Brown & Bigelow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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. It has a mission is to help clients improve business results by strengthening relationships with key customers, employees and suppliers through the use of branded apparel and promotional merchandise. It develops marketing and merchandising programs through the use of innovative technologies and creative thinking. Today, it is an industry leader in the development of web-based and e-store programing.

Each year, Brown & Bigelow sells approximately 65,000 orders for promotional products to over 20,000 customers. Some customers are Fortune 500 companies. Some are small businesses in your local neighborhoods. All customers want to purchase quality products within their budgets. But they want more than a product. They want their trademark, logo or advertising message imprinted accurately and in a style and method that creates a positive image of their brand or identity with the recipient of the promotional product.

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 development of prototype convict rehabilitation programs through the hiring of hundreds of ex-convicts.


  1. ^ William Hillcourt (1977). Norman Rockwell's World of Scouting. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-1582-0. 
  2. ^
  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