Beside me is a "Webster's Dictionary", in this case the "New Lexicon Webster's Dictionary". I don't recall the particulars, but apparently Webster didn't think to register his name as a trademark or a copyright (or whatever's appropriate), so everyone and their brother got to name their dictionaries after his name, quickly appropriating his reference book's reknown and reputation.

One part of me thinks that it's a real shame Mr. Webster didn't get to take full monetary advantage of his reputation by licensing his name -- or keeping it all to himself. But then who of us know of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, arguably the best of the original selections? Was Webster better? Or did his mistake, made at exactly the right point in time, give him the immortality so many people seem to be seeking, often through the same fortune I mentioned above.

Hrm. Wonder if Webster minds the trade-off when all's said and done?