Franklin Automobile - June 24, 2014

Today, most Americans are aware of only three major American-run producers of automobiles - Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors - but that was not always the case.  In fact, about a hundred years ago, there were positively scores of companies that manufactured different types of cars around the country.

Syracuse, New York was home to a number of different factories in itself.  The H.H. Franklin Manufacturing Company produced its first car in 1902 and survived for over thirty years, ultimately brought down by the Great Depression, and the inability of most Americans to purchase luxury vehicles.  Franklins were considered luxury vehicles, but they were also highly innovative.  They experimented with the first ever use of die-casting in automobile machinery production and used air-cooling systems for their engines.  The quality and beauty of the Franklin could not be denied; unfortunately, the Great Depression proved too challenging for the company to survive and they closed down in 1934. 

QUESTION:  Which of the following automobile companies were NOT based in or around Syracuse, New York?

a)  Brower

b)  Woods

c)  Iroquois

d)  Van Wagoner

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Movies have been popular for over one hundred years, and popular actors were an essential draw to get audiences. That's why some performers demand high salaries.  The first female movie star to ever sign a million dollar contract was Mary Pickford, the star of many silent films and the co-creator of United Artists, along with Charlie Chaplin and her then-husband Douglas Fairbanks.  She took pen to paper today, in 1916.  Between 1909 and 1950, when she retired from film, Pickford starred in well over a hundred films.

Important event happen every day, it's just that they don't all get reported to the media.  On June 24th, 1947, a man named Kenneth Arnold did report his important event:  he claimed to have seen nine unidentified objects floating mysteriously in the air above Mount Rainier, Washington. This was the first time ever that the term 'flying saucer' was used to describe U.F.O.s, and also the first time major newspapers printed a story of this nature.  It would be only a few weeks later that Roswell, New Mexico would have an incident similar to this one.

BIRTHDAYS:

Sometimes, being a good brother means letting your younger siblings get all the credit.  Today, we celebrate the birth of Roy Disney in 1893, older brother of the far-more famous Disney Walt.  Roy was essentially an equal partner to Walt, although he focused more on the business end while Walt concentrated on the creative.  

It's really only fitting to follow up the birthday of a Disney with that of actor Phil Harris.  Born in 1904, Harris recorded music for the Viktor Phonograph Company in the early-30's and made a name for himself in radio prior to moving on to film.  His voice remains his most memorable attribute, though, as he voiced characters in three Disney films, specifically The Jungle Book in 1967 as Baloo, he played Thomas O'Malley in 1970's The Aristocats, and Little John in 1973's Robin Hood. 

QUOTE:  You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down. - Mary Pickford

Answer:   b)  Woods.  Francis Woods produced his Mobilettes out of Chicago, Illinois.