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RE: Did TR originate "Good to the Last Drop?"

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  • Keith Simon
    MBHolley - Yes you are right that TR did coin the Good to the Last Drop phrase. Apparently there IS a good case for claiming that TR DID say Good to the
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 19, 2007
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      MBHolley  - Yes you are right that TR did coin the “Good to the Last Drop” phrase.

      Apparently there IS a good case for claiming that TR DID say "Good to the Last Drop."  My point was only to point out what some historical associations are saying and that several facts are both in dispute and also indisputable.

       

      Fact 1. From the 1920s well into the 1950s, Maxwell House Coffee claimed that Theodore Roosevelt, himself, coined the famous phrase.

       

      Fact 2. Maxwell House's present position is that this was a "legend" and that today, they can not substantiate that this ever happened and even that one of their own people coined the phrase.

       

      Conclusion 1. So based on even Maxwell House Company's own ads, for over 20 years, they, themselves, claimed that TR coined the expression. The company can NOT deny this as it can be seen in any ad they ran in the various magazines of that era. If Maxwell House's successor company can establish that one of their own employees did coin the phrase, they have never proved it.

       

      Fact 3. Linda Milano, former assistant director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA) told me recently that she had seen a historical file containing documents that substantiate Dr. Gable's assertion that TR, himself, was the author. Apparently, these manuscripts were sent to the TRA several years back and where copies of the originals were made, they were cataloged and then the original documents were sent on to the Houghton Library at Harvard where they are now stored as part of the TR's papers

       

      Conclusion 2. Maxwell House, themselves got confused over what the actual facts were as far back as the 50s and since they didn't have those documents concluded that the story was apocryphal. This was THEIR mistake as they simply concluded that the TR story must have been false because they, themselves, couldn't verify it.

       

      Conclusion 3. Maxwell House's successor company is correct in stating that they have no proof of the TR connection. They don't have it and are not even aware of the physical evidence.

       

      Conclusion 4. The TRA will have to sort through their files and pull out the evidentiary documents if they intend to categorically establish the TR connection to the "Good to the Last Drop" story.

       

      Others in the know.

      Meanwhile, Linda Milano, late of the TRA, is back east from a cross-country trip and may wish to discuss all this as she had handled the Maxwell House story file. Also, she indicated that Ed Renehan had also seen the file and maybe he'd like to comment too.

       

      So take it away, Linda and Ed!

       

      Keith

      This e-mail is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). It contains information that is confidential and/or legally privileged and is protected by law. If you believe that it has been sent to you in error, please notify the sender by reply e-mail and delete the message. Any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this information by someone other than the intended recipient is prohibited.

    • Linda E. Milano
      I m baaack...over 4,300 miles cross country as we dodged ice, rain, and snow storms - Seattle to New York by way of Texas - in a 26-foot U-Haul truck, helping
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 21, 2007
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        I'm baaack...over 4,300 miles cross country as we dodged ice, rain, and snow storms - Seattle to New York by way of Texas - in a 26-foot U-Haul truck, helping friends move.  Now that I'm back, still going through emails.
         
        Maxwell House used to advertise that TR coined the phrase - they used drawings of him drinking the coffee at what looked like the hotel in early ads, and up until the 1950s still referred to him as the source of the quote - one TV ad showed Margaret Hamilton (without the green makeup from her gig as the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz) drinking the coffee - and pointing to a photo of TR on the wall, saying "And Teddy Roosevelt said it was good to the last drop."
         
        What happened was that the ownership of the Maxwell House brand changed hands shortly thereafter and the new owners went to research the quote.    They looked at TR's visit to the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, TN for two weeks during the spring of 1888, while he was researching "The Winning of the West," and could not find the quote.  To them, they did their due diligence, and denied the quote.
         
        However, they missed it.
         
        On Tuesday, October 22, 1907, TR visited Nashville - specifically, The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson.  The Ladies Hermitage Association had done some major repair/restoration work on the site, and TR made a visit to congratulate them.
         
        As part of the festivities the Ladies Hermitage Association had a catered luncheon in The Hermitage itself.  The coffee for the luncheon was provided by the Maxwell House Hotel - the representative of the hotel startled the women when he came to deliver it - many of them were sleeping on pallets on the floor the evening before the event, and were amusing themselves telling ghost stories.  The rep pounded on the side door, and they all jumped (thanks for the info on this bit of trivia, DeeGee).
         
        As he drank his first cup of coffee, handed to him by Rachel Jackson Lawrence, TR remarked that it was an excellent coffee, good for hunt breakfasts.  This is the quote that was widely distributed.  However, going from the luncheon out to the platform to give a speech, he had another cup (the man drank about a gallon of coffee per day).  This is the cup that he noted was "bully good to the last drop."  The Maxwell House dropped the "bully" and used the quote in their advertising.
         
