Image of fingerprint with mouse face on a yellow background with red text.
©1977 THUMB THINGS™ Box 1504-St. Paul, Mn 55111
The "Thumbody" characters were originally created by Neil Baker in the 1960s. He began his art by using customer fingerprints before creating a line of designs using his own fingerprint that was in use from the 1960s through the 1980s. Thumb Things, now doing business as Button Works, Inc., featured a series of thumbprint drawings with catchy phrases all using the word thumb. The designs were not initally copyrighted and were sold or gifted as art pieces for several years before any commercial attention.
The Mental Health Association used the phrase, "I'm thumbody," and copied the idea behind Baker's drawings creating and copyrighting their own line of thumbprint characters advocating for mental health awareness that still used Baker's original thumbprint from drawings they had purchased.
James R. Williams of Williams & Associates of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania also claimed and copyrighted the thumbprint idea. The “I’m Thumbody” character was created and used for a promotion for First Federal Savings & Loan in the 1970s. The bank gave away promotional merchandise featuring the thumb-buddies including beach towels, buttons, and other memorabilia.
“I’m Thumbody” pin. (2013). Retrieved 17 January 2021, from https://fontsinuse.com/uses/2053/i-m-thumbody-pin