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Buster Brown: Topics in Chronicling America

In the early 20th century, Buster Brown took the American public by storm while expanding into various media forms. This guide provides access to material related to “Buster Brown” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

"Buster and Tige." September 15, 1906. The Fairmont West Virginian (Fairmont, WV), Image 6. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

The brainchild of cartoonist Richard Outcault, Buster Brown is a comic strip starring Buster and his talking dog Tige as they go on mischievous misadventures. Buster Brown was one of the first animated characters to take the American public by storm and expand into new markets, from shoes to suits, stockings, watches, cameras, bread, and even a theatrical play. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

October 29, 1904 It is reported that Robert Outcault used Roger Cushman Clark as the model to create Buster Brown.
1905 Buster Brown is adapted for a stage play.
November 12, 1905 Buster Brown mania is at an all-time high.
June 28, 1906 By now Richard Outcault is considered the world’s highest paid artist.
November 5, 1906 The Herald and Hearst newspapers battle over the rights for Buster Brown.
September 26, 1915 Almost ten years later and Buster Brown is still selling merchandise, from watches to footwear.