Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

William H. Maher and Emil Grosh started the Maher & Grosh Wholesale Cutlery Co. in 1877 with a goal to sell high quality US manufactured cutlery globally. The original business dissolved in 1988, but the brand has since been resurrected.
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Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Old Folder » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:17 pm

Below is a copy of the original letter to "Maher & Grosh Cutlery Co". from Jack London, the American short story novelist, dated August 1906. Mr London was 30 years old at the time his below letter was written.
Jack London was born on Jan.12 1876, he passed on Nov. 22 1916 at the young age of 40 from Kidney failure.
He wrote and published many short stories. One of his most popular books was "The Call Of The Wild" (1903) about the Klondike Gold Rush which brought him lasting fame and wealth. He was one of the first American writers to earn a large fortune from writing.
The below letter is in the Maher & Grosh family archives located at:
The Ward M. Canaday Center
The University of Toledo Ohio.
The letter is obviously self written and signed by My London, it appears that no secretarial assistance was used. This was many years before white out or spell check. I have posted a picture of a 1904 typewriter that was a "State of the Art" typewriter by "Blickensderfer" (c.1897-1916) this, or a simular typewriter may have been used in 1906 by Mr. London, it would have cost approximately $1,000.00 in today's price index. Imagine writing a book or even a letter with that technology.
The letter seems to be very demanding but to the point as to Mr. London's request of knife and express postal discounts.
Mr. London seems to have had an "Account" with Maher & Grosh. His attached check was for $34.75 and an order for goods.
In 1906, $34.75 would be a little under $1,000.00 in the U.S. Dollar Inflation rate in 2017. Imagine how many Maher & Grosh knives Mr. London could have ordered and received with his $34.75 check when many beautiful Maher & Grosh knives could have been purchased for just pennies.
Unfortunately, Mr London's knife order was not listed.
As you can see, Mr. London requested this large knife purchase to be used for trading around the world on a seven (7) year cruise on a small yacht.
Through my investigation of Mr. London's stated cruise, it was cut very short due to his many health problems.
Mr. London's yacht is not what we would imagine a current day Yacht to be. His Yacht was named "The Snark" a very historical ship even in this day and age. His yacht is pictured below also.
I hope you enjoy reading Mr. London's historical letter as much as I have.
I would also like to thank our very own members: Roger Cunningham (peanut740) and Ken Mundhenk who have acquired the rights to the Maher & Grosh name and have presented us with some beautiful Maher & Grosh knives from the past.
https://maherandgrosh.com/
Thank you Gentlemen.
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Dan

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Quick Steel » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:27 pm

Old Folder, Thank you for a wonderful slice of Americana. Many of his works were my companions: The Call of the Wild of course; White Fang; The Sea Wolf etc. Many of these were made into movies with greater or lesser success.
"Life is good if you don't weaken." AG Russell

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby XX Case XX » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:46 am

Nice piece of history there Dan. Thank you for sharing that with us. Very interesting. ::nod::

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Mike ::nod::
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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby peanut740 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:06 am

Thanks for posting that Dan.Ken and his son Justin did quite a bit of research and went to the University of Toledo, The libraries in Toledo and Clyde Ohio for an article Justin wrote. It was in the April 2016 Knife Magazine on a time line of Maher & Grosh. Some of the old catalogs/ads mentioned that Jack London was a customer.
Roger

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby americanedgetech » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:47 am

The only way I can describe this is BEAUTIFUL Old Folder...
Thank you for sharing a piece of history that I had no clue about. ::tu:: ::handshake::
Ken Mc.

WTB Kershaw 2120 MACHO Lockback Parts knife
I need a pile side scale. THX!

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Old Folder » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:51 pm

Quick Steel wrote:Old Folder, Thank you for a wonderful slice of Americana. Many of his works were my companions: The Call of the Wild of course; White Fang; The Sea Wolf etc. Many of these were made into movies with greater or lesser success.


You're very welcome "Quick Steel"
I see you are very well-read. I was not aware of the movies. I must further my research. Thanks. ::nod::
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Old Folder » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:52 pm

XX Case XX wrote:Nice piece of history there Dan. Thank you for sharing that with us. Very interesting. ::nod::

____________
Mike ::nod::


You are welcome Mike. ::nod::
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Old Folder » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:55 pm

americanedgetech wrote:The only way I can describe this is BEAUTIFUL Old Folder...
Thank you for sharing a piece of history that I had no clue about. ::tu:: ::handshake::


You are welcome Ken. ::handshake::

I know you love history as much as I do, and there is so much of it in our knives.
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Old Folder » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:21 pm

peanut740 wrote:Thanks for posting that Dan.Ken and his son Justin did quite a bit of research and went to the University of Toledo, The libraries in Toledo and Clyde Ohio for an article Justin wrote. It was in the April 2016 Knife Magazine on a time line of Maher & Grosh. Some of the old catalogs/ads mentioned that Jack London was a customer.


You're very welcome Roger.
I read Justin's April 2016 Knife Magazine article, very detailed and informative. At the time of my reading back in April, I saw the last name "Mundhenk" but I did not connect the dots, and did not realize that Justin is Ken's son.
I also have "Bill Karsten's" May 1985 Knife World Maher & Grosh article that was re-posted in "The Best of Knife World Volume III." 1993.
I was not aware that Maher & Grosh put out a catalog every year. Good to know.
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Dinadan » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:49 pm

This is a great posting, Dan. It is kind of surprising just how much such a short letter can tell us about London and the world he lived in. It would have been very interesting to see the list of knives and prices paid. I had never read that his yacht was named the Snark. I guess that London liked the poem Hunting of the Snark.
Mel

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Re: Jack London's 1906 Maher & Grosh Knife Order.

Postby Old Folder » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:49 pm

Dinadan wrote:This is a great posting, Dan. It is kind of surprising just how much such a short letter can tell us about London and the world he lived in. It would have been very interesting to see the list of knives and prices paid. I had never read that his yacht was named the Snark. I guess that London liked the poem Hunting of the Snark.


I agree Mel, a list of those knives would be a sight to see.
Mr. London had put a lot into his life (and others lives) in the short 40 years of his life. He was quite the seaman also.
Further reading of his yacht and exotic trips can be found in the below web page. (in two parts) "A Jack London Adventure: The Cruise of The Snark"
You're right on target Mel, London's yacht apparently was Christened as The Snark (after Lewis Carroll’s poem)
Excellent reading.

https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2 ... ark-part-i
It's always important to know what you don't know.
Dan


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