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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
Antiques Corner

Doggone Cute

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Question: I bought this 3-inch-high plaster dog figurine at an antiques mall because he looked like my pup. The tag on the collar reads "Stopper." Impressed into the bottom is a tag that reads "American Brakeblok" and "American Brake Shoe Company." What is the story behind this dog?

Answer: Founded in Detroit in the 1930s, American Brakeblok produced brake linings, fan belts, radiator hoses and clutch facings for the automobile industry. The company launched an ad campaign in 1942 that placed full-page color advertisements in national magazines. Stopper starred in those ads. The black-and-white terrier is most often posed as if he's coming to an abrupt stop. His likeness also appeared on promotional items such as thermometers, clocks and store signs. This Stopper figure dates to the late 1940s or 1950s. By the time it was made, American Brakeblok was a division of American Brake Shoe Company. These advertising figures can be found on Internet sites priced $35 to $60. Finding the illustrated cardboard box that Stopper originally came in is a special treat.

-- By Tom Hoepf, associate editor of Auction Central News

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