Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Dan Patch Modern Master Marketer
Three days ago at an auction in Independence, Iowa a collection of old tins was presented. Among the multiple colored boxes a single tin stood out - a Dan Patch Cut Plug tobacco tin. In his day Dan Patch set the trotting world on fire. His 1 minute 55 second mile record in 1906 stood for 32 years. His owner, Marion Savage knew the value of a good thing. He licensed Dan Patch's likeness and name to a wide variety of merchants. And why not? Dan Patch's popularity during 1900-1909 was huge. His name and likeness on anything is generally regarded as the beginning of modern mass marketing. As evidence I have seen a Dan Patch clock, this tin and poster of three stallions. Dan Patch was stabled and trained in Savage, Minnesota south of the Twin Cities. Just 120 miles south of Savage is Mason City, Iowa, the home of composer Meredith Wilson. He wrote the song 'Ya Got Trouble' for the Music Man Broadway play and movie where you'll hear a reference to the famed horse. Dan Patch lives on.