Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name of Mark Twain, was born in Missouri on the 30th of November, 1835. The sixth of seven children, he grew up to be a talented writer, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer, who is now widely regarded the father of American literature. His influence is still palpable in writing today. Two of his most famous works were The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Mark Twain was also a humorist and an inspiration to others, whose wise words are often quoted today.
Mark Twain first purchased a Remington typewriter in 1874 for the princely sum of $125, but in 1875 wrote a letter to the company informing them that he was no longer using his machine as it “corrupted his morals by making him want to swear”! He proceeded to give the typewriter away, twice, but it returned to him each time. The following year Tom Sawyer was published from a handwritten manuscript. In 1882, according to typewriter historian Darryl Rehr, Mr Twain dictated the manuscript of Life on the Mississippi to a typist using a Remington No.2 and thus he became notable for being “the first person in the world to apply the type-machine to literature”.
Mark Twain Facts:
• He had a fascination with science and scientific inquiry, which led to him developing a close and lasting friendship with Nikola Tesla (Tesla invented, predicted or contributed to the development of hundreds of technologies that play big parts in our daily lives);
• Although he made a substantial amount of money through his writing, Twain lost a great deal through investments, mostly in new inventions and technology;
• Twain was in great demand as a featured speaker, performing solo humorous talks similar to modern stand-up comedy. He completed several overseas speaking engagements including a world lecture tour, travelling as far as Sydney and Melbourne;
• Twain was born two weeks after Halley’s Comet’s closest approach in 1835 and predicted that he would go out with its return in 1910. His prediction was accurate as he died from a heart attack one day after its closest approach to earth. In 1909 he stated: “The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together'”.
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