Buster Brown was a mischievous youngster from the comic strip of the same name – the creation of Richard Fenton Outcault.
The little blonde boy with the Dutch bang hair, the wide sailor cap and the big floppy bow collar became mascot to kids feet when he lent his image to the most famous children’s shoe company in the world, Buster Brown shoes.
The Buster Brown story began in 1878 when George Warren Brown turned the city of St. Louis, Missouri into the centre of the shoe manufacturing world.
The Brown Shoe Co. really took off when a sales executive at Brown, John A. Bush, acquired the name and character rights to the Buster Brown comic strip character in 1904, and the Buster Brown shoe company was born (the Brown last name was purely a happy coincidence).
The shoes became instant hits, and the legend grew stronger with each decade.
Buster Brown publicity won over the hearts of the tykes when real life Buster Brown’s and Tige’s travelled to department stores for appearances, and the company’s sponsorship of the 50’s kids show Smilin’ Ed McConnell and His Buster Brown Gang (later Andy’s Gang) put the Buster Brown name on every youngster’s lips.
Kids adored the sly boy and his pup, but more important were the Mums who loved both a good role model and a pair of comfortable and affordable shoes.
Whether polished up for your Sunday best or just running around, there was always a pair of Buster Browns ready for your feet: Play shoes, school shoes, special occasion shoes – Buster Browns were there.
Both boys and girls were Buster Brown fans, and no little kid was without a pair, or two, or twenty. And they’re still around today, keeping Buster Browns as the brand in kiddie shoes.