Brown & Bigelow

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Norman Rockwell's self-portrait Beyond the Easel with Boy Scouts (1969 Boy Scouts of America calendar by Brown & Bigelow)

Brown & Bigelow is a publishing company based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, that produces advertising specialties, or promotional products, such as clocks, pens, cocktail spoons with corkscrew and cap-lifter, and advertising calendars. The company was founded in 1896 by Herbert Huse Bigelow and Hirm Brown.

In 1925 Brown & Bigelow began a tradition by publishing calendars for the Boy Scouts of America, many of which were illustrated by Norman Rockwell. In 1969, as a tribute to Rockwell's 75th year birthday that year, officials of Brown & Bigelow and the Boy Scouts of America asked Rockwell to pose in this calendar illustration (pictured).[1]

In 1936 then-president Charlie Ward paid the large amount of $10,000 to Maxfield Parrish for exclusive rights to his work "Peaceful Valley."[2] Brown and Bigelow also published art, including works by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, Rolf Armstrong, Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, Vaughn Alden Bass, Mabel Rollins Harris, Douglass Crockwell, and Norman Rockwell. In the late 1940s, it was one of the biggest calendar printers in the world,[3] employing some of the United States' best pin-up artists and putting calendars into an estimated 50 million homes.[4]

Ward served time in prison for tax evasion where he became close friends with Morris Rudensky, infamous safe-cracker.[5] The company was also notable for the fact that it hired hundreds of ex-convicts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Hillcourt (1977). Norman Rockwell's World of Scouting. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-1582-0. 
  2. ^ http://www.brownandbigelow.com/BBCorpWebsite/history.htm
  3. ^ Berger, Warren (January 2001). "Schwag Bag". Wired 9 (01). Retrieved 2006-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Great Moments in Schwag History". Wired 9 (01). January 2001. Retrieved 2006-08-13. 
  5. ^ Folkart, Burt A. (1988-04-23). "Former Cellmate of Al Capone : Morris (Red) Rudensky; Criminal Turned Author". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°56′29″N 93°4′28″W / 44.94139°N 93.07444°W / 44.94139; -93.07444