GREENSBORO, NC — The Mack Bulldog has been grinning at the sky as a loyal guardian on hoods of Mack trucks for 80 years today — or an estimated 560 dog years.
Perhaps not as gracious as Rolls-Royce’s “Spirit Of Ecstasy” radiator decoration, the Bulldog’s symbolism has a humble beginning in the history books.
The “Bulldog” first became associated with Mack Trucks during World War One, when British soldiers nicknamed the Mack AC models used in the Allied effort as “Bulldog Macks” due to their tenacious nature. The Bulldog moniker stuck from that point on.
But it didn’t stop there. Years later in 1932, Alfred Fellows Masury, a chief engineer at Mack Trucks, was in the hospital for surgery. Not one to be idle for long, during his recovery, Masury hand-carved the first model of the now iconic Bulldog hood ornament out of a bar of soap. Soon after, a patent for the hood ornament was granted on Oct. 11, 1932 – 80 years ago today.
Unfortunately, Masury was killed in the crash of U.S. Navy airship Akron in 1933, the same year the Bulldog hood ornament began adorning Mack trucks. Regardless of the tragedy however, the chromed mascot has been around ever since.
“We’re proud of our heritage and that the Bulldog has become so widely recognized,” said Kevin Flaherty, president, Mack Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “We tip our hats to Alfred Masury for his contribution to our legacy.”
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