Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Story Of Kilroy...!

How much do we really know about how some fads got started? Some of them...not so much.

When you study fads like Kilroy, for instance, the history is more rich than you might think. That's the case with many fads and we should try and learn where more of these long lasting fads came from, in my opinon.

Kilroy Was Here



Photo credit: Luis Rubio

A war might be a strange source for fads, but soldiers need some way to entertain themselves, too. That is why “Kilroy was here” appeared during World War II. The piece of graffiti showed a bald man with a long nose sticking his head over a wall. It was simple, easy to draw, and lighthearted enough to become a popular recurring joke that endured even once the war was over.

Although Kilroy was firmly associated with America GIs, it was inspired by an older British drawing known as Mr. Chad. Chad, allegedly the 1938 creation of British cartoonist George Chatterton, also poked his bald head over the wall and said “Wot? No tea?” (Tea was substituted with sugar, tobacco, or whatever else was in short supply.)

By the end of the war, there were thousands of “Kilroy was here” drawings all over Europe and America, so this was clearly the work of thousands of soldiers, not just one guy bored out of his mind. But was there ever a real Kilroy? More than one person came forward as the real Kilroy, but the generally accepted origin is one James J. Kilroy, a shipyard inspector during the war. He had a habit of scribbling “Kilroy was here” in crayon on ships that passed inspection. In 1946, the Transit Company of America held a contest to find the real Kilroy, and James provided them with enough evidence to claim the prize, his very own trolley car.

Kilroy has had an interesting history, as have other fads. I'm sure that new ones will pop up all around us before long. Seems to be one of those things we are really good at for some reason.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. There may be a tropical storm headed our way, though.

5 comments:

linda m said...

Always wondered how that one got started. Now I know. Thanks for the info. Beautiful morning here but rain expected in a few hours.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
Glad I could solve that question for ya. Always fun to find out the history of stuff!
Thanks for stopping by this morning!

JO said...

I always wondered about Ole Kilroy to now I know. At least he is a funny little guy, not like some crap plastered everywhere.

No open windows or porch time here, can't believe how awful it is outside this morning. Hope it's nicer on the patio.

Sixbears said...

I loved the Kilroy story when I heard about it as a kid. It was one of those fun little mysteries that took place in a dark time.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
Glad I could solve that little unknown for ya, sweetie. Pretty nice here compared to your place, that's for sure!
Thanks for dropping by today!


Hey Sixbears...
Certainly gave a little humor to that particular time, for sure.
Thanks for coming by today!