Franklin Computer

I split this out from the Vintage Computing section because the goal is to have a lot of information here.

I worked for Franklin Computer Corporation from April 1982 until June 1984, which was the exiting time when the ACE-100, ACE-1×00 were coming out, we were being sued by Apple Computer, and the entire computer market was changing.

My collection includes some prototypes and many rare pieces, some of which came directly from Franklin when they were trying to get rid of old stuff in their closets and from principals in the company who wanted to make sure all of this wasn’t just lost and tossed into a dumpster someplace.


Some display pieces I borrowed from Joel Shusterman, one of the three founders of Franklin.  Joel is the fellow in the top left corner of this poster, and was President during all the fun times:

That’s Joel, Russ and Barry.  They were sometimes referred to as “the pep boys” based on The Pep Boys tagline.

From what I remember, the pictures of the middle and lower right were from a show in Boston, must have been 1982, obviously in warm weather.  Franklin had models in the swimsuits outside handing out literature, which some of the vendors inside did not like, so the show organizers called the police.  Franklin got a lot of free press from the local TV stations.  There’s no such thing as bad publicity!

Here are some of the printed ads run in various magazines.  I forget the name of the Ben Franklin actor but he was very well known in the area.  Keep in mind Franklin was in Pennsauken NJ, right across the river from Philadelphia.

Now this is a classic.  That’s Steve Wozniak on the left (barely visible) arguing with Joel at CES.  If you read Woz’s book, he spent about a page and a half complaining about Franklin and related an encounter he had with the President of Franklin at a show.  Well, this is exactly that meeting:

This was hanging in offices/cubes around the company: