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.
Thank you Gentlemen.
It's always important to know what you don't know.