Sunday, October 19, 2008

Slaves to the ink bottle

From Thomas Mallon's New Yorker piece on Abraham Lincoln's long afterlife:
The American craving for Lincoln soon led to the use of his likeness and name to sell life insurance, cholera remedies, and lead (“By Its Purity & Excellent Qualities This Lead Deserves The Name Bestowed Upon It”). Children began playing with Lincoln Logs, invented by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, and, in a telling trivialization, during the 1909 centennial the Waterman Company’s new no-dip Lincoln Fountain Pen guaranteed “the emancipation of millions of slaves to the ink bottle.”