Sparky remains popular
After more than six decades, Sparky The Fire Dog remains a popular personage.
The mascot was born at the 1950 American National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) annual meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The figure was to headline a national fire prevention campaign to be launched in 1951.
Inspired by the success of Smokey Bear, NFPA decided to create a Dalmatian character, using the dog traditionally associated with the fire service.
Back in his infancy, Sparky had various looks, since style guidelines had yet to be established.
Sparky lost his tail sometime in the early 1960s.
While he continued to spread the fire safety message, his look evolved, reflecting pop art and the trends of the times.
Following a makeover in 1989, Sparky has a more contemporary look, and has trimmed down.
Sparky’s makeover has extended beyond his appearance; it also includes his personality.
Although he’s still serious when it comes to his messages, gone is the stern and sometimes harsh attitude that he adopted in his youth. He’s become a kinder, gentler Sparky, emphasizing positive messaging in a way that’s more appealing to children.