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Duane Bryers was born in 1911 in the upper peninsula of Michigan

A  farm boy, who at times worked in a sawmill and dug ditches, swung from a trapeze in the circus, painted murals, drew comic strips and sculpted historical figures in ice, found success as a commercial artist and well-known painter of Americana.

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He began producing his Hilda collection in the mid-1950s.”I got the idea for a plumpy gal pinup and thought I’d like to make it into a calendar series,” Bryers said. “But how was I going to sell a plump girl?”He took his series to Brown & Bigelow, then the country’s top calendar maker, and “they reluctantly put it in the line and figured it would last a short time,” he said. “It went on for 36 years.”

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Duane Bryers died in 2013 just a month shy of his 101 st birthday.

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