Brown & Bigelow

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Brown & Bigelow
Founded 1896; 122 years ago (1896)
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location 345 Plato Boulevard East, St. Paul, Minnesota 55107
Official website

Brown & Bigelow is a publishing company based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. It sells branded apparel and promotional merchandise.

The company was founded in 1896 by Herbert Huse Bigelow and Hiram 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 paint a self-portrait for the calendar (pictured below).[1]

Beyond the Easel, Norman Rockwell's self-portrait with five Boy Scouts for Brown & Bigelow's 1969 Boy Scouts of America calendar
A Friend in Need, 1903, by C. M. Coolidge from his Dogs Playing Poker series

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 (his 16-painting Dogs Playing Poker series), Rolf Armstrong, Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, Vaughn Alden Bass, Mabel Rollins Harris, Douglass Crockwell, Norman Rockwell and Zoë Mozert. 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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  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