Onondaga Historical Association

Franklin Automobile Photograph Collection

321 Montgomery St., Syracuse, NY. 13202
Phone: 315-428-1864  Fax:315-471-2133


Barrel hood auto near a cigar shop The OHA Franklin Automobile Photographs The Franklin motor car was invented by the engineer John Wilkinson and manufactured by the industrialist H. H. Franklin and marketed under his name. The Franklin was one of the most innovative motor cars of its time, featuring an air-cooled engine, scientific light weight and flexible construction at a time when other luxury car manufacturers were making ponderous machines. Throughout its history Franklin was a luxury car and it was in this part of the automotive market that it competed with the other notable makes of the day. As such it fell victim to the Great Depression along with many of these same fine luxury car manufacturers.

These remarkable motor cars engendered such a loyal and faithful following that interest in these automobiles never died out. Many individuals continued to operate Franklins as their every day automobiles or preserved them right up to the emergence of the antique and classic hobby, decades after production ceased in 1934. The H. H. Franklin Manufacturing Company was a very large employer in Syracuse, New York area, its home base, and many people across the world had very fond associations with the company and its motor cars either as employees, dealers, service personnel or just loyal customers of that fine make. <from http//www.franklincar.org>

Two Franklin autos, one barrel hoodOver 150 photographs from the Onondaga Historical Association (Syracuse, NY) Franklin Automobile Collection were scanned and described in the summer of 1997 with funding from a Library Services and Technology Grant through the Central New York Library Resources Council to be displayed on the CLRC.ORG web site. The photographs include selected images from the factory and production process, sales and advertising, and Franklin cars "on the road."

The photographs have been available as a searchable database on the WebZ Virtual Catalog section of the CLRC.ORG web site. Now, linked from the CLRC Region Digital Collections page, the photographs are easier to find.


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Supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services." The funds were granted through the Central New York Library Resources Council