Looking Back – History Earl Farnsworth Express

Earl Farnsworth Express follows a family tradition of moving services dating back to the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Today Farnsworth Express is the Marin agent for Mayflower Transit.

Going Back to 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

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The Farnsworth name goes back many years in the Bay Area moving business – all the way back to the great San Francisco Earthquake, when Earl’s grandfather and great-uncle hauled barrels of drinking water to quake victims by horse and wagon. From this experience Farnsworth & Ruggles was founded, and for many years was one of the largest drayage firms on the West Coast.

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Earl Farnsworth started in the moving business in 1950, working part time for his stepfather, Dick Hardin, and Hardin’s partner, Charles Pierce, who at that time were Bekins agents in San Rafael. He worked for Pierce-Hardin through high school and college and, after a three year hitch in the Navy, rejoined the firm, then agents for North American. In 1960 he became the assistant manager and later left to take the Crockett’s position in 1968. Which lead to the birth of Earl Farnsworth Express in 1971. 

Earl Farnsworth Express Is Born

Unlike many new companies during this time Earl Farnsworth Express was successful right from the start. Operating out of their San Rafael home, Earl and Lenore began with only one van and a pickup truck, but within a very short time acquired a great deal of business moving pianos and medium-size households and offices. During these early years the Express delivered new pianos for Steinway, Sherman & Clay, Miracle Music, Dominican College, and a number of piano tuners in the San Rafael area.



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With a philosophy of “take care of the customer and they’ll use you again,” the company grew steadily through the 1970s and early 1980s, moving thousands of households and organizations, such as Pacific Gas & Electric, West America Bank, Equitable Life Assurance, and Logo Paris. In 1971 Earl and a handful of part-time helpers grossed $60,000; in 1986 the firm had 12 full-time employees and one million dollars in business.

Growing In San Rafael – Constructing A Moving and Storage Facility

By 1981 Earl Farnsworth was able to construct an ultramodern 40,000 square foot moving and storage facility, located at 2111 Francisco Boulevard East. The facility houses 12,000 square feet of clean, containerized storage space and a climatic-controlled storage vault. The company’s new fleet of custom-built air-ride vans includes the latest safety features for moving furniture, computers, and office equipment – even automobiles – damage free. As a Marin agent for Mayflower Transit, Farnsworth offers the efficiency and experience of one of the country’s oldest and largest nationwide van lines.

The fourth generation of Farnsworths grew up in the business. Earl Jr. (Cal) is now President of the company, and the Farnsworth’s younger son, John, started in the sales department in 1986.

Charitable Giving A Company Tradition

Farnsworth Express continues to be the “mover” in San Rafael civic affairs. We have donated thousands of boxes for food and toys to the city’s needy every Christmas and provide many moving services free of charge to the United Way, YMCA, Rotary and several other charitable organizations in the San Rafael area. 

Package Supplies

Farnsworth Express stocks all the supplies you will need for your move and storage.

Download our Packing Materials List.

Call or FAX the supplies you would like to order and we will have them ready and waiting for you when you arrive. Be sure to include all your contact information.