On November 29th and 30th at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada, Holabird and Kagin Americana will give collectors the opportunity to bid on a unique collection that shows the genesis of a career and man that has become a worldwide icon in the world of entertainment. Hitting the auction block is an original, autographed, very early illustration by Walt Disney, entitled “Fill Up My Can”. The pen and ink work was done in the early 1920s, most likely prior to Mickey Mouse, who didn’t make his screen debut until 1928. The collection also includes several stock certificates issued by the O-Zell Jelly Company of Chicago, including what may be the very first stock ever issued to Walt.
These items were formerly owned by Walt Disney, his parents Flora and Elias, and his sister Ruth. They may be the only surviving O-Zell items known to exist. In the spring of 1917 Elias Disney, had tired of the newspaper delivery business and decided to make a career change, which also included bringing his youngest son, Walter into the venture. There is a distinct possibility that family revenue gained from work at the O-Zell Company gave Walt his first needed grub stake that allowed him to venture into the world of animation.Â While it’s’ unknown what happened to the O-Zell Jelly Company in later years, that 16-year old kid from Kansas went on to make quite a name for himself.