along the way before they made their transition into that nascent industry. Yet, by the time they retired from the automobile industry, the name Packard had become synonymous with quality, luxury and elegance—it was the American Rolls Royce. The Packard family arrived in Warren, Ohio, in 1850, a town with a population slightly above 1,600. Warren Packard became a successful businessman who established several enterprises in Warren, including a hotel, a steam-driven electric light plant, lumber mill, hardware store, planning and iron-rolling mill, and telegraph office.