A Century of Kids and Fun.
Buster Brown Shoes celebrates 100 years.
2004 marked the 100th birthday of the popular children’s shoe brand made famous by a mischievous boy and his faithful dog. Based on the popular Buster Brown and Tige comic strip characters, Buster Brown shoes debuted at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. In the decades that followed, the brand became a marketing pioneer, using character appearances, radio and television sponsorships, gifts with purchase, and clever advertising to build loyalty among generations of Buster Brown customers. Today, Buster Brown’s motto “Kids only. Fun.” retains the brand’s enduring, fun-loving spirit.
New York Herald cartoonist Richard Outcault introduces the comic strip character, a mischievous little rich boy named Buster Brown and his dog,
At the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Outcault licenses the character to several dozen companies. The 25-year-old Brown Shoe Company buys the licensing rights to Buster Brown for $200. Former circus performer Major Ray is hired to bring Buster Brown to life for fair visitors.
Brown Shoe Company recruits Buster Brown actors for receptions across the country. Buster travels with his dog, Tige, presenting to crowds on main streets, telling jokes, playing tricks, and selling shoes.
Brown Shoe Company publishes Buster's Book of Jokes and Jingles, a booklet that children receive with a purchase of Buster Brown shoes.
Buster Brown stars in the company’s first national ads published in The Saturday Evening Post.