Sparky re­mains pop­u­lar

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

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.

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