What's In A Name

Other school mascots have names like Panthers, Tigers and Blue Devils. How did Badin athletes become the Watts? How do electricity and basketball link? Who is that cartoon character commonly known as Reddy Kilowatt?

[A watt is a unit of power, named after engineer James Watt, which measures the rate of energy transfer. A watt, in electrical terms, is the rate at which electrical work is done when one ampere (A) of current flows through one volt (V).]

So what is in a name? The history of the town of Badin is linked to the search for electricity. The potential for hydro electric power is the reason the town was built. The town, the Narrows Dam and the Aluminum Plant were all built at the same time.

The Aluminum Plant was built to make aluminum. The Narrows Dam was built to produce the hydro-electric power for the Plant. The town was built for the worker to live and raise their families. None would exist without the other.

In order to smelt aluminum you need a non-stop power source that always works. You also need enough people to work at the job 24/7: 24 hours a day; 7 days a week.

Reddy Kilowatt was a cartoon character that was designed as the spokesman for US electrical companies. He first appeared in publication in 1926. With lightning bolts for limbs, a light bulb for his nose and outlets for his ears, he was designed to make people think of how their lives would be improved if they had an electrified home. Reddy Kilowatt was there to be their "electrical servant". He was wearing safety gloves and shoes, of course.

Still in 1930, cities had electricity but 90% of farms did not. Badin's homes, built between 1915 and 1925 were fully electrified.

The Live Wire and the Spark, also electricity references, were two newsletters of the Badin School.