Buster Brown

Buster Brown was a comic strip character created in 1902 by Richard F. Outcault. Adopted as the mascot of the Brown Shoe Company in 1904, Buster Brown, his sweetheart Mary Jane, and his dog Tige, an American Pit Bull Terrier, were well known to the American public in the early 20th century. The character's name was also used to describe a popular style of suit for young boys, the Buster Brown suit, that echoed his own outfit.[1]

Buster Brown
Buster Brown alone mod color
Buster Brown
Publication information
PublisherNew York Herald
First appearanceMay 4, 1902
Created byRichard F. Outcault
In-story information
Team affiliationsMary Jane, Tige


The character of Buster Brown was loosely based on Granville Hamilton Fisher, a son of Charles and Anna Fisher of Flushing, New York. Fisher's physical appearance, including the characteristic pageboy haircut, was copied by Outcault and given to Buster Brown. The name "Buster" came directly or indirectly from the popularity of Buster Keaton, then a child actor in vaudeville.[2] Another boy, Roger Cushman Clark (1899-1995) of Deadwood, South Dakota, was also described as the "original model" for the Buster Brown character.[3][4]

The character of Mary Jane was also drawn from real life, as she was also Outcault's daughter of the same name. In Outcault's own words—and his daughter's—she was the only character drawn from life in the Buster Brown strip, although "Mrs. Brown" did resemble Outcault's wife.

Publication history

Buster Brown
Buster Brown
Richard F. Outcault's Buster Brown (1917)
Author(s)Richard F. Outcault
Current status/scheduleConcluded
Launch dateMay 4, 1902
End datec. 1921
Syndicate(s)New York Herald (1902–1906)
Hearst Corporation (1906–c. 1921)

The comic strip began in the New York Herald on May 4, 1902. Outcault left for William Randolph Hearst's employ in 1906, and after a court battle, Outcault continued his strip, now nameless, in Hearst papers, while the Herald continued their own version of Buster Brown with other artists. The latter lasted until 1911 or so, and Outcault's version until at least 1921.

The character of Buster Brown inspired many imitators, including Perry Winkle from the Winnie Winkle newspaper strip, and the Bobby Bumps animated film series.

The series was translated into Portuguese and published in the Brazilian children's magazine O Tico-Tico[5] (where Buster Brown was known as Chiquinho); its stories were loosely adapted by Brazilian writers.

Characters and story

Buster Brown is a young city-dwelling boy with wealthy parents. He is disturbingly pretty (contrast him to Outcault's own The Yellow Kid, or Frederick Opper's creations), but his actions belie his looks. He is a practical joker who might dress in a girl's outfit and have her wear his clothes, break a window with his slingshot, or play a prank on a neighbor. The trick or transgression is discovered and he is punished, usually by being spanked by his mother, but it is unclear if he ever repents. Many strips end with Buster delivering a self-justifying moral which has little or nothing to do with his crime. For example, a strip from May 31, 1903, shows him giving Tige a soda from a drugstore soda fountain. The drink splashes, not only the front of his own clothes, but the skirts of a woman's splendid dress. Horrified by his clumsy misadventure, Buster's mother takes him home and flogs him with a stick. In the last panel the boy has written a message beginning, "Resolved! That druggists are legalized robbers; they sell you soda and candy to make you ill, then they sell you medicine to make you worse."

Mary Jane is Buster's sweetheart.

Tige is thought to be the first talking pet to appear in the comics, and, like that of many of his successors, his speech goes unnoticed by adults.

Brown Shoe Company mascot

Outcault traveled to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, selling licenses to up to 200 companies to use the Buster Brown characters to advertise their products. Buster Brown's association with shoes began with John Bush, a sales executive with the Brown Shoe Company; he persuaded his company to purchase rights to the Buster Brown name, and the brand was introduced to the public at the 1904 World's Fair.

Little People were hired by the Brown Shoe Co. to play Buster in tours around the United States. These actors, each accompanied by a dog, performed in department stores, theaters and shoe stores from 1904 until 1930. Richard Barker played Buster Brown in many of these Brown Shoe Company advertising campaigns; his story is told in a biography called Buster Brown and the Cowboy.

