Chesty Bond is a long-lived fictional cartoon character and trademark for the Australian clothing company Bonds. Originally created in 1938 as part of a merchandising campaign to sell men's underwear (and the singlet in particular), Chesty Bond is recognised by many Australians as a popular national icon.
The character was a co-creation of cartoonist Syd Miller and Ted Maloney, the Bond's account executive at advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson. Devised in 1938, Chesty Bond only made periodic appearances along with another Bond's comic strip, Aussie History, until it was decided in 1940 to make the strip a regular feature. Beginning in March 1940, Chesty Bond was featured three times each week in Sydney's Sun newspaper, (every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and by 1942 it had been extended initially to four days, and then to five days a week. Later the four days scheme was re-established. When Miller joined the Herald and Weekly Times in 1945 the strip was taken over by Francis 'Will' Mahoney, who continued to draw it until 1950. The strip was then handled by Virgil Reilly before being passed on to Cee Linaker, followed by John Santry until it was retired in 1964. Chesty Bond was one of the most successful daily advertising strip running for over 20 years.
Chesty, with his characteristically powerful jutting jaw and impressive physique, became a superhero when he pulled on his trusty Chesty Bond Athletic vest. As a result of the successful campaign, Chesty Bond became the archetypal Australian hero synonymous with Australian masculinity and an icon recognised Australia-wide. Chesty Bond also wears Bonds Boxer shorts, known for their comfortable fit. In 1951 North Sydney and Manly-Warringah rugby league player Max Whitehead was selected to be the human model for the Chesty Bonds character, though a prosthetic chin was fitted for his photo shoots to make it a little more prominent.
In 2009, Pacific Brands, the owner of Bonds, announced seven manufacturing site closures and job cuts totalling 1,850 and that the manufacture of all Bonds products will now be in China.