Raise your hand – or paw – if you remember Buster Brown. Probably no one will unless you saw him in reruns on American TV in the late 1940s or early 1950s … and even then, maybe not. This movie is from 1904. In case you can’t make out the story line: Buster can’t get the cookies that the cook baked and put up on that high shelf. The dog, Tige, saves the day by bringing down the box.
Buster and Tige, were the creation of Richard Felton Outcault. Outcault was affiliated in some way with the Brown Shoe Company, hence Brown for the last name and Buster Brown Shoes as a product line. It is said that Outcault named the character Buster after the popular child actor of the day, Buster Keaton, whose acting career spanned from 1898 – 1996 when he died. The little boy was inspired and is loosely fashioned after a child that Outcault knew from his neighborhood in Flushing, New York. Buster Brown and Tige were popular in their day. There were movies, radio shows, stage plays, comic strips and cartoons based on them.