Sunday, December 10, 2023


Wish You Were Here, from Skeezix Wallet


For the second week in a row, we prove that Wish You Were Here cannot be buttonholed as a mere purveyor of postcard peculiarities. Here's another envelope from the collection of Mark Johnson, this one a communication from the Lancaster Shoe Company, maker of the Skeezix line of children's shoes. I can find marketing for this line as early as 1923, a mere two years after the character was found on Walt Wallet's doorstep in Gasoline Alley. Although not as ubiquitous as Buster Brown Shoes, the juggernaut of comic strip-based footwear, the Skeezix line did just fine for itself, petering out sometime in the mid-1950s. 

This envelope is dated 1932 and addressed to the Fred Rueping Leather Company of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, a major tannery. They were presumably a supplier to the shoe company.


Hmm. Air Mail in 1932. Must have been something important.
Do you suppose the little girl's shoes known as "Mary James" might originally be from some distaff offerings by the Buster Brown company a hundred-odd years ago?
MARY JANES, That is.
According to some sources on the internet, the Brown Shoe Company bought the rights from Outcault for both "Buster Brown" and "Mary Jane" at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, and the company used those rights for their line of girls' strap shoes. One source says the shoe style was known as "bar shoes" or "doll shoes," but the "Mary Jane" label stuck. The logo for Mary Jane candies, which as far as I know is not connected with either the shoe or the strip (the creator, Charles N. Miller, named it for an aunt he liked), shows a girl wearing that style of shoes.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]