In the 1940s and '50s The Brown Shoe Company made a foray into the comic book publishing industry with Buster Brown Comics, on which a retailer could rubber-stamp their address.[6] The comics featured the characters on the cover, but contained different adventure features, such as Robin Hood.

The characters were revived with an updated, more contemporary look for a brief advertising campaign in the 1980s and 1990s.[7]

In other media

1905 MasterGabriel Buster Brown
21-year old dwarf actor "Master Gabriel" plays the title role of Buster Brown, with George Ali as Tige, in the 1905 Broadway production.

Comic Books

Buster Brown comics were given away as premiums in shoe stores from 1945 to 1959. Some contain art by Reed Crandall and other notable cartoonists. In the 1950s other comics based on the radio show were produced by Custom Comics and Dell Comics, and a coloring book was also produced.


A series of live-action two-reelers were produced from 1925 to 1929 by the Stern Bros. for Universal Pictures. Buster was played by the actor Arthur Trimble. Pal the Wonder Dog (who played Tige) and director Gus Meins were both later associated with the popular Our Gang (Little Rascals) comedies, where Pal at some point came to be known as Pete the Pup, a name inherited by one of his pups, who carried on the role after Pal died of poisoning in 1930.


In 1905, a play was performed on Broadway at the Majestic titled Buster Brown. It starred a 21-year-old adult dwarf actor named Master Gabriel (1882–1929), born Gabriel Weigel.[8] Photos of Master Gabriel in the role show him very convincing as a child.[9] Gabriel appeared in another children's-oriented play in 1908 Little Nemo and a return engagement as Buster Brown in 1913.[10] It also featured famous animal actor George Ali as Tige.


A Buster Brown radio series began in 1943 with Smilin' Ed McConnell on the West Coast NBC Radio Network.[11] It included such characters as Froggy the Gremlin ("Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy!")[6] and Midnight the Cat ("What do you say to the kids, Midnight?" "Nice.").


McConnell moved the show to television in 1950, where it ran under the titles Smilin' Ed's Gang and The Buster Brown Show for four years.[11] Andy Devine took over in 1955 after McConnell's death, but Devine's show was titled Andy's Gang.[12]

Playground games

Buster Brown makes an appearance in several children's playground games. There is a skipping rope rhyme that starts "Buster Brown | Went to town | With his pants | On upside down."[13] There is also a game played on the seesaw where one rider will stop the seesaw with the other rider in the air and chant, "Buster, Buster, Buster Brown, what will you give me if I let you down?" The rider stuck in the air offers an imaginary payment of grandiose proportions (e.g., "every Barbie doll ever," "the Moon and all the stars").[14][15]


Buster is coming
Buster Brown baby
Buster Brown valentine
Buster Brown small black and white


  1. ^ Olian, edited by JoAnne (2003). Children's fashions, 1900–1950, as pictured in Sears catalogs. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. ISBN 9780486423258.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Whatever happened to Buster Brown shoes?". The Straight Dope. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  3. ^ "Topics in Chronicling America: Buster Brown" Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room, Library of Congress.
  4. ^ "Original 'Buster Brown'" Holbrook Argus (October 29, 1904).
  5. ^ Waldomiro Vergueiro (October 11, 2005). "O Tico-Tico completa 100 anos". Omelete. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Buster Brown". Michelesworld.net. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmC8uVhGlHQ
  8. ^ The kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the rise of American Amusements by Woody Register c.2001
  9. ^ "Master Gabriel portraits Univ. of Washington, Sayre Collection". Content.lib.washington.edu. 1997-07-26. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  10. ^ Buster Brown 1905 production at the Majestic Theatre , Broadway courtesy IBDb.com database
  11. ^ a b "History of Brown Shoe: 1943–1987". Brown Shoe. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  12. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371482/movieconnections
  13. ^ "Buster Brown". Jump Rope Rhymes. Mudcat Cafe. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  14. ^ Holstein, Susanna. "Playground Games". Two-Lane Livin'. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  15. ^ Bowe, Julie (2011). Friends for Keeps: My Forever Friends. Dial Books for Young Readers. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-101-51695-9. Retrieved 14 September 2015.

External links

1909 Boston Doves season

The 1909 Boston Doves season was the 39th season of the franchise.

1909 Philadelphia Phillies season

The following lists the events of the 1909 Philadelphia Phillies season.

