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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
"Kevin. Mac Donnell" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 10 Jul 2006 13:43:44 -0500
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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A quick search in the Twain's World CD might turn up the source of the
phrase used on that label. If somebody can source it, I'd love to know. If
it comes from Twain's own words, I'd suspect it originates with a letter,
speech, or interview. But that label was not in use until 1913.

A search through patent records will turn up a variety of products using
Twain's name (or image), and I have hundreds of examples of advertising for
such products (and often the products themselves) in my personal collection
that used Twain's name or image during his lifetime with his knowledge. I
know Twain allowed a shirt collar company to use his name in the 1880s (the
shirt collars found today using his name date from the 1920s) and I know
that Ralph Ashcroft registered "Mark Twain Cigars" as a trademark in 1909.
Twain himself wrote Chatto & Windus about trademarking "Mark Twain" in 1883,
and may have taken steps to protect its use earlier than that. I cannot
recall any instance where Twain was directly involved in the design of any
advertising for a product that used his name or image. There are plenty of
references in his letters to various people who used his name for commercial
purposes without his permission, which usually prompted a letter from Twain
to his publisher or attorney instructing them to send a nasty-gram.

That 1913 label (unused printer's stock) is widely available for sale for
very little money (I think the number that turned up in the 1970s was
between 5,000 and 7,000) and it has been reproduced as a mouse pad that was
sold at the Hartford House & Museum, and perhaps others. You might check
their websites to see if you can still get one. The metal sign is a modern
reproduction based on that label, but it's a "fantasy" item -- there was
never any metal sign that used that design. There was, however, a metal sign
produced that advertised those cigars that used just the "Liked by All"
phrase, but the design is quite different; I have one from the 1920s/30s.
I'm not sure if I sent an image of that sign to Steve Railton's website.
Original cigar boxes using that label also turn up regularly. I also have in
my personal collection a 1930s two-foot tall cardboard counter-sign
advertising those cigars, showing a box of them with that label.

I think it's fair to say you could furnish a home, travel by boat or car,
prepare a dinner, cure what ails you, play cards or other games, and dress
yourself using the products that have been sold using Twain's name. Well,
you'd not have any socks, but you'd have shoes, pants, shirt, and a nice fur

Kevin Mac Donnell
Austin TX