A history of the little man under the umbrella
MADISON, Wis - Googolplex, an online publication for students published by CUNA, has a new feature looking at the history of the Umbrella Man, a symbol used to represent the credit union industry for nearly 40 years. The Umbrella Man was first drawn in 1923 by Boston Globe artist Joseph Stern at the request of Roy Bergengren. The original drawing shows a happy CU member under an umbrella, with bad things such as hard times, sickness, and financial distress raining down from above. The little man wasn't always holding an umbrella. During World War II, the man held a gun to help credit unions sell war bonds. In one drawing, the little man smiles as he rides a tank with his thumb in the air. The ad reads, "This credit union has enlisted for Victory." In another version, the little man stands at attention with a gun in his hand and his umbrella stuck in the ground by his side. In the mid-1960's, the Umbrella Man drawing was retired and is rarely used today.