Prop Spotlight

Many of the props used in M*A*S*H over the course of its eleven seasons have become famous to varying degrees. The signpost, for example, is a television icon recognizable by millions. Radar’s unnamed teddy bear, Hawkeye and Trapper’s bathrobes, Colonel Potter’s paintings and the Swamp distillery are a few other memorable props from the series.

One of the most iconic images in television history, the M*A*S*H signpost stood outside the Swamp, reminding members of the 4077 of home and family. The history of the actual signpost props is explored in this article, as well as reproductions created by fans.

Located in the Swamp, the still spent eleven years dispensing gin for Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. and others. It was destroyed, rebuilt, torn down and reconstructed. And during the first season of M*A*S*H it was shown in three very different incarnations.

Over the years, Colonel Potter was shown painting a variety of portraits ranging from Radar to Klinger (with discus) to Hawkeye (and his tongue depressor monument) to his own thumb. See them all and learn a little about who actually painted them.

Radar’s teddy bear made its first appearance in an early Season One episode. The bear was obviously well-loved because it was missing an eye. It was representative of the many young men who fought in the Korean War, men who were barely more than boys. When Radar left, the bear didn’t go with him, signifying his transition from a boy to a man.

Published June 15th, 2002
Last updated November 10th, 2013

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