Before we had the Web to amuse us with its endless supply of photographs and videos of kittens and cats, people around the world eagerly turned to the funny pages of their daily newspapers to follow the antics of a dog. His name was Snoopy, and this white beagle with a black nose and tail (he originally had a black spot on his back, too) was just one of the characters populating the Peanuts comic strip, created in 1950 by a St. Paul, Minnesota, cartoonist named Charles M. Schulz. Running from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, the strip was published by more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries, at one point boasting a daily readership of more than 355 million, which is a Web-scale number well before its time.

The Peanuts gang, as they are usually called, grew out of an even earlier strip called Li’l Folks, which ran in the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1947 to 1950, the year Peanuts was born. That first year, the characters were limited to Charlie Brown, Shermy, Patty, and Snoopy, whose first appearance was on October 4, 1950, two days after the strip’s debut on October 2. Other early characters from the 1950s included Schroeder, who played Beethoven on a toy piano; Lucy, who dispensed psychiatric advice for a nickel; Linus, who carried his security blanket everywhere; Pig-Pen, who moved through the world in a cloud of dust; and Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally, who was in love with Linus. No adults are ever seen in the strip, making it a kid’s world on kid’s terms.

The 1950s laid the foundation for Peanuts, both in terms of its growth as an enterprise and the development of its characters and austere look (Schulz rarely bothered to pencil in backgrounds behind his squat, round-headed subjects). To encourage the former, Peanuts appeared in numerous comic books, from a handful of issues of United Comics (also known as Fritzi Ritz) to numerous issues of Sparkle, Tip Top (issue 188 featured a Peanuts cover), and Tip Topper, all published by United. Dell also published a number of Peanuts four-colors, including the highly sought Dell 878 from 1958, which featured Charlie Brown watching television from a green easy chair (with Snoopy poking his head from under the chair’s seat cushion.

In fact, television is what broadened the strip’s popularity when, in December of 1965, the first of six Peanuts animated television specials in the 1960s aired. Titled “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the show continued the surprisingly adult themes of the strip (in particular, Charlie Brown’s struggles with depression) and introduced overtly religious content in the form of Linus reciting passages from the New Testament. The special even featured a jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi. The whole thing should have been a flop, but half of all United States households with television sets tuned in, making it one of the most watched programs of the decade, winning an Emmy and a Peabody.

Schultz’s reality-based whimsy was soon the stuff of school lunch boxes (some rectangular, others domed to resemble Snoopy’s dog house), character dolls, jigsaw puzzles, and record players. Rubber squeeze dolls manufactured by Hungerford had been around since the late 1950s, when Charlie Brown’s head was still more of an oval than a circle. By the time Boucher started producing vinyl Peanuts dolls in the mid-1960s, though, the geometry had gotten more circular. Other early Peanuts products include toy drums, musical buses, and tin lithographed battery-operated space ships featuring Snoopy as a helmeted astronaut (albeit with a hole in the front to accommodate the dog’s protruding profile).


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Ad Access

Ad Access

Duke University's library has pulled together an impressive collection of over 7,000 ads printed in U.S. and Canadi… [read review or visit site]

Plan 59

Plan 59

From the Nostlagia Factory in Virginia comes this celebration of 'mid-century automotive advertising illustrations'… [read review or visit site]

American Package Museum

American Package Museum

Ian House's gallery of early 20th Century American package designs. Browse the exhibits in slide show mode or view … [read review or visit site]

