Thousands of skilled workers once designed and built luxurious cars at a 40-acre site on Detroit's near East Side. The Packard Motor Car Company, founded in 1899, closed the plant in 1956. The buildings -- factories, administration, service buildings -- survived for decades as rental space, but ultimately became Detroit's (and possibly the world's) largest and most notorious industrial urban ruin.
A favorite of graffiti artists, photographers, urban explorers and people wanting to be photographed there, the Packard plant echoes the great ruins of antiquity in its size and significance. The story of the Packard site includes the vandals and arsonists who hastened the decay of the buildings, but also the visitors who left their comments, their art work and their unrelated leavings behind.
The book features over 230 photos of the Packard buildings taken during the period 2009 to 2014 when it was wide open to urban explorers. The photos are dated and captioned so you can see the effects of time on the outside and the inside of these impressive buildings, most designed by Detroit's most famous architect, Albert Kahn. You also get maps of the site and the bizarre story of the site's disputed ownership and ultimate sale to a foreign developer.
Theresa Welsh is the author of "A Guide to Post-Industrial Detroit: Unconventional Tours of an Urban Landscape." Theresa and her husband David Welsh, professional photographers/writers, took up "urban exploring" in their retirement. They began photographing in a city they have lived in and worked in for over 40 years, documenting the many abandoned buildings and neighborhoods. They have made numerous trips to the Packard plant, where magnificent automobiles were once built, to experience it and photograph it.
The authors were part of a community of small software entrepreneurs who created the first applications for personal computers, as the computer revolution in the late 1970s and early 1980s changed the way we create and store documents and data. They personally knew many of the principle players whose accomplishments are the stuff of legends, and whose work and vision led the way to our computer-saturated society. This book captures this unique era, through the stories of eye-witnesses, when personal computing was just an idea -- an idea whose time had come!
In these pages you will learn how a young engineer named Steve Leininger, working alone, built the first TRS-80 microcomputer . He had been hired by Tandy Corporation to develop a computer product to be sold in their Radio Shack stores for a price their customers could afford. Development costs were less than $150,000. Yet no one had ever sold a complete off-the-shelf personal computer before. Would anyone buy it?
As it turned out, the desire for a computer of one's own was overwhelming! Author David Welsh was one of the hobbyists-turned-programmers who bought a TRS-80. Using self-taught programming skills, he created a word processor and he and his wife Theresa found themselves in business, selling their product worldwide to enthusiastic fans who were eager to throw away their typewriters. They were part of the leading edge of the software business, joining hundreds of other small entrepreneurs selling software out of garages, basements and whatever space they could rent cheap.
David and Theresa Welsh tell their own story and that of many other pioneers. Includes over 100 illustrations of early computer products and ads.