[PW] Anecdote: Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein meet. Request help with 1930 Woman's Home Companion

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Thu Nov 15 10:19:56 PST 2018


This request has now been satisfied; many thanks to Dana Dalrymple,
the Spokane Public Library, and fellow W0mbats. The Quote Investigator
piece will be updated in the coming days.

Charlie Chaplin wrote a series of articles about his world travels for
the "Woman's Home Companion" in the 1930s. His October 1933 dispatch
included a description of a visit to Berlin, Germany during which he
also went to the home of Albert Einstein.

Date: 1933 October
Periodical: Woman's Home Companion,
Volume 60, Number 10,
Article: A Comedian Sees the World - Part II
Author: Charles Chaplin,
Start Page 15, Quote Page 17,
Publisher: The Crowell Publishing Company, Springfield, Ohio.
Note: Thanks to the staff of the Downtown Public Library of Spokane, Washington

[Begin excerpt]
Arriving at his flat I was introduced to his family. He has a son and
daughter, the latter a very good sculptress, and I was shown some
specimens of her work.

. . .
"We sat down to delicious home-baked tarts made by Mrs. Einstein.
During the course of conversation, his son remarked on the psychology
of the popularity of Einstein and myself.

"You are popular," he said, "because you are understood by the masses.
On the other hand, the professor’s popularity with the masses is
because he is not understood.'"
[End excerpt]

Garson O'Toole
QuoteInvestigator.com
On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 4:18 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> A popular anecdote claims that Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein
> were together at the premiere of Chaplin's movie "City Lights", and
> they exchanged sharp observations about fame and incomprehensibility.
> Here is a link to the Quote Investigator article on the topic if you
> wish to have some background information:
>
> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/11/05/chaplin-einstein/
>
> Researcher Austin Thompson provided me with a new and very valuable
> lead. The citation below appeared several years before other citations
> (known to me).
>
> Does your library have access to "Woman's Home Companion" in 1930? If
> you do have access then I would like you to look in volume 60 for the
> text given below.
>
> ProQuest has a database called "Women's Magazine Archive", but the
> online listing indicates that "Woman's Home Companion" probably is not
> currently in the ProQuest database.
>
> Date: July to December 1933
> Periodical: Woman's Home Companion
> Volume 60
> Quote Page 17 (according to HathiTrust); please examine all issues in the volume
> Location: Volume scanned at Pennsylvania State University
> Database: HathiTrust
>
> [Begin unverified text provided by Austin Thompson]
> "We sat down to delicious home-baked tarts made by Mrs. Einstein.
> During the course of conversation, his son remarked on the psychology
> of the popularity of Einstein and myself.
>
> 'You are popular' he said, 'because you are understood by the masses.
> On the other hand, the professor’s popularity with the masses is
> because he is not understood.'"
> [End unverified text]
>
> Most versions of the anecdote attribute words similar to those above
> to Chaplin and/or Einstein, but this citation suggests that the words
> were spoken by one of Einstein’s sons.
>
> The goal is to obtain a complete and accurate citation. If you could
> scan the article containing the target text together with the table of
> contents, a page showing the issue date, and a page showing the
> publisher information that would be very helpful.
>
> Please let me know on-list or off-list if you can help. Thanks,
> Garson O'Toole
> QuoteInvestigator.com


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