Found in Moms Basement

Found in Moms Basement

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds’ blog, an extensive collection of 20th century vintage advertising, is a visual feast. Scro… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Die Cut Squirrel Brand Peanuts Nut Sign Peanut Butter Store Display NiceVintage Snoopy Watch (no Strap) Working 1970's Loook!!1920's Chicos Peanuts Counter Top Display By Baby Ruth Maker CurtissPeanuts #1 Pgx 7.5 Vf- *dell Four Color #878* Snoopy Cover,dale Hale Cover ArtVintage Snoopy Peanuts Gang Bobblehead Nodder Paper Mache Lego Schulz JapanLot (64) Hallmark Christmas Ornaments - Peanuts Snoopy Charlie BrownVintage Squirrel Brand Salted Peanuts Sign Vintage Snoopy Woodstock Charlie Brown Peanuts Wood Schmid Music Box 1970Snoopy Noel Mug (1958,1965 Copyright) Fire KingRare Snoopy In Alcatraz Cloisonné PinVintage Lot - Peanuts Snoopy Ceramic Ice Cream Cone & Apple Bank1969 Peanuts Snoopy Felt Pennants Animation Charlie Brown Nasa Apollo 11 Space Vintage Peace Snoopy Woodstock Dog House Pin United Features Aviva TaiwanVintage Peanuts Characters Snoopy Adventures Twin Sheet Set - Great Condition!Vintage 1959 Metal Peanuts Snoopy Lunchbox By Schulz.Vintage Snoopy "fan Club" Enamel/metal Badge/pin 1970/80's Loook!! AvivaPeanuts Charlie Brown Dvd Set Holiday Edition Dvd SetPeanuts / Snoopy Thoens Music Box W Peppermint Patty Baseball Take Me Out To ...Peanuts Pocket Dolls 1960's Charlie Brown 5 Total Nice Set Peanuts #12 Fine 1962 DellVintage Very Rare First Edition1966 Peanuts Character Snoopy Astronaut VhtfDanbury Mint-snoopy- Peanuts Christmas Cottage Light-up Display Vintage Mattel Snoopy And His Flyin' Doghouse No. 8263 Anchor Hocking Fire King Milk Glass Peanuts Snoopy Woodstock "pure Joy" MugPeanuts #4 Very Good 1960 DellSnoopy Peanuts Woodstock Sailboat Yard Flag Extremely Rare Fast Ship New Nce Aviva 1973 Snoopy Ceramic Musical-plays " Somewhere My Love " 4-3/4" TallVintage Hallmark Boxed Stationery Snoopy & Woodstock Pool Diving Nib UnusedSnoopy Peanuts Woodstock Jump Rope Yard Flag Extremely Rare Fast Ship New NceVintage Peanuts Snoopy U.s. Cities Flat Fitted Bed Sheet Pillow Cases TwinSnoopy Peanuts Charlie Brown Vintage Ceramic Fruit Series Bank Figure 1976Snoopy/charlie Brown Vintage Ceramic Candy DishSnoopy SheetPeanuts Snoopy And Charlie Brown Ceramic Bank - MipPeanuts #6 Very Good 1960 DellVintage Snoopy Red Baron Tie Tack, Pin 1968-69 JewelryVintage Charlie Brown Backpack Tote Peanuts Snoopy Charlie Brown Linus Lucy Snoopy Peanuts Happy Easter Yard Flag Extremely Rare Fast Ship New Nce AppliqueVintage Snoopy Heart Shape Enamel/metal Badge/pin 1980's Loook!!Collectable Alarm Clocks Lot Snoopy And Mickey MousePez - Charlie Brown Cubs Game Day Baseball Give Away - Blue StemVintage Peanuts Simple Simon Accessory Bag Mid Century Snoopy Charlie Brown LucyPeanuts Happiness Is Friendship Snoopy And Woodstock Handbag Faux LeatherPeanuts Snoopy Bank Hamburger Food Determined 1970 Papier MacheCarousel Reproduction Of 1965 Bubble Gum Machine M M Candies PeanutsVintage Fire King Milk Glass Peanuts Snoopy Come Home Mug - Awesome GraphicsVintage Snoopy Peanuts Items Hallmark Ornament Creamer PictherCharlie Brown Hallmark Ornaments Lot Of 11Snoopy Peanuts Woodstock Easter Mini Flag Extremely Rare Fast Ship New Nce Vintage 60's/70's Snoopy Peanuts 1969 Astro Astronaut Bag,moc Jewelry,postcardsVintage Fireking Snoopy "i Think I'm Allergic To Morning!" Mug Anchor HockingPeanuts #5 Very Good 1960 DellSnoopy Astronaught Pin, 1960's, United Features Snoopy Peanuts Woodstock "world's Greatest Mom" Vintage Aviva Trophy Statue Vintage 1972 Snoopy Ceramic Christmas Figurine Woodstock On Motorcycle Ornament!Vintage 1965 Snoopy Woodstock Peanuts Gang Christmas Bell Ornament Schulz JapanSnoopy Peanuts Flying Ace Yard Flag Extremely Rare Fast Ship New Nce VintageSnoopy "flying Ace" Bi-plane/red Baron Blow-up Plastic Plane -taiwan - W.s.n.y Pez - Charlie Brown Cubs Game Day Baseball Give Away - Orange StemSnoopy Peanuts Woodstock Easter Treats Yard Flag Extremely Rare Fast Ship New