Monday, August 17, 2009

Fascinating facts about the invention of the SMILEY ICON

AT A GLANCE:There are few symbols which so fully represent the American spirit of friendship, happiness and peace as the smiley face. Harvey Ball, co-owner of an advertising and public relations firm in Worcester, Massachusetts designed the Smiley Face in 1964 to help ease the acrimonious aftermath following the merger of two insurance companies

smiley face in 1964
noun / symbol
A round happy cartoon-like image, often black-on-yellow, a symbol of peace and joy The smiley face represents the American spirit of friendship, happiness and peace.
Harvey Ross Ball
July 10, 1921 in Worcester, Massachusetts
April 12, 2001 in Worcester, Massachusetts
Milestones:1964 Ball spent about 10 minutes designing the smiley face for his client, an insurance company1970 Bernard and Murray Spain added the words "Have a nice day," to the smiley face1971 At its peak of popularity, more than 50 million Smiley Face buttons were sold. 1999 United States Postal Service unveiled the Smiley Face Stamp1999 First World Smile Day heldCAPS: Ball, Smiley Face, Harvey Ross Ball, Bernard Spain, Murray Spain, Have A Nice Day, ARYS, smiley face, :-), symbol, ☺, SIPS, invention, history, inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating facts.

The Story:In the early 60s State Mutual Life Assurance of Worcester, MA initiated a merger that had bad effects on company morale. In 1964, State Mutual cooked up a “friendship campaign” to get employees to smile whenever they answered the phone, paid a claim, or typed a report. The company turned to Harvey Ball for graphic support. Ball reported that he spent about 10 minutes designing the smiley face, and he was paid $45 for it. This was the only profit that Ball ever made from his most famous creation. Neither Ball or the insurance company trademarked or copyrighted the smiley face. In the early 1970s, the smiley face image became a symbol for an entire generation of Americans, emerging as one of the most well-known images in the country.
The smiley face craze, was the work of two brothers in Philadelphia, Bernard and Murray Spain, who were in the business of making would-be fad items. In September of 1970 they drew up a smiley face added the words "Have a nice day," and copyrighted the image and words. Soon they and their many imitators were cranking out buttons, posters, greeting cards, shirts, bumper stickers, cookie jars, earrings, bracelets, key chains, and many other items. The fad lasted about a year and half; the the number of smiley buttons produced by 1972 was estimated at 50 million.

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