Aschermann registered Mark Twain Cigars on July 1, 1877. I've found nothing
to indicate that he paid Twain anything or that Twain even even knew of him.
He produced cigars (I have one of his cigar boxes, perhaps the only example
that survives), a trade card, and a small oblong poster, plus the two pieces
of sheet music. I've played the waltz, but not the mazurka. The waltz isn't
bad, but it ain't Chopin. Based on slim evidence, his cigars seemed to have
been sold mostly in the midwest.
Aschermann's are the earliest Mark Twain Cigars I have found, and he was
followed by many others. I have examples of all of the other boxes and
advertising cards by other makers. Just to avoid confusion, the Mark Twain
Cigar box and labels and signs you usually see (Known to Everyone, Liked by
All) was much later. The designs were proofed in 1913, the cigars were being
advertised for sale by March, 1916, but that brand was not registered until
1931. The factory that made their labels and bands shut down ca. 1950, but
production of the cigars may have ended earlier.
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From: Peter Salwen
Sent: Monday, November 20, 2017 5:08 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Here's a curiosity
I just stumbled across these two oddities from around 1880 at the Library
of Congress website: "Mark Twain Mazurka" and "Mark Twain Waltz," published
by Wm. Rohlfing & Co., composed by respectively Felix Kraemer and "X.Y.Z."
and allegedly "dedicated" to Messrs Edw. Aschermann & Co., manufacturers of
the celebrated Mark Twain cigars. The covers are illustrated with what I
take to be advertising or packaging graphics for the cigars. Does anyone
know the story about this stuff? For example, did MT get paid for the use
of his name?
For anyone who wants a closer look, here are the links:
-- Pete Salwen