Last week I posted a photo from the Lorain County Fair of Willie Wiredhand, the mascot for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Here is a little more information about good ol' Willie.
For more than 50 years, Willie Wiredhand has been the symbol of the NRECA. He is the creation of Andrew McLay, a freelance artist who was working at the NRECA at the time.
The NRECA had been looking for a symbol that portrayed electricity as a reliable "hired hand" and McLay began sketching ideas. He designed Willie with a light socket head, a push-button nose and an old-fashioned electrical plug for a body.
In 1951 the NRECA selected Willie as their symbol. His main purpose was to encourage members of cooperatives to use more electricity and to use it safely and efficiently. Willie consequently appeared in advertising and on leaflets, billboards, signage, letterheads, annual reports and a variety of promotional items (such as my Willie Wiredhand nodder above).
Next: Willie Wiredhand takes on the beloved Reddy Kilowatt!