Harvey Ball was born today in 1921. He died back in 2001.
You may not know who he was, but you know his work.
An American inventor, Harvey gave us this…
Harvey came UP with the design in 1963. He was hired by The State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, MA which is now the Hanover Insurance company to boost morale. Wouldn’t a bigger paycheck have done more?
It took him less than ten minutes to come Up with the design.
The company’s goal was to get people to smile when on the phone, talking to customers in person and a passing one another in the hallway. (Back in the day, I had a mirror on my desk, and I smiled into it before picking Up the phone…oddly enough, it worked.)
By 1971, over 50 million were sold.
Ball never applied for a trademark or copyright of the smiley and made a whopping $45 for his efforts. State Mutual didn’t make any money either.
The “Have a Nice Day” associated with the smiley face, was not part of the original design. The Spain Brothers, Bernard and Murray, later trademarked the line combined with a smiley face in the early 1970s.
I’m assuming that’s where the cash went.
Harvey wasn’t concerned. Not a cash hound, he said “I can only drive one car at a time, how much money do I need?”
Since Harvey didn’t feel ripped of, I’ll smile today too.