Vol 3 Section 0196
April 20 Wednesday – Charles J. Langdon and son Jervis Langdon II left Vienna after a nine-day visit with the Clemens family [Apr. 21 to Rogers].
In the evening Ludwig Kleinberg and his partner (likely Dr. Alfred Winternitz) visited the hotel and told Sam about a machine that made “blankets and other cloth out of peat—peat-fibre mixed with cotton—or with wool if you want better goods” [Apr. 21 to Rogers].
The following anonymous article was taken from “Books and Authors,” p. 20, of the Salt Lake City Utah Herald of Apr. 24, 1898, but was a reprint of an April 20 New York dispatch:
New York. April 20.—Mark Twain’s complaisance to the portrait makers is well known. In consequence of it, a large number of portraits of him are in existence. I have seen myself, I should think, as many as two dozen, and I never saw one that was not interesting. I was shown a new one the other day, one that Mark had just sent over from Vienna to a friend. It is what might be called a double. It shows Mark Twain sitting to a young Russian sculptress, Miss Ries, which, as shown in the picture, is already far enough advanced to be itself a very satisfactory portrait.
Miss Ries, by the way, is an artist whose name is likely soon to be better known that it is as yet. Mark Twain himself has the highest opinion of her talent and so have other persons who are acquainted with her work.
[Note: Sam began sitting for the bust on Dec. 15, 1897; see entries; also picture Dolmetsch p. 279 ].
In a letter to H.H. Rogers, Frank Bliss reported that 28,500 copies of FE had been shipped; 10,000 more were now being printed. Bliss argued against Sam selling a deluxe edition by himself (with Katharine I. Harrison): a few might be placed but Sam would quickly find it “very distasteful” work. Also, the public would be confused by another edition [MTHHR 346-7n1]. Note: Back on Feb. 11 Sam wrote to Bliss, disappointed that only 20,000 had been sold in America, so that production was now at nearly double that amount.
April 20, After – In Vienna, Austria, Sam sent a postcard with a printed drawing of himself and printed signature to Frank Bliss as a sample postcard: “I have recent London & Vienna photos if you have any use for them” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s notebook (40 TS 19) contains a quote from an Apr. 19 letter (not extant) sent to Mr. Dagobert Wlaschim, asking for samples of this postcard, so Apr. 21 is the first possible day Sam would have been able to have and use a sample postcard. His first use of the approved postcard extant is May 16, 1898 to an unidentified person.
April 21 Thursday – At the Hotel Metropole in Vienna, Austria, Sam replied to H.H. Rogers’ letter (not extant) of American marketplace facts for the Raster textile-designing machine.
You have furnished me facts which are intelligible—and worth a good deal more than foggy guesses gotten out of a census-report 18 years old.
I think that your investigations are likely to establish one very important thing: to-wit, that the designer has no existence in America, and that the introduction of a new pattern there is not common, but unusual. I find that many of the Austrian factories use the same old designs, year in and year out.
When I hear from you next I shall know its American value—if it have one. Meantime—as the men have conceded—it is best left alone in these war times.
Sam then wrote that Charles Langdon left the day before and he didn’t mention the Raster project to him. He related Ludwig Kleinberg’s visit of the night before and the basics of another machine which made cloth from peat mixed with cotton or wool. “Peat is plenty in most countrys, and is a sure crop and not subject to defeat by capricious weather.” Sam wasn’t sure Rogers would be interested in this other investment. He planned on traveling to England in “ten or twelve days” to market the idea there, and
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.