Let me introduce you to Bendy. This little chap stood 47 cm high and was the American GENERAL ELECTRIC RADIO’s advertising mascot, used to hold cards at point of sale and presumably frighten you into submission. He was made in the 1920s, a fully jointed doll wearing band leader’s uniform complete with tall hat, gold buttons and baton. I was amazed to discover that he was designed by Maxfield Parrish, a famous American artist best remembered for paintings like waterfall.
Waterfall, for the 1931 General Electric Edison Mazda Lamps calendar
Although I find it hard to believe that they could be by the same artist, Parrish’s paintings were commissioned by General Electric for their Mazda Lamp Calendars from 1918 to1934. Parrish was a profilic artist and had an unusually commercial approach to his art.
This character is even scarier and attributed to the same chap. He is said to have designed four different ones, so there are two more out there somewhere. They look like early Star Trek to me.
There was also a lightbulb display designed by Maxfield Parrish for General Electric in 1925 and used in hardware stores for customers to test their bulbs before purchase.
I prefer this little chap myself, but that’s another story ….