Happy birthday Willie Wiredhand!

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.”

Posted on October 30, 2023

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