“The owner is always proud to demonstrate his Farnsworth,” Christmas 1940

December, 1940 was a busy time at Cohen House and the Christmas dance marked the arrival of some long awaited and wonderful now-obsolete technology:

I knew exactly what would happen if I googled “Farnsworth radio and phonograph.” It would turn out that there’s a rabbit warren of websites run by victrola enthusiasts and radio geeks and I would get lost in it and never actually be able to figure out precisely what piece of equipment they had bought for Cohen House in 1940 because I can’t understand the technical specs collected in those websites.

I was right about that. But I do understand advertising and I found this great ad in a 1946 issue of Radio and Television Retailing magazine:

Bonus: This photo is labeled “George and Alice Pratt Brown, Christmas Eve, 1976.” It is worth some close examination. I deeply regret that I can’t see the rest of the painting.

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3 Responses to “The owner is always proud to demonstrate his Farnsworth,” Christmas 1940

  1. Philip Walters says:

    I had the honor of meeting George R. Brown while I was working as an installer for Southwestern Bell the summer of 1975. I was installing the phone in his office at a company where he was a board member. He came in as I was still working, and as I recognized him, I said hello, calling him by name. I also thanked him for the scholarship I was receiving at that time. He was very pleasant, and asked me a lot of questions about my engineering studies, where I grew up, and my job with the phone company. It was a short visit, but I found him to be a genuinely nice man.

  2. Galloway Hudson - Wiess '60 says:

    George R. Brown looms large in the history of Rice. I can remember Dean of Engineering Michael Carroll singing the praises of the engineering school with his rendition of “Sweet George R. Brown”.

  3. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    In the late 60’s I was a geology major and for a sedimentation class taught by Dr. Lankford, Mr. Brown let us use his personal DC-3 to study coastal landforms from the air. On one side it had an enormous window and a special seat so he could watch the world go by. I hogged the seat and I’m not ashamed of it.

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