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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Artist of OSU Benny Beaver engineer mascot decal used it for other schools

Oregon State University Engineering Benny Beaver decal (10 cents) was sold circa 1975 to apply to a car window shows Benny carrying a slide rule and T-square, which are both obsolete engineering tools.

PHOTO: Oregon State University Engineering Benny Beaver mascot decal (10 cents) was sold for ten cents circa 1975 for applying to a student's car window. It shows OSU Benny Beaver as an engineering student carrying a slide rule, (regularly used to do engineering calculations before the invention of calculators) and a T-square (used with a drafting board to draw engineering plans before the invention of computer aided design or CAD programs) and Benny also is carrying a case with other instruments used in engineering. During the 1970's slide rules became obsolete after the Hewlett-Packard HP-35 scientific calculator came out in 1972, and it was followed soon after by a competing model from Texas Instruments. T-squares also gradually disappeared during the 1980s after computer aided drafting (CAD) programs became powerful enough to replace drafting boards and the old-fashioned hand drawn engineering plans that were done with pencil and paper and then blueprinted to duplicate them. (See my previous posts Slide rules, T-squares -- obsolete engineering tools (1/19/09), OSU Benny Beaver Engineering Decal (12/9/06) and HP 12c financial calculator history (6/21/06)) The OSU Alumni magazine printed a story about the history of the artist who created this Benny engineering decal for several schools:

"'Benny Beaver'...earliest reference (1941-42)

According to Candance Hayes, OSU's Trademark and Licensing Coordinator, the earliest reference to the name 'Benny Beaver' can be found in the 1942 Beaver yearbook on page 14, where there is pictured a group of students with a beaver statue mounted on a trailer named 'Benny Beaver.' The photo was taken in connection with campus activities surrounding Homecoming for 1941. The 1941 Beaver yearbook, which covered student life for the year 1940, also has this same statue pictured but refers to that beaver likeness as 'Bill.'; So between 1940-41, according to Ms. Hayes, "someone came up with the name 'Benny'. " (The someone in this case may have been members of OSC's Rally Squad). Hayes says it's also interesting to note that the lovable Benny Beaver cartoon icon, the grinning beaver head with the OSU beanie used until replaced by an 'Athletic Beaver' icon in 2001, was drawn by Arthur Evans, a graphic artist for Angeles Pacific, probably around 1951. Hayes says: "Evans drew many college cartoon character mascots for car window decals. Several years ago, I was trying to track down the origin of OSU's cartoon Benny in order to register it as an OSU trademark and discovered in the process that OSU was not the only school with that same beaver cartoon mascot. Cal Tech also had the very same beaver but with different letters on the beanie. Still, it was our Benny. When I called Angeles Pacific, I was told Mr. Evans had passed away but that he had used the same cartoon for each school who had the same mascot. So, every school with a beaver mascot got what Oregon Staters fondly knew for decades as Benny Beaver. However, I haven't found any other schools except OSU and Cal Tech who adopted Mr. Evans' beaver drawing as their mascot. Angeles Pacific is still producing OSU merchandise as a current licensee.""

(Quoted from Larry Landis and George P. Edmonston, Jr., History and Traditions Editor, "Sports History - A 20 Part Series, Part 5 of 20: A History of Athletic Mascots at Oregon State University," OSU Alumni Association Updated 3/6/12 accessed May 31, 2015)

Oregon State University school mascot Benny Beaver prior to 1999 Oregon State University school mascot 'angry Benny Beaver' after 2001

PHOTO: (left) Oregon State University school mascot Benny Beaver prior to 1999 and (right) Oregon State University school mascot 'angry Benny Beaver' after 2001. See previous posts Slide rules, T-squares -- obsolete engineering tools (1/19/09) and OSU Benny Beaver Engineering Decal (12/9/06).