An adorable image of a baby and a “Brownie” Cloth Doll, probably made by Arnold Print Works. “Brownies” were cartoon characters created by artist Palmer Cox in the late 1800s. Many toys and games were modeled after these gnome-like characters with mischievous features.

The website, Gnomes and Fairies, describes the history of Cox and his “Brownies.”

Palmer Cox (1840 – 1824): The Walt Disney of the Victorian Age.

 
Cartoonist, children’s writer, and illustrator.  They called him “The Brownie Man.”
 
“I was brought up in an old Scottish settlement, and the people had a quaint notion of a Brownie who was supposed to attach himself to each particular household and help the old folks do odd jobs when nobody was looking. That was the idea which I developed.” Palmer Cox
 

They said he drew brownies on the uprights of the barns he helped to build in Granby, Quebec, Canada, where he was born.

Palmer Cox was a tall, rugged, warm-hearted man with a great talent; a devoted Mason who loved children. He created characters based on the brownie gnome and dressed them in costumes representing different nationalities and professions. He authored and illustrated stories about their helpful activities in children’s books and a magazine called St. Nicholas. His books sold over a million copies. With the composer Malcolm Douglas, he wrote, produced and directed a musical show that ran for five years on broadway and around the world.

The Brownie character was popular for thirty years, especially in the 1890’s. It was the first character in America to have its own line of packaged products, and advertised a variety of products, including the Brownie Camera.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 at 5:06 pm and is filed under Cloth Toys. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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