Angry Anderson

Gary Stephen "Angry" Anderson AM (born 5 August 1947) is an Australian rock singer-songwriter, television presenter-reporter and actor. He has been the lead vocalist with the hard rock band Rose Tattoo since 1976.

On Australia Day 26 January 1993, Anderson was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his role as a youth advocate. According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, "over the course of a lengthy career, [the] gravel-throated vocalist ... has gone from attention-grabbing, rock'n'roll bad boy to all-round Australian media star." On 16 August 2006, Rose Tattoo were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.

Bobby Robinson (record producer)

Bobby Robinson (April 16, 1917 – January 7, 2011) was an American independent record producer and songwriter in New York City, most active from the 1950s through the mid-1980s. He produced hits by Wilbert Harrison, The Shirelles, Dave "Baby" Cortez, Elmore James, Lee Dorsey, Gladys Knight & The Pips, King Curtis, Spoonie Gee, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Doug E. Fresh, and Treacherous Three. He founded or co-founded Red Robin Records, Whirlin' Disc Records, Fury Records, Fire Records and Enjoy Records. Bobby Robinson's catalog is represented by Mojo Music & Media.

Buster Brown (Australian band)

Buster Brown was an Australian rock and roll band, which featured vocalist Angry Anderson and drummer Phil Rudd, that was formed in Melbourne in 1973. Their sound was hard rock mixed with blues rock influences. Their first album, Something to Say was produced by Lobby Loyde and released in 1974. Rudd left to join an early version of AC/DC while Anderson continued with new line-ups and eventually disbanded the group in November 1975. Anderson joined Rose Tattoo which later included former Buster Brown band mates, Geordie Leach on bass guitar and Dallas 'Digger' Royall on drums.

Buster Brown (Canadian football)

Buster Brown (born c. 1930) was a Canadian football player who played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He won the Grey Cup with them in 1953. He previously played football at and attended McGill University.

Buster Brown (band)

Buster Brown was a glam metal band from Louisville, Kentucky. Members included lead vocalist Johnny Edwards, guitarist Allan Phelps, and bassist Kevin Downs.

The band went through several drummers. Drummer Bob Koestel played on the band's first album Loud and Clear. Drummer James Kottak played on the band's second album Sign of Victory.

After the band's second album Sign Of Victory, Johnny Edwards and James Kottak were recruited by guitarist Ronnie Montrose into his band Montrose. They played on the Montrose album Mean. Johnny Edwards, James Kottak, Kevin Downs and Tony Bowles played together in the original line-up of the band Wild Horses. They were signed to Atlantic Records and were in the studio when shortly after the forming of Wild Horses, Johnny Edwards left to replace Lou Gramm in the band Foreigner, with which he sang on the album Unusual Heat. Shortly after the release of Unusual Heat, Lou Gramm returned to Foreigner and Johnny Edwards was let go. Johnny Edwards went on to form the band Royal Jelly that was short-lived.

Drummer James Kottak had a long career playing in the German band Scorpions until recently was replaced by Mickey Dee. Tony Bowles plays in the Hank Williams Jr. band.

Buster Brown (baseball)

Charles Edward "Buster" Brown (August 31, 1881 – February 9, 1914), was a professional baseball player who played pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1905-1913. He would play for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and Boston Braves.

Buster Brown (footballer)

William Ian Brown (6 September 1910 – 15 January 1993), sometimes known as Billy Brown, was a professional footballer who played a number of positions in the Football League for Brentford, Luton Town, Leyton Orient and Huddersfield Town.

Buster Brown (musician)

Buster Brown (August 15, 1911 – January 31, 1976) was an American blues and R&B singer best known for his hit, "Fannie Mae".


Caleres Inc. is an American footwear company that owns and operates a variety of footwear brands. Its headquarters is located in Clayton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Founded in 1878 as Bryan, Brown & Company in St. Louis and undergoing several name changes, for a time, the Hamilton-Brown Shoe Company was the largest manufacturer of shoes in America. It went bankrupt in June 1939.In the 1970s, Brown operated Famous Footwear, Cloth World fabric stores, Bottom Half jeans stores, and Meis department stores. On May 27, 2015, Brown Shoe changed its name to Caleres. Current brands include Famous Footwear, Diane von Furstenberg (DVF), Rykä, Allen Edmonds, Dr. Scholl’s Shoes, LifeStride, Naturalizer, Bzees, Franco Sarto, Sam Edelman, Via Spiga, Vince, George Brown Bilt, Carlos by Carlos Santana and Fergie Footwear.

