Florence Emily Larkin Spaulding

Spaulding, Florence

Time Period


Subject Categories

Business, Everyday Life

Notable Facts

Started successful business "Spaulding Plasters" with husband. Was one of first women to drive cross country and back. Did so six times, starting in the mid 1900's, logging 88,000 miles eventually.

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Primary Residence


Historical Significance

Florence Emily Larkin moved around Vermont a lot before meeting and marrying her husband, Franklin Spaulding. Together, they purchased a secret formula for making foot plasters (used to heal common ailments such as corns and bunions), and established a successful business selling Spaulding Plasters in stores as far away as Cleveland, Ohio and Providence, Rhode Island. They moved to their home in Tunbridge, called "The Maples", in 1910.

The successful business enabled them to buy a Ford Model T. Spaulding drove the Model T, and in fact, she became known as the first woman to drive an automobile across the country and back.

The Spauldings drove cross-country six times, with Florence doing all of the driving and maintenance on the car.

During these trips, she traveled with 6-10 dogs, sometimes picking up more dogs along the way. The couple camped all over the United States, never staying in hotels.

Florence Spaulding outlived both her husband and her two children, John and Nellie.


  • Business woman
  • Entrepreneur
  • Traveler