Do You Remember? Buster Brown Shoes

“I’m Buster Brown, and I live in a shoe. That’s my dog, Tige, and he lives there, too. Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy!”

Charlie and Snoopy, Our Gang and Pete, Buster and Tige…No childhood relationship is more special than the one between a boy and his trusty pet dog—always by your side, through troubles and fun. More than man’s best friend, a dog is a boy’s best buddy. Buster Brown’s special friendship with Tige warmed kid’s hearts, and the image of the boy and his dog has remained famous for almost a century, thanks to the world-famous children’s shoe company Buster Brown.

Buster Brown was a mischievous youngster from the eponymous comic strip, 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 kid’s feet across the nation when he lent his image to the most famous children’s shoe company in the world, Buster Brown shoes.

The Buster Brown story begins over 100 years ago when George Warren Brown turned the city of St. Louis, Missouri into the center of the shoe manufacturing world in 1878. The Brown Shoe Co. took off running 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 with the boy and his dog 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 Browns and trusty Tiges traveled 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 Moms 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.

About Mickey Yarber 237 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Sometimes referred to as the Retro Rambler...I was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. I love to share all the fun stuff from those years via my Retro Ramblings column.

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