There’s no mystery here, just pain. From those fine folk over at Boing Boing comes this rejection slip for screenwriters, sent out in the early 20th century by Essanay Studios, a film production company that was founded in Chicago in 1907. Essanay is now best known for its early Charlie Chaplin pictures.
Imagine receiving this form notice with your returned manuscript, making clear that your work was being rejected because your “idea has been done before.” Ouch! Of course, nowadays, that probably wouldn’t qualify as cause for rejection at all.
By the way, the latest installment of my serial novel, Forget About It: The First Al Zymer Senile Detective Mystery, has just been posted here.