top of page

Herbert H. Franklin


Herbert H. Franklin was an American industrialist and automotive engineer who made significant contributions to the early development of the automobile industry. Born on November 7, 1866, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Franklin became a notable figure in automotive history for his innovative designs and entrepreneurial ventures.

In 1901, Herbert Franklin founded the H.H. Franklin Manufacturing Company in Syracuse, New York, which later became the Franklin Automobile Company. Franklin's vision was to produce automobiles that were not only reliable but also innovative in their engineering. The company gained a reputation for its air-cooled engines, a departure from the water-cooled systems commonly used at the time.

Under Franklin's leadership, the Franklin Automobile Company became a pioneer in air-cooled engine technology. The air-cooled design offered several advantages, including simplicity, reduced weight, and improved performance. The company's cars were known for their distinctive appearance, often featuring a sleek and aerodynamic design that set them apart from other vehicles of the era.

One of the notable models produced by Franklin was the "Airman," introduced in the 1920s. These cars incorporated advancements in aerodynamics and showcased Franklin's commitment to innovation. The Franklin Automobile Company flourished during the 1910s and 1920s, becoming one of the leading manufacturers of luxury automobiles in the United States.

Despite facing challenges during the Great Depression, Herbert Franklin's company continued to produce automobiles until 1934, when it succumbed to financial difficulties and closed its doors. Herbert H. Franklin's legacy lives on as a pioneering figure in automotive engineering, known for his commitment to innovation and the development of air-cooled engines. His contributions played a role in shaping the early landscape of the American automobile industry. Herbert H. Franklin passed away on December 4, 1956, but his impact on automotive history endures.

Herbert H. Franklin
bottom of page