Thursday, December 13, 2007
I don't know why this image from my youth just popped into my head but I just remembered a character called Ready Kilowatt which was used by power companies to promote the use of electricity in the home. Ready had a stick-figure body made of lightning bolts and a light bulb for a head. I can clearly see him in my mind's eye gracing the Edison Sault Electric Company office in the town where I grew up. Ready was always so...peppy. He just exuded energy (but what else would you expect from a lightning bolt?).
According to Wikipedia, the Ready character was created in 1926 by the Alabama Power Company and then licensed to over 300 other power companies for use in promoting electricity usage in the home. Ready was bought by Northern States Power Company in 1998 but the promotion of electricity usage has fallen out of favor. With today's emphasis on conservation, having Ready telling us to use more of the juice seems rather old fashioned. I guess that NSP (now Xcel Energy) created an analog of Ready to promote gas usage but I don't remember seeing it (and we were NSP customers for years).
The icons of our culture change with the technology and the times. Ready Kilowatt would probably be indicted today in the court of world opinion for adding to the greenhouse gases driving climate change. Now we see reminders to save rather than consume. While I agree with the more environmentally sensitive era we are now in, I still kinda miss old Ready. But I also miss Howdy Doody and Sky King.
[Image of Ready Kilowatt from Wikipedia]