Are Any Buster Brown Shoe Stores Left in Michigan?
Of course I had Buster Brown shoes when I was a kid! Any self-respecting kid did his/her best to whine, pout, and cry until mom bought 'em a pair.
The famous logo had Buster in his antiquated pageboy-bob hairdo and Little Lord Fauntleroy suit, along with his creepy-looking dog, Tige. Tige had a wide, toothy grin that scared the crap outta kids.
But we didn't care. We wanted them-there shoes.
There were Buster Brown locations all throughout Michigan: Ann Arbor, Charlotte, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Mount Pleasant, Port Huron, Saginaw, and many more locations. Never mind Keds, P.F. Flyers, or Red Ball Jets.....forget those other brands! We wanted Buster Browns!
Info at Backward Glances says Buster Brown started as a comic strip in 1902. He had a dog – which looks like a pitbull – and a girlfriend named Mary Jane (who, by the way, acquired her own line of shoes). Buster's adventures became so popular, that his image was used to promote the Brown Shoe Company beginning in 1904.
Buster's popularity sprinkled over into books, comic books, and even the movies. By the 1920s, his dog in the films were played by the same dog who was the original “Pete” in the silent “Our Gang” (Little Rascals) films. Buster woulda fit in perfect with the rascals, as he was always getting into mischief.
For 26 years - from 1904-1930 – the shoe company hired 'little people' to dress as Buster and travel from town to town, making personal appearances. The townsfolk came out in mass numbers.
Buster's look just didn't happen from someone's imagination...he was based on a real kid: Granville Hamilton Fisher, who had that soon-to-be-famous pageboy haircut.
So what happened to Buster Brown shoes? Are they still available? Are there any Buster Brown shoe stores in Michigan? No, there aren't. There is only one left in the entire country...in Atlanta Georgia.
The Brown Shoe Company is now under the name Caleres, who also incorporates Dr. Scholl’s.
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