As Indiana’s bicentennial celebration reaches the crescendo, Willie and friends take a final curtain call on our magical Hoosier history tour. President James Madison took his pen in hand, and with the stroke of his signature on Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state — as he signed an act of Congress admitting Indiana… Continue reading.
Willie Wiredhand (©NRECA) is the longtime friendly face and “spokesplug” of rural electric cooperatives nationwide.
Adopted in 1951 by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Willie’s last name is one of the original nicknames for rural electric cooperatives: “wiredhand” (because electricity brought to rural America by co-ops in the 1930s and 1940s was the never-tiring, always available hired hand to assist the nation’s farmers.) Willie — with his light-socket head, wire body, and electrical plug for his bottom and legs — is now considered an icon in the pantheon of corporate advertising characters.
Read more about Willie Wiredhand and related stories below.
When it comes to “bright ideas,” Hoosiers have boldly brandished the torch of enlightenment to lead the nation in electrification of town and country. On a dark rainy night in early spring 1880, an estimated crowd of nearly 10,000 people came from near and far to the northcentral Indiana town of Wabash to witness a… Continue reading.
Just a touch of tarnish may be creeping into his brass-plated crown. And the roundness of his waistline is a sure indication that he’s a child of the ’50s — now into his 50s. But the twinkle in his eye, the smile on his face, the ever-present wave will never age — nor will his… Continue reading.
As sure as Charlie Brown, the Grinch and Frosty the Snowman come rolling around this time of year spreading Christmas cheer and baby boomer nostalgia, electric cooperative mascot Willie Wiredhand reminds us that the REMC “Ringing Everyone a Merry Christmas” gift records from the 1960s are on YouTube. These 45 rpm records were distributed by Indiana electric… Continue reading.