Illustration of a kid wearing a red hat and blue bow next to a brown dog on a white background with red text above and below
OLYMPIC BUTTON & EMBLEM CO. N.Y. 3 N.Y.
Richard F. Outcault created the Buster Brown comic strip character in 1902. In the comic, Buster Brown is often accompanied by his dog, an America Pit Bull Terrier named Tige. In 1904, Outcault sold the rights to use the character to the Brown Shoe Company, who adopted Buster Brown as their mascot. The character was used extensively in their advertising campaigns, and over time Buster Brown became synonymous with children’s shoes.
In 1944, a Buster Brown radio series began on the West Coast NBC Radio Network. The show was hosted by Smilin Ed McConnell, and featured the Buster Brown Gang, which included Tige, Midnight the Cat, Froggy the Gremlin and Old Grand the Piano. Children were encouraged to purchase Buster Brown shoes and join the gang by signing up for a membership, which included a free button, and other trinkets.