Fire Records

Fire Records was an American independent record label, set up in 1959 by Bobby Robinson. Amongst others, it released records by Lightnin' Hopkins, Elmore James, Buster Brown and Arthur Crudup. At one point it was thought Fire had issued the last commercial 78rpm disc in the United States. Although this has been dis-proven, the label is still known for their late-issue 78s.

J. E. "Buster" Brown

James Eugene Brown, known as J. E. "Buster" Brown (born December 10, 1940), is an attorney and lobbyist in Austin, Texas, who served from 1981 to 2002 as a Republican member of the Texas State Senate from District 17, based in Brazoria, Fort Bend, and part of Harris counties, south and west of Houston. At his retirement, Brown was the senior Republican in the Senate, having sponsored 633 bills which became law.In 1990, Brown waged an unsuccessful bid to succeed Jim Mattox as Attorney General of Texas. Then residing in Lake Jackson, Brown was the GOP nominee but lost to the Democrat Dan Morales of San Antonio. Morales prevailed, 1,729,735 votes (51.81 percent) to Brown's 1,509,553 votes (45.22 percent), with a Libertarian candidate holding the remaining share of the vote.Brown was running on the ticket headed by U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, a Republican who secured a second term that year, and Clayton W. Williams, Jr., the Midland businessman who lost the race for governor to Democrat Ann W. Richards, the second woman in Texas to hold that position. Two other candidates on the Williams ticket with Brown, Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison, were narrowly elected as agriculture commissioner and state treasurer, respectively. Twenty years later, they would run against each other for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

James Kottak

James Kottak (born December 26, 1962, Audubon Park, Kentucky) is an American drummer. Kottak is best known for his work with the German hard rock band Scorpions, which he joined in 1996. At the time of his firing from the band in 2016, he was their all-time longest-serving drummer, surpassing Herman Rarebell, who spent 18 years in the band.

Johnny Edwards (musician)

John Douglas "Johnny" Edwards is an American rock singer who sang for the bands Buster Brown, Montrose, King Kobra, Wild Horses, Northrup, Royal Jelly and is best known as the second lead singer of the rock band Foreigner.

Mary Jane (shoe)

Mary Jane (also known as bar shoes or "doll shoes") is an American term (formerly a registered trademark) for a closed, low-cut shoe with one or more straps across the instep.

Classic Mary Janes for children are typically made of black leather or patent leather, have one thin strap fastened with a buckle or button, a broad and rounded toebox, low heels, and thin outsoles. Among girls, Mary Janes are traditionally worn with pantyhose or socks, and a dress or a skirt and blouse. Among boys (less common), Mary Janes are traditionally worn with socks, short trousers, and a shirt.

Richard F. Outcault

Richard Felton Outcault (; January 14, 1863 – September 25, 1928) was an American cartoonist. He was the creator of the series The Yellow Kid and Buster Brown, and is considered a key pioneer of the modern comic strip.

Sign of Victory

Sign Of Victory is the second album of the glam metal band Buster Brown. It is the only Buster Brown album to feature drummer James Kottak.

After this album, singer Johnny Edwards and drummer James Kottak were recruited by guitarist Ronnie Montrose into his band Montrose. They played on Montrose's Mean album.

The song "Dirty Girl" resembles the Sweet Savage song "Straight Through The Heart" and, to a lesser extent, the Dio song "Caught In The Middle". The song "Monkey Bars" is a cover of the song originally done by Canadian rock band Coney Hatch.

Ulysses Brown

Ulysses "Joe" "Buster" Brown (1920 - September 7, 1942) was an American baseball catcher in the Negro Leagues. He played from 1937 to 1942 with the Newark Eagles, Chicago American Giants, and the Cincinnati Clowns. Brown died in a car accident on September 7, 1942. Smoky Owens also died, while Eugene Bremmer, Herman Watts, Alonzo Boone, and Wilbur Hayes were also injured.

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