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.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
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.
October 29, 1904
It is reported that Robert Outcault used Roger Cushman Clark as the model to create Buster Brown.
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.