Brief Biography of Samuel Farber: Founder of Oxo Utensils

On this day, November 16 in the year 1924, the designer of revolutionary kitchen utensils was born in New York City, USA. His name was Samuel Farber, the co-founder of Copco, Oxo, and Wovo.

Samuel Farber
Samuel Farber (Credit: Youtube)

Samuel Farber came from a family of kitchenware manufacturers. His father established Farber Brothers while his uncle owned FarberWare which manufactured pots and pans. During World War II, he served in the United States military which sent him to North Africa. After the war, he continued his studies at Harvard University, graduating in 1946 with a degree in economics. After graduation, he joined the family business.

In the 1960s, Samuel Farber established Copco, a kitchen design and cookware manufacturer. In 1982, he sold the company and retired. While vacationing to Europe in the following year, an idea cropped in his mind while watching his wife struggled to peel apples. He wanted to produce peelers that are easy and safe to use. After the couple returned to the United States, he and his son set up the company OXO Utensils. He chose that name because it can be read backwards or upside down. With the help of Smart Design of New York, an initial 15 kinds of peelers with soft, rubber-like handles were produced. Although it was priced way above the competition, it became popular with chefs and housewives. In 1992, he sold the company to General Housewares Corporation which in turn sold it Helen of Troy Ltd.

Samuel Farber went on to found another company which he called Wovo, a manufacturer of dinnerware. In 2013, he died of complications at the age of 88. He married twice and had two children.


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