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Artwork Familiar to ‘Millionaires’ Returns to Williamsport


Thomas B. Mikan's initial screen-printed rendering of the 'Millionaires' image, on display in the ATHS.The original pencil sketch of the 'Millionaires' logo, chosen in honor of Williamsport's lucrative lumbering days.A small work of art that is familiar to all who have called themselves “Williamsport Millionaires” has returned to the city after 45 years, and is on display in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center.

Thomas B. Mikan was a student in the sign-painting program at Williamsport Technical Institute, predecessor of Pennsylvania College of Technology, in the early 1960s when he designed the top-hat, cane-and-gloves logo that has been used ever since by Williamsport Area High School.

Mikan, who graduated from W.T.I. in October 1963, last year donated to Penn College his original pencil sketch of the logo, along with the original screen-printed rendering of the image and the film positives used to create the print. That sketch, one of the film positives and the original screen print are framed and on display in the north corridorof the ATHS’ west wing.

“These have been in this scrapbook all of these years,” Mikan told a representative of Penn College’s Institutional Advancement Office at his home in Trafford, near Pittsburgh. “I think maybe someone back there might enjoy seeing these.”

Mikan expressed surprise that the logo he designed still is used by the Williamsport Millionaires, saying, “It’s a good feeling knowing that I contributed a small part.”

The origins of the logo had been somewhat of a mystery until Mikan was contacted in 2005 as part of Penn College’s ongoing search for “lost” W.T.I, alumni.

Mikan noted that he and his wife, Patricia, have not visited Williamsport since he finished his studies at W.T.I. he said both have very fond memories of their time in Williamsport, and said he had a great friendship with the late W.T.I. and Williamsport Area Community College President Kenneth E. Carl.

The Williamsport Millionaires logo is one of several notable pieces of art created by Mikan. While a student at W.T.I., he also designed a billboard, later erected along West Third Street near the former high school, that read, “GO All the Way With Technical Education,” with an image of a rocket leaving Earth’s orbit and traveling through the “O” in “GO.”

Mikan also is a highly skilled woodcarver who began that hobby with no formal training at age 11. In 1967, two of his pieces were chosen to be included in a yearlong display at the Smithsonian Institution. President Lyndon B. Johnson and television personality Art Linkletter were among those who viewed the exhibit.

Mikan retired in 1993 after a long career working on radar and guidance systems at an electronics firm in the Pittsburgh area. He and his wife have six adult children and reside in the home in Trafford wherehe was born.

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