Brown & Bigelow

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

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

Brown & Bigelow
Founded1896; 124 years ago (1896)
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location345 Plato Boulevard East, St. Paul, Minnesota 55107


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

The company was founded in 1896 by Herbert Huse Bigelow and Hiram Brown.

On June 24, 1924, Bigelow was convicted for tax evasion, fined ten thousand dollars, and sentenced to three years in Leavenworth Penitentiary.[1] He was released after eight months. While incarcerated, he befriended infamous safe-cracker Morris Rudensky.[2]

On April 13, 1928, President Calvin Coolidge pardoned Bigelow.[3] Following Bigelow's release, the company became notable for developing prototype convict rehabilitation programs through the hiring of hundreds of ex-convicts.[citation needed]


In 1925 Brown & Bigelow inaugurated a tradition of publishing calendars for the Boy Scouts of America, many of which were illustrated by Norman Rockwell.[citation needed] In 1936 then president Charlie Ward paid ten thousand dollars to Maxfield Parrish for exclusive rights to his work Peaceful Valley.[4] By the late 1940s, the company was one of the largest printers of calendars in the world,[5] employing some of the best pin-up artists in the United States and putting calendars into an estimated fifty million homes.[6]

Rockwell agreed to paint a self-portrait for the 1969 edition of the Boy Scouts of America calendar as a tribute to his seventy-fifth birthday.[7]

The company has published artworks by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (his sixteen-painting Dogs Playing Poker series), Rolf Armstrong, Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, Vaughn Alden Bass, Mabel Rollins Harris, Douglass Crockwell, Norman Rockwell and Zoë Mozert.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "Herbert H. Bigelow". Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  2. ^ Folkart, Burt A. (1988-04-23). "Former Cellmate of Al Capone : Morris (Red) Rudensky; Criminal Turned Author". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Ruckman, P. S.; Jr. "Quite the Pair: Herbert H. Bigelow and Charlie Ward". Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2011-02-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Berger, Warren (January 2001). "Schwag Bag". Wired. 9 (01). Retrieved 2006-08-13.
  6. ^ "Great Moments in Schwag History". Wired. 9 (01). January 2001. Retrieved 2006-08-13.
  7. ^ William Hillcourt (1977). Norman Rockwell's World of Scouting. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-1582-0.

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