Leo Rackow (1901-1988)
Bell Telephone System Mascot As Soldier
New York City: c. 1940-1945
Gouache on illustration board
18.5 x 13.5 inches
Provenance: Estate of Leo Rackow, by descent to his son
The Bell Telephone System mascot — part man, part telephone — was a company mascot used extensively in advertisements in the 1930s and 1940s. He was featured in various guises, such as a policeman in uniform directing traffic and an academic wearing a mortarboard and carrying a blackboard pointer. In this original drawing, presumably created for an advertisement during World War II, he is shown with army hat and belt.
Leo Rackow was an illustration artist active in New York City from the mid 1920s to the 1960s. He created magazine illustrations, bookcovers and advertisements, and contributed to the design of the globe in the lobby of the Daily News Building.
Condition: Generally good, with the usual expected light wear, soiling, toning, expected for a working piece of illustration art. Has one piece of paper applied over illustration, with final revised design for head of mascot, apparently a change by the artist, not uncommon for illustration art.