Adopt a Piece of Local History

Occasionally we are presented with opportunities to acquire local history that is just out of financial reach. With your help, we hope to supplement the expense through the public adoption of an item.

Buster Brown sign
Origin: Possibly the old Davis Hosiery Mill in East Chattanooga
Size: 48”x44”
Material: Hammered copper and wood
Age: Undetermined

The Buster Brown line of hosiery started production in the Davis Hosiery Mills on Chamberland Avenue in East Chattanooga in 1903. The company’s name changed to United Hosiery Mills in 1916. Their logo featured a popular comics character Buster Brown and his dog, Tige. In 1965, the company discontinued the Buster Brown name and logo. In the 1980s new owners, Gerber, brought back the brand under the name Buster Brown Apparel, Inc. The company closed operations in 1999.

The story behind this sign is it was purchased about ten years ago from an antique dealer in Rossville or Chickamauga. It found a new home in Knoxville. Supposedly it came out of the mill in East Chattanooga. The date of creation is unknown, but we’ll assume it dates pre-1965 when this logo was retired. The frame appears to be quite old, but we’re uncertain it’s original.

If you, a family member, or someone you know worked at the East Chattanooga mill and remember this sign please contact us at history@picnooga.org.

This sign will be lightly cleaned, the frame will be repaired, and can be viewed in our new storefront on E. 7th Street once restored. Adopt this piece of Chattanooga history with a donation below.

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