Horrifying Early Images of the Michelin Man

(Images: Michelin)

The Michelin Man—the mascot for the Michelin tire company—is a happy, jovial fellow. He’s always been that way, but you may find early photos and illustrations of him scary.

His name is Bibendum. That’s a reference to a line by the Latin poet Horace, who said, “nunc est bibendum.” That means “now is the time to drink.” Michelin did not adopt this phrase in order to promote drunk driving, but to express that Michelin tires eat up obstacles on the road.

He doesn’t anymore, but Bidendum used to drink heavily, smoke cigars and wear pince-nez glasses. He was drawn gray when tires were usually gray in color, then black when tires were commonly black. You can see more early images of him here.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

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