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 Advertising Mascots - People

The Dutch Boy Through the YearsDutch Boy - The fair-haired advertising mascot for Dutch Boy Paints® since 1907. Back at the turn of the 20th century, a consortium of white lead paint companies joined forces to become the National Lead Company. To promote the union, they hired an artist to create a new image for their paint brand which used a 16th century "Dutch process" created by two chemists from Holland.

The NLC first hired Rudolf Yook, an illustrator of Dutch descent, to create a trademark logo. The result was a sketch of little boy dressed in overalls and carrying a paint bucket and brush. The company then commissioned well known artist, Lawrence Carmichael Earle to paint an oil portrait based on the sketch.

Using a local New Jersey nine-year-old Irish boy named Michael E. Brady for his model, Earle created a portrait of a boy in overalls, wooden shoes and a floppy cap, which has since been used to symbolize the superior quality of their paint brand. The company's slogan in 1936 read: "Save the Surface and You Save All." Dutch Boy® is a division of Sherwin Williams®

Gallery of Dutch Boy Ads and Posters
Book Copyright 1936 O.C Harn Dutch Boy Copyright 1929

TRIVIA NOTE:  The story of the "The Little Dutch Boy" (about a quick-thinking sunny-haired boy who places his finger in a hole to plug a leaking dike) was based on the story about a young boy in the 1865 novel "Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates" by American writer, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge. (In chapter 18, "Friends in Need" there is this story read out in class - Lesson 62 - called 'The Hero of Haarlem.") Inspired by the fictitious story, the town of Spaarndam, a city in the Netherlands near Haarlem, erected a statue to the brave boy.


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