The first Franklin automobile was produced


Thursday 19th June 1902

The first Franklin automobile was produced.It holds the distinction of being the first four-cylinder automobile produced in the United States. Most cars of the time had a single or two-cylinder motor. As Franklin had hoped, the four-cylinder engine eliminated the bouncing suffered by cars manufactured with more common one-cylinder engines. The car weighed 900 pounds (410 kg) and traveled up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h). Its vertical four-cylinder air-cooled engine with overhead valves sat transversely at the front of a wooden chassis. The Franklin concept was copied by both Marion and Premier auto makers of Indianapolis, Indiana.The car was test driven on a short trip to Cortland, New York, and returned home by way of Skaneateles one afternoon. S. G. Averell, a New York sportsman and relative of New York Governor W. Averell Harriman, bought the car. He paid $1,200. “It had a chain drive and the engine was mounted crosswise. The four-cylinder engine weighing 230 pounds (100 kg) was about one-fourth the weight of the car. The car had jump spark ignition, splash lubrication and enclosed planetary transmission. The gear ratio was 12-to-1 for low and 4-to-1 for high and there was reverse gear as well as the two forward. The steering gear was on the right, with wheel control.”


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