History with the Macy's Parade
The original Elf balloon was introduced to the Parade in 1947 under the name, The Goofy Gnome, and is famously known for being recycled from an upside-down Ice Cream Cone balloon. Much like many early balloons, it was constructed out of simple shapes, taking form as a happy-go-lucky elf sporting a yellow hat with a red star in the middle and a green jacket with yellow buttons.
Months after its debut in the 1947 Parade, the Goofy Gnome balloon would travel across the country in January 1948 to appear in that year's edition of the March of Dimes Parade in Los Angeles, California. Five other balloons including the Panda Bear, Jack O'Lantern, The Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, The Pirate, and Officer PAL were inflated and floated down Wilshire Boulevard. The balloons were on loan to Warner Brothers for this appearance. The balloon would make five consecutive appearances, and was retired shortly after the 1951 Parade.
The balloon would later serve as an inspiration for the iconic balloons of Charlie, Kit & C.J. Holiday Elves.