Elsie the Cow
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Elsie was created in the 1930s to symbolize the "perfect dairy product". For a time in the mid-1940s when she was voiced by Hope Emerson, she was better known than some human celebrities, and Elsie the Cow remains among the most recognizable product logos in the United States and Canada.
Elsie and her cartoon calves were featured in Elsie's Boudoir at Freedomland U.S.A. from 1960 to 1963. Freedomland was a theme park depicting America's history, located in the Bronx. A live cow representing Elsie appeared on stage at the Borden's exhibit in the Better Living Pavilion at the 1964–1965 New York World's Fair, in a musical revue with a score by the Broadway composer Kay Swift.
The first Elsie, "You'll Do, Lobelia," was a registered Jersey heifer born at Elm Hill Farm in Brookfield, Massachusetts. The most alert cow at Borden's World's Fair "Rotolactor" (the first rotary milking parlor) exhibit, Borden purchased Elsie from her owners, family farmers from Connecticut, and promoted her as their mascot. For the rest of the season, this particular Elsie, dressed in an embroidered green blanket, was put on display twice each day for all to see.
Elsie’s husband, Elmer the Bull, was later lent to Borden's chemical division as the mascot for Elmer's Glue. Their offspring included Beulah, Beauregard (born 1948), and twins Larabee and Lobelia (born 1957). Elsie has earned such honorary degrees from Universities as Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor of Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. In Wisconsin, which had its reigning Dairy Princesses, Elsie was named Queen of Dairyland. The Seneca Indian Tribe named her an honorary chief, and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut, presented her with their P.T. Barnum Award of Showmanship. In 2000, Elsie was named one of the top 10 advertising icons of the century by Ad Age.
- Borden Dairy
- Elsie and Borden dairy products
- Obituary of David William Reid, advertising marketer and creator of Elsie and Elmer
- Article on "You'll Do Lobelia," one of the live Elsies, from her hometown, Brookfield, Massachusetts
- Article on Elsie's grave in Plainsboro, New Jersey