Three men William H Klein, Henry Henrichson, and Eramo (Joe) Spagnoli, in 1931 during the depths of the Great Depression were co-workers working for an electrical contractor based in Richmond Hill, New York who was unable to pay their salaries. These three men during this hard time consulted one another and decided that they had the impetus and skill to start their own business and the Franklin Company Contractors was born in 1932. Each man put up 100 to 300 dollars to start the business and each man brought a unique skill to the company. William (Bill) Klein handled sales, Henry Henrichsen handled the finances, and Erarmo Spagnoli handled the electrical work. The Franklin Company’s name was chosen due to the fact that William Klein drove an automobile called a Franklin and because of their connection as an electrical contractor to Benjamin Franklin who discovered electricity.
Over the initial years the Franklin Company Contractors developed an expertise in the electrical/mechanical equipment installation and the installation of various fuel and heating oil storage tanks. As the company grew into the mid 1930’s the Franklin Company purchased a small building with an enclosed yard and moved from Richmond Hill, NY to Woodside, NY.
In 1954, Henry Henrichsen elected to retire due to poor health. That following year the remaining partners Erarmo Spagnoli and William Klein incorporated the company. Later in 1959, Erarmo Spagnoli retired from the company and William Klein continued the operation of the company with own son William T. Klein and Erarmo Spagnoli’s son Erarmo I Spagnoli. In 1972 William H Klein died and the business was carried on by the founder’s sons. On December 31, 1980 Erarmo I Spagnoli retired and William T. Klein continued to run the business.
On June 4, 1984 the Franklin Company Contractors lost their long time Woodside, NY location due to an eminent domain proceeding to allow for the construction of a Sanitation Repair Shop and relocated to College Point, Queens NY. In the summer of 1990, William T. Klein was joined by his son William R. Klein. In 2000, William T. Klein retired and William R. Klein took over making the Franklin Company contractors a third generation family run business.
Over the years the Franklin Company Contractors completed numerous different contracts ranging from repairing/servicing oil company service stations to completing bulk petroleum and chemical storage systems and environmental remediation.