Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vintage pamphlet touting the Dutch Boy Color Gallery

The smiling Dutch Boy is the iconic image that has been used to market Dutch Boy paints for more than a century.

This is the cover of a small pamphlet that was used to advertise the National Lead Company's Dutch Boy Color Gallery. I believe it dates to the 1950s.

The Dutch Boy brand dates to 1907, which is when the character was conceived. The Dutch Boy website states that: "Michael E. Brady, the nine-year-old boy who became the inspiration for the famous Dutch Boy trademark, was not Dutch at all, but an Irish-American who lived near the artist commissioned to create the logo."

Some further background comes from a 2009 article at Retro Planet:
"Artist Rudolf Yook, an artist of Dutch descent, drew up the image for the Dutch Boy. The company commissioned Lawrence C. Earle to do an oil painting of their new advertising icon, which would become their trademark. The boy was to be wearing overalls, Dutch wooden clogs, and carrying a paintbrush and bucket. Earle used an Irish-American boy who lived in his New Jersey neighborhood as the model for the Dutch Boy. Interestingly, this nine-year old little boy grew up to be Michael E. Brady, a well-known political cartoon artist, who worked for the Brooklyn Eagle."
Here's a look at the inside of the pamphlet...

The text states:
"Our 'Dutch Boy' Color Gallery offers you something new in paint! Something more than a fascinating choice of colors; more than a choice of three rich finishes — flat, satin, high lustre. More, because your choice includes an easy-to-use alkyd resin type enamel — the latest advance in paint. It rolls or brushes on utterly smooth. It dries tough. Its beauty snaps back with every washing. It shrugs off wear. So come in, choose your favorite Color Gallery hues today!"

The back of the pamphlet indicates that it was once available at Motter Supply Co. at 232 Locust Street in Columbia, Pennsylvania. That business appears to be long, long gone.

A final interesting note about Dutch Boy is that there was a Dutch Boy Paint Gallery, highlighting "Our Future in Colors," at Disney's Tomorrowland from 1956 to 1963. Read more and see lots of cool images at Dave DeCaro's DaveLand blog and

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