Public Art

Billiken

By James Reid
Category: Sculpture

About

Designed and manufactured in the early 1900’s as a coin bank and statuette, the Billiken was the national rage for about six months. Sometime between 1910 and 1911 at the height of Billikenmania, St. Louis sports writer William O’Connor decided that SLU football coach John Bender resembled the Billiken. Later, Charles McNamara drew a cartoon of Bender in the form of a Billiken and posted it in the window of a drugstore. The football team soon became known as Bender’s Billikens. Students pass Reid’s sculpture daily and can be seen rubbing its belly for good luck.

Dimensions: 3′ x 2′ x 2′
Year Completed: 1996
Material: Bronze
Owner: Saint Louis University


About the artist:

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