Brown & Bigelow
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||345 Plato Boulevard East, St. Paul, Minnesota 55107|
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 two years (three years, according to some sources) in Leavenworth Prison. While incarcerated, he befriended infamous safe-cracker Morris Rudensky and another inmate, Charlie Ward, with whom he grew so close that he promised him a job upon his release.
On April 13, 1928, President Calvin Coolidge pardoned Bigelow. Following Bigelow's release, the company became notable for developing prototype convict rehabilitation programs through the hiring of hundreds of ex-convicts.
In 1925 Brown & Bigelow inaugurated a tradition of publishing calendars for the Boy Scouts of America, many of which were illustrated by Norman Rockwell. In 1936 then president Charlie Ward paid ten thousand dollars to Maxfield Parrish for exclusive rights to his work Peaceful Valley. By the late 1940s, the company was one of the largest printers of calendars in the world, employing some of the best pin-up artists in the United States and putting calendars into an estimated fifty million homes.
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.
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.
- "Herbert H. Bigelow". bigelowsociety.com. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
- Folkart, Burt A. (1988-04-23). "Former Cellmate of Al Capone : Morris (Red) Rudensky; Criminal Turned Author". Los Angeles Times.
- Ruckman, P. S.; Jr. "Quite the Pair: Herbert H. Bigelow and Charlie Ward". Retrieved 2018-12-07.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2011-02-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Berger, Warren (January 2001). "Schwag Bag". Wired. 9 (01). Retrieved 2006-08-13.
- "Great Moments in Schwag History". Wired. 9 (01). January 2001. Retrieved 2006-08-13.
- William Hillcourt (1977). Norman Rockwell's World of Scouting. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-1582-0.