Willie Wiredhand is the cartoon mascot of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, created in 1950 and still in use by electric cooperatives across the nation. His head is a lightbulb socket, his body is a wire, and his hips and legs are a two-pronged power plug.
Willie was created during a mascot contest that was announced in the Rural Electrification Magazine in December 1948, with a $50 prize for the best design. The freelance artist Andrew “Drew” McLay designed “Willie the Wired Hand,” with the “birthday” of October 30, 1950. The name is a play on the phrase “hired hand,” a common term for agricultural laborers. This character, with the slightly revised name “Willie Wiredhand,” was chosen as the contest winner in 1951. He advertised electricity as “the never-tiring, always available hired hand to help the nation’s farmers.”