Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reddy Kilowat: A Bolt from the Past

Reddy Kilowatt

          Reddy Kilowatt was his name and appearing on everything FPL was his game.

      In 1965, my Girl Scout troop took a cooking class for children conducted by FPL in a building that's now part of Palm Beach Atlantic University in downtown West Palm Beach. Wearing little white aprons, we stirred and mixed and learned all about the fascinating world of electric appliances. Does anyone even have classes like that anymore?

          Reddy had arms and legs of lightning bolts, a huge bubble head with a light bulb for a nose and wall outlets for ears.   He was a cutie and he was all over the handouts we were given. He's nowhere around FPL these days and when I tried to call the company for some information, I didn't get a call back. My, how the mighty Reddy has fallen.
         So I did what any self-respecting obsessed curious person would do--I went internet surfing. I was surprised to find out Reddy wasn't unique to Florida Power and Light. Created by Ashton B. Collins in 1926, the figure was trademarked and licensed to "more than 150 investor-owned electric utilities in the United States and at least 12 foreign countries" according to the unofficial website

          Sadly, you won't find Reddy on company handouts in Florida these days. The company has gone to a circle with a lightning bolt across it with the letters "FPL" next to it. Not nearly as fun. Collectors can still find Reddy on e-bay and probably at the occasional garage sale.  As I write this, there are over 430 items up for bid.

           Um.... gotta run. I'm running out of time to bid on the "Vintage 1950's Reddy Kilowatt "Trudy Tenderfoot Meets Reddy Kilowatt" Cook Book. 


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