Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York ,meat packer and entrepreneur, was the model for Uncle Sam, one of our most recognizable national symbols, but I get ahead of the story. In 1813, the United States got its nickname of Uncle Sam. The origin of the story are linked to Sam Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, who supplied barrels of beef for the US Army in the War of 1812 with Britain. Wilson would pack the containers and then stamp US on the side for United States, but soldiers referred to the barrels as Uncle Sam’s! Local newspapers picked up the story and Uncle Sam gained popularity far and wide resulting in the choice of this nickname for the US federal government.
The most famous picture is probably the James Flagg poster at the top of this post.It first was used for recruitment in WW I . In 1961 Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Sadly, Samuel Wilson had passed away several years before. His chosen home town of Troy, New York was and is the town that calls itself “the home of Uncle Sam.” Now you know the rest of the story!
This year the business community decided to have the Uncle Sam Project. 30 white, fiberglass statuses were bought and 25 artists and 5 school groups decorated them. Businesses sponsored them so there are aspects of the town and businesses painted on each Uncle Sam. For example, there is one sponsored by a brewery with a beer hat and beer bottle tops on his coat. Troy is a college town, after all. I will save my favorite to share with you at the end.
The last ones are my favorites. Uncle Sam Music Man standing in front of the world famous Troy Music Hall dressed in tails, with music notes on his pants and the French Horn on his back! Enough said about the music hall , as I may post about that on another day!
Namaste. . . . .Anne . . . . .T I N Y