Figure 1.--This boy pictured with his sister wears a sailor tunic with Buster Brown bangs.
One especially popular style for American boys in tunics were Buster Brown bangs. This hair style is one of the most recgonizable boyhood hair fashions of turn of the century America. It was undoubtedly popularized by the Buster Browm series in the Sunday funny pages, one of the first comic strips. I do not think the style was nearly as popular before the comic strip. I believe Buster Brown bangs were less common in Europe. Buster Brown bangs were of course most associated with the Buster Brown tunic suits, however many boys wearing sailor tunics also wore Buster Brown bangs. Actually as the sailor tunics appear to have been more common than Buster Brown suits, probably more boys wear Buster Brown bangs with sailor tunics.
The square forehead cut was undoubtedly popularized by the Buster Browm series in the Sunday funny pages, one of the first comic strips. I do not think the style was quite as popular before the comic strip. Although now known mostly as a coroprate symbol for a shoe company, Buster Brown was the best known boy character in 20th-Century America. He was also the subject of popular films. Buster was a charmingly mischievous boy, always carefully dressed and with perfectly cut bangs and long blond hair. He was often accompanied by his sister, Mary Jane, as well as his faithful bulldog--Tige. His antics while sometimes naughty were never meam-spirited and always ended with a little motal homily to have a moral influence on the youthful readers of the Sunday comics. Buster gave his name to his trade-mark bangs, collar, and suit. Curiously Mary Jane gave her name to the strap shoes, although both Buster and Mary Jane wore them.
I believe Buster Brown bangs were largely an American hair style for boys. We have noted British and othr European boys wearing bangs, but they appear to have been much less common than in America, especially worn with tunic outfits. We could be wrong about this, however, as this hair cut was also referred tomas Dutch boy bangs so presumably the style was popular in the Netherlands as well. This requires furher investigation.
Buster Brown bangs were of course most associated with the Buster Brown tunic suits, however many boys wearing sailor tunics also wore Buster Brown bangs. Actually as the sailor tunics appear to have been more common than Buster Brown suits, more boys probably wore Buster Brown bangs with sailor tunics. Drawings often show Buster Brown tunics. Many of the available photograpgic images, a much better indicator of actual popularity, show more boys wearing bangs with sailor styled tunics at turn-of-the-century America. These sailor tunivs varied widely in style, but usually the sailor stylistic features are easy to spot. Buster Brown bangs, however, were not nearly as common with Russian tunics. We are not yet sure just why this was.
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