Here is the rest of the story regarding Willie Wiredhand.
Originally the National Rural Electric Cooperative had wanted to use Reddy Kilowatt as their mascot, but were refused by Reddy's creator and owner, Ashton B. Collins (see my blog about Reddy's origin.) Collins felt that the government-sponsored cooperatives were "socialistic". Not only did Collins disallow the use of Reddy Kilowatt, but threatened to sue the NRECA if they created a mascot of their own.
The NRECA proceeded with their introduction of Willie Wiredhand anyway. So in 1953, Ashton Collins and a coalition of 109 investor-owned companies filed a lawsuit, claiming copyright infringement. The lawsuit dragged on for years before ending up in the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In January 1957, a three-judge panel issued a unanimous decision in favor of Willie.
After surviving his legal battle with the more-popular Reddy Kilowatt, Willie Wiredhand was given a trademark slogan: "He's small, but he's wirey."
Decades later, Willie still enjoys popularity as the official NRECA mascot throughout the country and all over the world.
Order your own Willie Wiredhand items through the NRECA website! Click here to enter the store.