At the time, I asked if anyone knew his name. Unlike his electrical rivals Reddy Kilowatt and Willie Wired Hand, this poor guy must have had a terrible agent, because his name was never featured in his ads. He simply did his solo act in the Ohio Fuel Gas Company ads throughout the 1950s before apparently "flaming out."
Anyway – although it took me a mere three years – I finally found an early ad (below) that gives the flame a name. It ran in the Lorain Sunday News on May 11, 1947 – 67 years ago this month.
Apparently he goes by the name, "the Tiny Gas Flame." And in this ad (which may very well be his first appearance), he has some lookalike brothers.
It's not that surprising that his appearance would eventually change. The artist who gave him his distinctive look must have realized that it was rather limiting having him go around with no clothes, and with his arms and legs sprouting out of his plump body. Plus, he looks a little too mischievous, like he's having fun running around loose.
So the flame was given the corporate makeover shown at the top of this post.
I still don't know what he's holding, though.