January 16, 2018

FRANKLIN

H. H. Franklin Co.

Franklin Automobile Co.

Syracuse, New York (1902-1934)


This is a Franklin Series 10A and 10B radiator emblem (1923-1924)     mjs
Size: 78mm wide 39mm high     MM: None

By 1901, John Wilkinson had completed two air-cooled prototype cars for the New York Automobile Company but he was not paid for his work. However, Herbert H Franklin was impressed and agreed to provide financial support. The Franklin Automobile Company was established and the first production Franklin was sold in June 1902. All the first Franklin cars were four-cylinder runabouts. In 1904 a Franklin runabout was driven from New York to San Francisco in just under 33 days,  breaking all previous records and demonstrating the durability and robustness of the Franklin. 

The engine of the Franklin was placed at the front of the vehicle under a barrel hood in 1905, with a distinctive Renault-type hood following in 1911, and the equally distinctive Franklin "horse collar" radiator in 1921. 

Franklin also built air-cooled commercial vehicles with a 3/4-ton truck available from 1905, followed by a range of vehicles from 1/2-ton to 2-ton capacity. By 1912 heavy trucks were discontinued but 1/2-ton Renault-type taxicabs continued to be available for a while longer.

All was going well with Franklin until pressure from Franklin distributors demanded a more conventional radiator design. Herbert Franklin eventually agreed but John Wilkinson resigned. However the Franklin continued successfully and won several endurance contests and became a favorite of both Cannon Ball Baker and Charles Lindbergh, for whom the 1928 Franklin Airman series was named.

The Great Depression had a serious effect the Franklin. From a production of over 14,000 cars in 1929, output fell to under 2,000 in 1932. 

A group of bankers was in control of Franklin and some new models introduced for the 1933 model year failed to meet the hallmarks of previous Franklins, such as high quality, low weight and reliability. One of these new cars for 1933 was the V-12 luxury car but it was expensive, heavy and lacked a stylish body design. The other new car was the Olympic, which was a Reo built car carrying Franklin emblems. These new designs were unsuccessful and, after building only 360 cars in 1934, it was all over for the Franklin. 

Emblems

The early Franklin cars did not carry an emblem but the Franklin name was displayed on the serial plates, hubcaps and on the step plates, see examples below:

This is a Franklin serial plate (1904)    gcm

This is a Franklin hub emblem (1905)     gcm

This is a Franklin step plate (1905)    gcm

Some early Franklin models also displayed a small Franklin logo script on the radiator core. This script is made from sheet brass and carries a "Reg. US. Pat. Office" mark on the front, see example below:

This is a brass Franklin radiator script (1905-c1909)     mjs
Size: 177mm wide

The Franklin logo script was also displayed on the sill plates up to around 1909, see example below:

This is a Franklin script on a sill plate (1909)    gcm

The Renault-type hood used from 1911 to 1921 did not show a radiator and, therefore, did not carry a radiator emblem.

The first Franklin radiator emblem appeared on the Franklin Series 9B "horse-collar" radiator in 1921 and displayed the "Franklin" logo script below a clenched fist holding a bunch of lightning rods finished in enamel, see example below. This Franklin radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Franklin Series 9B radiator emblem (1921)     mjs
Size: 80mm wide 43mm high     MM: None

The emblem design was changed slightly in 1922, see example below. This Franklin radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Franklin series 9B radiator emblem (1922)    mjs
Size: 80mm wide 43mm high     MM: None

The Franklin radiator emblem retained its shape but was redesigned in 1923 for the Franklin Series 10A and B. The emblem became a black, fully enameled emblem, see example shown above at the top of this post. This Franklin radiator emblem is scarce.

Around this time, some Franklin cars replaced the radiator emblem with a radiator cap mascot showing a raised lion combined with an emblem of similar design to that shown at the top of this post, see example below:

This is a combined Franklin mascot and radiator emblem (c1923)    ms


There was a further change in design in the early spring of 1925 for the Franklin Series 11, when the emblem lost the original "Franklin" logo script and used capital letters in white enamel in a blue enamel background with a white border, see example below. This Franklin radiator emblem was in use for a few months only and is very rare.

This is a Franklin Series 11 radiator emblem (1925)    mjs
Size: 82mm wide 42mm high    MM: None


Later in 1925, the Franklin Series 11 had a complete change in emblem design. The blue Franklin radiator emblem was replaced by a small round emblem with an "F" motive in black enamel and with a black border, see examples shown below:

This is a Franklin Series 11 radiator emblem (1925-1926)     mjs
Size: 47mm diameter    MM: D L Auld

This is a Franklin radiator emblem and lion mascot (c1926)   jill reger

The Franklin radiator emblems shown below were used on the Series 12 in early 1928 and on the Series 12B later in 1928:

This is a Franklin Series 12 radiator emblem (early 1928)     mjs
Size: 58mm diameter    MM: Unknown

This is a Franklin Series 12B radiator emblem (later 1928)     mjs
Size: 51mm diameter   MM: Unknown

The following emblems are Franklin wood wheel hub emblems:

This is a Franklin Series 11A wood wheel hub emblem (1925-1926)    ms
Size: 49mm diameter   MM: D L Auld

This is a Franklin wood wheel hub emblem (1925-1928)     mjs
Size: 49mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The following Franklin emblem is a 1929 Franklin Series 130 radiator emblem:

This is a Franklin Series 130 radiator emblem (1929)     mjs
Size: 51mm diameter    MM: D L Auld

The following emblem is a Franklin wood wheel hub emblem for 1929:

This is a Franklin wood wheel hub emblem (1929)    mjs
Size: 49mm diameter    MM: Unknown

In 1930 there was a change in the design of Franklin radiator decoration when the radiator emblem was moved down from the top of the radiator shell to cover the crank hole. The emblem shown below was used as the Franklin crank hole emblem from 1930 to 1933 for the Franklin Series 14, 15 and 16 and from 1932 to 1934 for the Franklin Series 17:

This is a Franklin crank hole emblem (1930-1934)    mjs
Size: 62mm diameter    MM: Unknown

This is a Franklin Airman crank hole emblem (1932)    gcm

The following emblem is a 1931 Franklin Pirate hub emblem: 

This is a Franklin Pirate hub emblem (1931)    gcm
Size: 70mm diameter


A chrome plated, cast metal Franklin radiator script was available as an accessory between 1930 and 1932, see example below:

This is a Franklin accessory radiator script (1930-1932)    gcm

The following emblem is a 1932 Franklin Olympic emblem:

This is a Franklin Olympic emblem (1932)    mjs
Size: 63mm diameter    MM: Unknown

From 1933, the Franklin had a very large crank hole emblem, see example below. This emblem is rare.

This is a large Franklin crank hole emblem (1933-1934)      mjs
Size: 102mm high 83mm wide    MM: Fox

The large crank hole emblem shown below was used for the Franklin V12 that appeared in 1933. Only about 200 Franklin V12 cars were built, making this a very rare emblem.

This is a Franklin V12 crank hole emblem (1933-1934)    mjs
Size: 102mm high 83mm wide    MM: Fox

The following Franklin emblem is a mystery but it is definitely not from a Franklin vehicle:

This mystery emblem was not used on a Franklin auto vehicle   ms
Size: Unknown

The following Franklin emblem was also not used on a Franklin car. It is from a Franklin sewing machine!

Franklin emblem    mjs
Size: 67mm diameter

Franklin sewing machine showing the emblem    ms















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