Wednesday, February 16, 2011

IBEW logo

[From Wikipedia.]

Slywy’s discovery of a pencil with an IBEW clip prompted me to write this post, which I’ve been meaning to do since December. I love the IBEW logo. It leaves me feeling like I’m in the wrong union. What makes the logo great for me is the jacket-clad arm. A bare arm would be a predictable design element here — brute strength and all that. It’s the juxtaposition of crackling electricity and proper attire that gets me. No doubt there’s a handkerchief, neatly folded, in the clencher’s breast pocket.

Related reading
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Wikipedia)
Look for the Union Label: A Celebration of Union Logos and Emblems (Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University)

comments: 6

Matthew W. Schmeer said...

That jacketed arm says "we might be workers, but we are professionals." It really does carry the message that electrical work is more than just another blue-collar job, but one that has high standards and expectations of its practitioners.

Diane Schirf said...

The original logo is here: http://www.ibew.org/IBEW/history/1890_1897.htm

People dressed more formally in those days, which ended not so long ago with "business casual" and jeans in church. There were guys who'd go to UAW meetings in jackets. (Not my dad, of course. Never my dad.) Men were requested to wear a tie to jury duty perhaps 30 or 35 years ago. It's certainly a different world.

[My word verification is "flogin," which is delightful.]

Diane Schirf said...

I meant to point out the hand is flipped, from a left hand to a right.

[unglue]

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for your observations, Matthew and Diane. I wonder why the hand changed — political overtones? sinister overtones?

Elaine said...

Yeah, no one wanted the LEFT to prevail in any sense! BTW, when I was called for jury duty in Federal court, the instructions emphasized 'business wear' in no uncertain terms. (Every single trial I was assigned to was settled the night before.) Jeans may be acceptable in church now, but you'd better not show up like that in the Federal Building!

my captcha is 'pubduse'...we gotta pay dues now?

Anonymous said...

The rumor I have always heard is that it was changed to the right because the right hand is the hand you shake hands with. It's the hand of solidarity.