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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 13:31:43 EST
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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    Besides being a Mark Twain enthusiast, I am a postcard collector with a
    hefty album of Mark Twain items.  Can anyone in this learned group shed
    light on the gensis and publishing history of my favorite set of Mark
    Twain quotation postcards?

    There are 16 of them (as far as I know), sepia-toned, standard size
    (3-1/2 x 5-5/8), some in portrait and some in landscape format.  The
    faces bear various photos of M.T. in casual poses -- in a rocker,
    playing billiards, and so forth -- in an ornate square frame.  The
    quotation is in a separate frame at the side or below, with a facsimile
    signature.  The quotations are the familiar "zingers":  "Be good and
    you will be lonesome."  "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's
    habits."  "Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."
    All but two of the quotations are attributed to "Following the
    Equator," the other two to "Pudd'nhead Wilson," with copyright in the
    appropriate year by Olivia L. Clemens.

    The backs come in two varieties.  To my eye, one is Arts and Crafts,
    with a decorative element consisting of three little boxes.  The other
    back seems closer to the Twenties, with a shield motif containing "A P

    Any insight or info concerning how these cards came to be, who
    published them, and whether they were produced in Clemens' lifetime --
    1905-1910 being the peak of the postcard fad -- would be greatly

    Henry Feldman