Historical Timeline

Isaac T. Packard

1817 (June 29) – Born in North Bridgewater (changed to Brockton in 1874), Massachusetts

1838 (April 4) – Married Jane G. Littlefield in North Bridgewater; two daughters were born to this marriage while they lived in Vermont, where apparently he learned the music trade

1850 – Joined with Nelson J. Foss and Calvin Hatch to form Packard, Foss, & Co., manufacturing reed organs, seraphines, and melodeons

1854 (April 8, 15) – Packard, Foss, & Hatch was dissolved and a new partnership with Isaac T. Packard and Edmund Packard appeared as Packard Brothers “at Main Street near the head of Centre Street”

1857 (May) – Edmund Packard “late firm of Packard Brothers” ran his own ad in the North Bridgewater Gazette; Isaac T. Packard’s whereabouts are unknown

1858 (July) – New ad appeared as the company of I.T. Packard & Co. at the same location with the “& Co.” being his brother Edmund

1862 (late summer) – I.T. Packard’s ads disappear from the newspaper; apparently he had discontinued the business

1863 (September 22) – Isaac married Elizabeth (Stoddard) Butterfield, widow, and adopted her son

1865 – Packard is listed in the Chicago, Illinois, City Directory as “superintendent of tuning” at J. Estey & Co. (during the time when Estey established their presence in Chicago on Sedgewick Street)

1866-1870 – Isaac Packard was granted four (4) patents while living in Chicago

1867-1870 – Isaac Packard is listed as superintendent of the organ factory, tuner, and organ-builder at Riley Burdett & Co.

1871 – Following the Chicago Fire, Isaac Packard, along with Keith and Talbot (two fellow tuners at Riley Burdett) traveled to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and became stockholders in a new company formed with business backing by prominent citizens of the community (incorporated November 21, 1871)

Isaac was the first superintendent of the factory and, probably because of the patents he held, the organs manufactured by the Ft. Wayne Organ Company were labeled Packard Orchestrals

1873 (July) – Isaac was granted his last patent while residing in Ft. Wayne (for improvement in reed organ stop actions)

1873 (September 11) – Isaac T. Packard died at the age of 56

Fort Wayne Organ Company

1871 (November 21) – Incorporated with capital stock of 800 shares at $50/each; however, the initial stock sale among the stockholders totaled just $23,000. (Within two years, the corporation was amended to limit stock to $24,000.)

Initial stockholders and board of directors as listed in order on the application – all listed Fort Wayne as city of residence (board of seven directors are indicated by *)

Henry Talbot - 100 shares, $5,000
Robert Keith* - 60 shares, $3,000
Isaac Packard* - 40 shares, $2,000
C. McCulloch - 20 shares, $1,000
Charles D. Bond* - 60 shares, $3,000
John H. Bass* - 40 shares, $2,000
James A. Hay - 20 shares, $1,000
Lindlye M. Linde* - 40 shares, $2,000
C.L. Hill - 20 shares, $1,000
S.B. Bond* - 60 shares, $3,000

First officers were Lindley M. Linde, president; Isaac Packard, secretary/superintendent; and S.B. Bond, treasurer

1871 (December) – Groundbreaking for the new factory

1872 (April 4) – First organ was completed

1873 (August 6) – The following article appeared in Ft. Wayne Gazette as reported in the August 1988 ROS Bulletin: “As with most feature stories of the day, the account contains a good smattering of editorializing. But it also gives what is presumed to be an accurate description of the new factory and its production of reed organs.”

1874 – By 1874, as listed in the city directory, S.B. Bond was president, with J.D. Bond, treasurer, and G.E. Bursley, secretary/manager. The Fort Wayne Organ Company flourished under the able leadership of S.B. Bond, who remained president until his death in 1907.

1893 – Fort Wayne Organ Company introduced its first piano, offering one model in its first catalogue.

1899 (September 5) – Name of company was officially changed from the Fort Wayne Organ Company to The Packard Company by court order

1900 – By 1900 the major emphasis in production had shifted from organ production to piano production. It appears from this time forward that most of the company’s advertising dollars were spent on promoting the Packard piano.

1902 – The name Fort Wayne Organ Company was resurrected by the Packard Company as the name of a new corporation, set up to do retail business in Fort Wayne as a music store. Interestingly, the store was advertised as an outlet for music, phonographs, and pianos, but organs were not listed.

 1907 – Stephen B. Bond dies and is succeeded by his son, Albert S. Bond, who had been with the company at least as early as 1882.

1908 – Some sources of information indicate this is the year that organ production ceased. However, this is contradicted by other information which indicates that organs continued to be produced at least as late as 1914.

1914 (September 15) – The company filed legal papers to have the name of the company changed.

1915 (November 25, 1915) - By court order, the name of the company was officially changed from The Packard Company to The Packard Piano Company.

1930 (February 6) – Company went into receivership. The following information came from an article which appeared in the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel on May 27, 1958:

1931 (February 13) – Albert S. Bond died at the age of 68, a little over a year after the company had gone into receivership.

Circa 1935 - The city of Fort Wayne acquired the former Packard Company property. The buildings were torn down and the land turned into a city park, now known as Packard Park.