The Salem, Massachusetts, US bicycle shop of Lucius B

Thursday 25th June 1914

The Salem, Massachusetts, US bicycle shop of Lucius B. Packard was destroyed by fire. In the late 1890’s three prototype Packard automobiles had been built here, but further production did not occur. In 1895 he built a prototype automobile that featured a 2-bhp gasoline engine that gave its power via a chain to the left rear wheel. Speed was controlled by two levers. One sat on the right of the steering lever. Moving it forward accelerated the vehicle, backwards slowed it. In a vertical position it brought the engine to idle. A second lever behind the seat did the same for reverse. Packard found a buyer for his car before he finished it. In 1896 he completed another four-wheeled vehicle, this time with an electric engine. It was derived from a horse-drawn carriage. His last car was built in 1898, an electric Three-wheeler with a single front wheel, allowing the use of a long steering lever. It had a centre-tube frame, and the bodywork was hinged with springs. Lucius Packard seems to be unrelated to James Ward Packard of the Packard Motor Car Company.

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