The Amalgamated Humor Story: The Story of Amalgamated Humor

Part Two

White was indulging in the open bar at the convention to escape his sorrows while Brockie was happy to have so many new people to try out his gags on. Soon he learned that White was also attending the convention. Already aware (as was most of the nation) of the chemical giant's woes, Brockie began setting up a mad scheme to lighten the heart of his brother in wealth.

Brockie ran to the nearest five and dime where he quickly located an individual size serving can of White Brand Hazardous Chemicals. Back at the hotel room, he removed the label and placed it on one of his one Wack-O-Rama Gag Co. seltzer bottles (some historians like to think of this as the first Amalgamated Humor product, though of course, it pre-dates the actual company).

Amalgamated Humor Archives

Brockie then proceeded directly to the bar where he knew White was still slumped over on his stool and announced "Hey, Cappy, I think one of yer cans here sprung a leak" (it was one of the gag-man's peculiar idiosyncrasies that he called almost everyone "Cappy". The only known exception was Calvin Coolidge, who he would refer to as "Midge" for reasons unknown).

"Whasis?" was all White could manage from his drunken haze before receiving a facefull of seltzer. Believing the seltzer to be his own high-quality hazardous chemicals, White ran shrieking from the bar and into the hotel lobby where he plunged headlong into the reflecting pool.

The storied bottle of seltzer that begat an empire.
Smithsonian Institution

Guests in the hotel said, when interviewed years later that Brockie's laughter shook the very foundations of the hotel. It should be noted at this point what White's general disposition was said to be. Most of his employees who survived to retirement described him as a "cold and distant man, prone to fits of bitterness brought on by the most docile remarks." His own mother once said that he was "a difficult person to love."

So here was this cold and bitter millionaire, used to everyone cowering in fear and obeying his every mad command, sitting in a public reflecting pool, drenched and humiliated. How did he react? The sound that came out from him was eventually identified as laughter.

Maybe it was the power of comedy, maybe it was the feeling that things could only get better, probably it was the booze, but for some reason White was actually moved to laughter for the first time in anyone's recollection. He offered, at that very moment, to join forces with Brockie to save both their fortunes.

And thus, from the ashes of two companies, a stronger one was born: Amalgamated Humor!

Continue to Part 3