Elsie the Cow is a cartoon cow developed as a mascot for the Borden Dairy Company in 1936 to symbolize the "perfect dairy product". Since the demise of Borden Dairy in the mid-1990s, the character has continued to be used in the same capacity for the company's partial successor, Eagle Brand, owned by The J.M. Smucker Company.
History with the Macy's Parade
Elsie made her Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in 1963, alongside Dino the Sinclair Oil Dinosaur. The balloon shows Elsie, a 12-foot paper-mache figurine made by Bliss Displays, riding a trapeze attached to a 27-foot balloon. The balloon itself had flowers forming circles with the message “See You at the Fair, Elsie” on them. Like with Sinclair, the Borden Dairy Company was one of the main sponsors of the 1964 New York World's Fair and so Elsie had her own area, complete with a real cow.
In 1965, the New York World's Fair message on the balloon was changed to various Christmas greetings after the fair ended.
She retired in 1967, and the figure of Elsie the Cow was given to Borden shortly afterwards. The balloon part has been recycled for various other balloons, being recycled into Smile, the hot air balloon of the Alvin and the Chipmunks falloon, and Babar the Elephant.