        Again, the quote was attributed to him up until the 1950s, when the new owners couldn't find the source.  Documentary eyewitness testimony does exist - a young college student took an overnight train ride to Nashville to see the President.  He slipped into The Hermitage, and was peeking out from the kitchen as TR commented on the coffee.  He later wrote an account of the incident - many years later, when he had become President of the Tennessee Historical Society.  He sent a copy to the TRA.
         
        I had seen the file - I was planning to merge info from it with a speech DeeGee Lester had given at a TRA Trustees meeting in Nashville in April 2001 to publish in the TRA Journal when John Gable became ill and time to work on Journal articles became non-existent.
         
        Since leaving the TRA, the file had been moved.  It will show up, and I look forward to the opportunity to work on the article once again.
         
        Best,
        Linda
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 7:34 PM
        Subject: [tr-m] RE: Did TR originate "Good to the Last Drop?"

        MBHolley  - Yes you are right that TR did coin the “Good to the Last Drop” phrase.

        Apparently there IS a good case for claiming that TR DID say "Good to the Last Drop."  My point was only to point out what some historical associations are saying and that several facts are both in dispute and also indisputable.

        Fact 1. From the 1920s well into the 1950s, Maxwell House Coffee claimed that Theodore Roosevelt, himself, coined the famous phrase.

        Fact 2. Maxwell House's present position is that this was a "legend" and that today, they can not substantiate that this ever happened and even that one of their own people coined the phrase.

        Conclusion 1. So based on even Maxwell House Company's own ads, for over 20 years, they, themselves, claimed that TR coined the expression. The company can NOT deny this as it can be seen in any ad they ran in the various magazines of that era. If Maxwell House's successor company can establish that one of their own employees did coin the phrase, they have never proved it.

        Fact 3. Linda Milano, former assistant director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA) told me recently that she had seen a historical file containing documents that substantiate Dr. Gable's assertion that TR, himself, was the author. Apparently, these manuscripts were sent to the TRA several years back and where copies of the originals were made, they were cataloged and then the original documents were sent on to the Houghton Library at Harvard where they are now stored as part of the TR's papers

        Conclusion 2. Maxwell House, themselves got confused over what the actual facts were as far back as the 50s and since they didn't have those documents concluded that the story was apocryphal. This was THEIR mistake as they simply concluded that the TR story must have been false because they, themselves, couldn't verify it.

        Conclusion 3. Maxwell House's successor company is correct in stating that they have no proof of the TR connection. They don't have it and are not even aware of the physical evidence.

        Conclusion 4. The TRA will have to sort through their files and pull out the evidentiary documents if they intend to categorically establish the TR connection to the "Good to the Last Drop" story.

        Others in the know.

        Meanwhile, Linda Milano, late of the TRA, is back east from a cross-country trip and may wish to discuss all this as she had handled the Maxwell House story file. Also, she indicated that Ed Renehan had also seen the file and maybe he'd like to comment too.

        So take it away, Linda and Ed!

        Keith

        This e-mail is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) . It contains information that is confidential and/or legally privileged and is protected by law. If you believe that it has been sent to you in error, please notify the sender by reply e-mail and delete the message. Any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this information by someone other than the intended recipient is prohibited.

      • Harry Lembeck
        Great work, Linda. Very interesting. Merry Christmas. Harry
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 21, 2007
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          Great work, Linda. Very interesting.

          Merry Christmas.

          Harry


          On Dec 21, 2007, at 10:56 AM, Linda E. Milano wrote:

