Popular history has it that Mickey Mouse was born from a drawing sketched on a napkin by Walt Disney during a train ride from New York to Los Angeles in 1928.
Disney's wife detested the mouse's original name "Mortimer" and suggested "Mickey."
Mickey Mouse became the biggest fictional character moneymaker in the world, bringing in over $5.8 billion annually.
A San Francisco toy collector, however, believes his small mouse figurine may turn the legend of Mickey on its ears.
With a red label on its chest that reads "Micky" and a patent label on the bottom of one foot that says "Pat. Aug. 17, 1926," the figure appears to have been produced two years before Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse.
History Detectives heads to California, New York and Pennsylvania to trace the ancestry of America's most famous mouse and shed light on the bare-knuckle business fights in the toy industry.
- Related Investigation Birthplace Of Hip Hop Did this Bronx apartment building give birth to a culture that now spans the globe?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Tiffany Window What can this watercolor reveal about the unexpected world of one of America’s great artists?
- Also with Wes Cowan WWII Diary Does this diary hold the key to understanding the fate of a missing bomber pilot from World War II?
- Also with Elyse Luray Dutch Colonial Home What role did these menacing forts play in the settling of this part of the West?
- Also with Elyse Luray Civil War Submarine Is this submarine an example of new technology developed by the Confederates during the Civil War?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Star Spangled Banner Is this the first official copy of the national anthem?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.