Cover Gallery: Twentieth Century Nurses

On the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, we celebrate nurses everywhere. Thank you for all that you do!


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On the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, we celebrate nurses everywhere. Although most of these Post covers limit nurses to the maternity ward, the reality of their jobs was much more complex, far-reaching, and demanding than these sunny snapshots reveal.

While much has changed (can you imagine your nurse helping you light your cigarette?), we can’t overestimate the enormous contribution that nurses have made to health care. Thank you for all that you do!


Nurse and Newborn
Charles A. MacLellan
February 15, 1913


Maternity Ward
John Hyde Phillips
December 14, 1940


Lighting His Cigarette
Jon Whitcomb
October 23, 1943


Maternity Ward
Constantin Alajalov
November 2, 1946


Leaving the Hospital
Stevan Dohanos
October 22, 1949


Children’s Ward at Christmas
George Hughes
December 25, 1954


Separation Anxiety
Stevan Dohanos
September 3, 1955


Baby Pictures
Coby Whitmore
March 11, 1961


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  1. I agree completely with Frank’s comments! Some of my favorite POST cover artists works are here, including George Hughes, Stevan Dohanos and Constantin Alajalov.

    Although I’m a non-smoker and can’t stand the smell, my favorite cover here is ‘Lighting His Cigarette’ by Jon Whitcomb. The fact it’s so beautiful overrides the ‘shock’ of the nurse lighting this sailor’s cigarette—in bed no less!

    My 2nd favorite is ‘Baby Pictures’ by Coby Whitmore. The style and colors are very appealing to me. In addition, 1961 is really the last year where nearly all the covers were artwork depicting “everyday Americans” in situations like this.


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