          > I'm baaack...over 4,300 miles cross country as we dodged ice, rain,
          > and snow storms - Seattle to New York by way of Texas - in a 26-foot
          > U-Haul truck, helping friends move.  Now that I'm back, still going
          > through emails.
          >  
          > Maxwell House used to advertise that TR coined the phrase - they used
          > drawings of him drinking the coffee at what looked like the hotel in
          > early ads, and up until the 1950s still referred to him as the source
          > of the quote - one TV ad showed Margaret Hamilton (without the green
          > makeup from her gig as the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of
          > Oz) drinking the coffee - and pointing to a photo of TR on the wall,
          > saying "And Teddy Roosevelt said it was good to the last drop."
          >  
          > What happened was that the ownership of the Maxwell House brand
          > changed hands shortly thereafter and the new owners went to research
          > the quote.    They looked at TR's visit to the Maxwell House Hotel in
          > Nashville, TN for two weeks during the spring of 1888, while he was
          > researching "The Winning of the West," and could not find the quote. 
          > To them, they did their due diligence, and denied the quote.
          >  
          > However, they missed it.
          >  
          > On Tuesday, October 22, 1907, TR visited Nashville - specifically, The
          > Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson.  The Ladies Hermitage
          > Association had done some major repair/restoration work on the site,
          > and TR made a visit to congratulate them.
          >  
          > As part of the festivities the Ladies Hermitage Association had a
          > catered luncheon in The Hermitage itself.  The coffee for the luncheon
          > was provided by the Maxwell House Hotel - the representative of the
          > hotel startled the women when he came to deliver it - many of them
          > were sleeping on pallets on the floor the evening before the event,
          > and were amusing themselves telling ghost stories.  The rep pounded on
          > the side door, and they all jumped (thanks for the info on this bit of
          > trivia, DeeGee).
          >  
          > As he drank his first cup of coffee, handed to him by Rachel Jackson
          > Lawrence, TR remarked that it was an excellent coffee, good for hunt
          > breakfasts.  This is the quote that was widely distributed.  However,
          > going from the luncheon out to the platform to give a speech, he had
          > another cup (the man drank about a gallon of coffee per day).  This is
          > the cup that he noted was "bully good to the last drop."  The Maxwell
          > House dropped the "bully" and used the quote in their advertising.
          >  
          > Again, the quote was attributed to him up until the 1950s, when the
          > new owners couldn't find the source.  Documentary eyewitness testimony
          > does exist - a young college student took an overnight train ride to
          > Nashville to see the President.  He slipped into The Hermitage, and
          > was peeking out from the kitchen as TR commented on the coffee.  He
          > later wrote an account of the incident - many years later, when he had
          > become President of the Tennessee Historical Society.  He sent a copy
          > to the TRA.
          >  
          > I had seen the file - I was planning to merge info from it with a
          > speech DeeGee Lester had given at a TRA Trustees meeting in Nashville
          > in April 2001 to publish in the TRA Journal when John Gable became ill
          > and time to work on Journal articles became non-existent.
          >  
          > Since leaving the TRA, the file had been moved.  It will show up, and
          > I look forward to the opportunity to work on the article once again.
          >  
          > Best,
          > Linda
          >  
          >  
          >> ----- Original Message -----
          >> From: Keith Simon
          >> To: TR-m@yahoogroups.com
          >> Cc: Keith Simon
          >> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 7:34 PM
          >> Subject: [tr-m] RE: Did TR originate "Good to the Last Drop?"
          >>
          >>
          >> MBHolley  - Yes you are right that TR did coin the “Good to the Last
          >> Drop” phrase.
          >>
          >> Apparently there IS a good case for claiming that TR DID say "Good to
          >> the Last Drop."  My point was only to point out what some historical
          >> associations are saying and that several facts are both in dispute
          >> and also indisputable.
          >>
          >> Fact 1. From the 1920s well into the 1950s, Maxwell House Coffee
          >> claimed that Theodore Roosevelt, himself, coined the famous phrase.
          >>
          >> Fact 2. Maxwell House's present position is that this was a "legend"
          >> and that today, they can not substantiate that this ever happened and
          >> even that one of their own people coined the phrase.
          >>
          >> Conclusion 1. So based on even Maxwell House Company's own ads, for
          >> over 20 years, they, themselves, claimed that TR coined the
          >> expression. The company can NOT deny this as it can be seen in any ad
          >> they ran in the various magazines of that era. If Maxwell House's
          >> successor company can establish that one of their own employees did
          >> coin the phrase, they have never proved it.
          >>
          >> Fact 3. Linda Milano, former assistant director of the Theodore
          >> Roosevelt Association (TRA) told me recently that she had seen a
          >> historical file containing documents that substantiate Dr. Gable's
          >> assertion that TR, himself, was the author. Apparently, these
          >> manuscripts were sent to the TRA several years back and where copies
          >> of the originals were made, they were cataloged and then the original
          >> documents were sent on to the Houghton Library at Harvard where they
          >> are now stored as part of the TR's papers
          >>
          >> Conclusion 2. Maxwell House, themselves got confused over what the
          >> actual facts were as far back as the 50s and since they didn't have
          >> those documents concluded that the story was apocryphal. This was
          >> THEIR mistake as they simply concluded that the TR story must have
          >> been false because they, themselves, couldn't verify it.
          >>
          >> Conclusion 3. Maxwell House's successor company is correct in stating
          >> that they have no proof of the TR connection. They don't have it and
          >> are not even aware of the physical evidence.
          >>
          >> Conclusion 4. The TRA will have to sort through their files and pull
          >> out the evidentiary documents if they intend to categorically
          >> establish the TR connection to the "Good to the Last Drop" story.
          >>
          >> Others in the know.
          >>
          >> Meanwhile, Linda Milano, late of the TRA, is back east from a
          >> cross-country trip and may wish to discuss all this as she had
          >> handled the Maxwell House story file. Also, she indicated that Ed
          >> Renehan had also seen the file and maybe he'd like to comment too.
          >>
          >> So take it away, Linda and Ed!
          >>
          >> Keith
          >>
          >> This e-mail is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). It
          >> contains information that is confidential and/or legally privileged
          >> and is protected by law. If you believe that it has been sent to you
          >> in error, please notify the sender by reply e-mail and delete the
          >> message. Any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this
          >> information by someone other than the intended recipient is
          >> prohibited.
          >>
          >
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