Luxury Cars Were Once Built In Syracuse
If you've ever attended an antique or classic car show, you may have come across a car called "Franklin." Most people might think the car line was named after one of our founding fathers, but it was not given its name in honor of Benjamin Franklin.
Instead, the Franklin was named after Herbert H. Franklin, who starting building luxury cars in Syracuse in 1902. The Franklin Manufacturing Company became the largest employer in the city, and turned out as many at 14,000 cars per year. While the average price of a new car in the 1920's was $850, some Franklin models sold for several thousand dollars. Owners of the Franklins included movie stars, sports figures and even Charles Lindberg.
The car builder was in business from 1902 until 1934, working out of a huge factory located on South Geddes Street in Syracuse. But, according to newyorkupstate.com, fell victim to the great depression. In 1930, Franklin announced huge price cuts for it's cars, and in 1930, the company lost over $4 million. Franklin continued to build cars until 1934, when the company filed for bankruptcy.
A total of just over 150,000 Franklins were built, and you can find one today in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.