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Jan. 4--QUESTION: I saw some Reddy Killowatt items for sale on eBay and was wondering how long the figure has been around. -- R.B.
ANSWER: Reddy Killowatt, a symbol of electricity, was first used in the 1920s.
The story goes that in 1925, Ashton B. Collins, a manager at Alabama Power Co., was staring out a window into a thunderstorm and saw two lightning bolts merge. Collins said that it looked like the figure of a man, and he came up with the character for a print ad, which first ran in 1926, to help convince Alabamans that electricity was safe and necessary to their well-being.
Reddy was licensed by more than 200 other utility companies, including Duke …