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Farnsworth Fine Cannabis


Uncle Philo

Uncle Philo

Honey, I Shrunk the World

Philo Taylor Farnsworth (August 19, 1906 – March 11, 1971) was an American inventor, television pioneer and great uncle to Farnsworth Fine Cannabis founders, Alexander and Brayden Farnsworth.  

He made many crucial contributions to the early development of all-electronic television, but is best known for his 1927 invention of the first fully functional all-electronic image pickup device (video camera tube), the image dissector, as well as the first fully functional and complete all-electronic television system. 

He astounded the world, but did he make an astounding pile of money?

Farnsworth developed a full television system complete with receiver and camera through the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation from 1938 to 1951. Despite making every “Famous People You Have Never Heard of” list from here to the moon, Philo did not achieve the notoriety or financial success commensurate with the scale of his world-changing invention. This was due to a number of complicated factors, but the short of it is unfortunate timing. By the end of the Depression and World War II, when Americans had disposable income again, Farnsworth’s patent had run out and the brilliant farm boy wasn’t terribly interested in battling the tycoons of big radio.

Academy award winner Aaron Sorkin dramatized the story in a 2007 stage play called The Farnsworth Invention, in which Hank Azaria plays the hard-boiled David Sarnoff, RCA’s notorious boy-wonder president who steals the Farnsworth invention. Philo ends up penniless and forgotten. (The play was not well received by the way, Ben Brantley called it, “an animated Wikipedia page.”)

The Real Farnsworth Legacy 

In fact, Philo had an enormously successful career, perhaps not as a global tycoon, but he held over 300 patents, sold many, many thousands of radios and televisions and has inspired countless inventors, engineers and scientists.  

What has been less appreciated about Uncle Philo is his stunningly beautiful product design. He is listed among the great inventors, but should also be included among the great designers as well. This is the ethos and legacy that we wish to honor with Farnsworth Fine Cannabis. Every detail of our products, stores and communications we hope to live up to his exacting standards, beautiful aesthetics and profoundly innovative thinking.

Farnsworth, making the world more delightful (in one way or another) since 1927 

For more on Philo’s inventions and life:


Documentary by Jessica Farnsworth