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(A 50-Year Legacy... Phil's pipe dream, continued from our Home Page)
In 1971, I decided to move to San Francisco to the Mission District to become submerged by this new culture. The first pipe was called the smoking Contrivance–-it would become pipedream 1.0. After a year of learning how to scale up and have consistent production, it failed to materialize. Desperate for money, I got a carpenter job and took a gamble when I placed an ad in the Rolling Stone Magazine in 1972. I recall paying 200 dollars and after a month only had a few orders. A few months later, my brother Kent called to say my post office box was stuffed with orders, so I made pipes on the weekend to fulfill orders, but I had a commitment to my carpenter job. A year later, I finally had time to fully commit to my pipe dream.
In 1973, I made a batch of pipes using a gas generator for power and took them to Berkeley’s Telegraph Ave. I became a street artist and made enough to put a roof over my head. My brother Richard joined me from Denver, and he began street sales in SF. Richard made the second Contrivance pipe, specifically made for a left-hander. The contrivance was selling well, but as it gained public attention trouble began. While on the street one day, I was approached by an investor who said he wanted to market my design, when in reality he was actually trying to steal it. I gave him 50 pipes to help market the pipe, and they soon began showing up in headshops all over the Bay Area in tin cans labeled as a "Tomato"! What a stupid gimmick idea! But it did wake me up to the fact that the name Contrivance was also pretty stupid. But my pipe design was a keeper.