Twain is such a cultural touchstone (to use M.Arnold's term revengefully)!
In the current issue of Invention & Technology (spring '97), pp. 14-15, is
an article by Travis Brown (former examiner with the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office and author of Historical First Patents, Scarecrow Press,
'94), titled "Celebrity is the Mother of Invention." It is about inventions
by famous non-scientists and the patents for said inventions. Guess who's
featured with a picture (the only picture in the piece) from the front of
his scrapbook? Article documents the 3 patents he was issued: 1871, for
Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments, which was
commercially produced; 1873 for his self-adhesive scrapbook, which was
patented and became a moderate success; and 1885, for his patent #324,535
for a complicated game designed to help children remember historical dates.
Article also mentions inventions by DosPassos, J.E.B. Stuart,Harold Stassen,
Lord Montbatten, coach "Pop" Warner, Edgar Bergin, Houdini, and others,
including Lawrence Welk (and not for the bubblemachine). But of all these,
MT is the one to be featured, to be used to draw the readers.
Virginia Commonwealth Univ.