Franklin Surplus was founded in 1911 by Frank Franklin. The first location was in Seymour, Indiana on Pine Street where Schneck Medical Center is located now. In the 1950s, Frank’s son, Robert Edison Franklin, (wife, Louise Franklin) took over the business. At that time the business was known as Franklin Brothers. The scrap metal recycling industry was vastly different than it is today. They bought not only scrap metal, but also fur, paper, nylon, cardboard, inner tubes, and even rags (there are stories about the “ragman” coming around buying these). Cleaning scrap metal in those days was not easy. Owning several pieces of machinery was not an affordable option. Sometimes a hammer and chisel were used to clean metal.
In 1974 after the death of Robert Edison, his son, Robert Eugene Franklin took over the business. It was renamed Franklin Scrap. His brother, Frank “Bo” Franklin, would soon join him as co-owner, but he was still in high school at the time. At this time, Franklin Scrap bought scrap metal and furs. Handling scrap metal was still not easy, using pole or wrecker trucks and loading much of it by hand. Around 1987, the scrapyard moved to its current location in North Vernon, Indiana with Bob and Bo as the owners. The name also changed to Franklin Surplus, Inc. Today the business has grown tremendously. Franklin Surplus buys scrap metal from the public, services industrial accounts and performs demolitions all across the United States and Canada.
Robert “Bob” Franklin and Frank “Bo” Franklin are still the owners and Bob’s children and grandchildren are also involved in the business.