Classic Cover: The Craziest 4th of July

The craziest 4th of July? Why, that had to be 1914 in Tinkham’s Corners. I really feel for the pig.

The kids will have fun with this one! We have a magnifying glass below to view this unique cover from The Country Gentleman magazine in 1914, a sister publication of The Saturday Evening Post‘s for many years.

4th of July Blaze at Tinkham's -Country Gentleman by Harrison Cady
“4th of July Blaze at Tinkham’s Corners” Country Gentleman by Harrison Cady July 4, 1914

Harrison Cady was a comic strip artist who had an extremely long career. For more than 70 years he illustrated for The Country Gentleman, the Post, and Ladies Home Journal, among other magazines.

Cady created several covers with wacky doings in minute detail. Where’s Waldo, indeed! In this one, a large box of fireworks (just below the center of the scene) has exploded in Tinkham’s Corners. Horses are spooked, people are fleeing, and guns are going off accidentally in the midst of the mayhem. Just below and to the left of the exploding box is a gentleman whose rifle is discharging, taking out a streetlight. (Back then, some people fired rifles into the air to make a celebratory noise, which is why some of these lunatics are running around with them.) Up and to the left of him is a little rapscallion setting off the town’s Revolutionary War cannon. There are rotten kids in Tinkham’s Corners.

View the larger version of the cover below and see if you can find the following:

1) The pig with the firecrackers tied to its tail;
2) The no-good kids vandalizing the sign: “To Our Brave Soldiers and Sailors” (changing it to read ”Scolders and Failures”) (I told you there were rotten kids in Tinkham’s Corners);
3) The marching band;
4) The cat with it’s hackles up (hint: a rooftop);
5) The man getting squashed by a runaway horse and carriage;
6) The woman in the polka dot dress landing on her behind;
7) The man with a basket of eggs that are getting smashed;
8) The “Hop Sing Laundry”;
9) The most remarkable citizen of Tinkham’s Corners—the napping man!

We hope you have a fun, safe, and exciting 4th of July—just not this exciting!

Classic Covers: Fall Hunting Season

Our cover artists have depicted hunters, both comical and serious, since 1900. Here are a few.

No Hunting – Douglass Crockwell

No Hunting by Douglass Crockwell
No Hunting
Douglass Crockwell
October 28, 1939

I’ve always gotten a chuckle from this 1939 cover by artist Douglass Crockwell. No only did this hunter ignore the warning, he’s mad enough to add his own commentary – under the big “NO HUNTING” letters he’s scribbling, “You’re telling me.” Notice that the artist simply signed his covers “Douglass”. This was to avoid confusion with another artist – some guy with a similar last name.

No Hunting – Leslie Thrasher

No Hunting by Leslie Thrasher
No Hunting
Leslie Thrasher
September 5, 1914

When this guy says “no hunting,” he means it! One might say there have been flagrant violators, since the sign is riddled with bullet holes. We’ve had some cover artists who were wonderful at painting old codgers, and Leslie Thrasher was one of them. This cover is from 1914.

Springer Spaniels – J.F. Kernan

Springer Spaniels by J.F. Kernan
Springer Spaniels
J.F. Kernan
November 1, 1930

I’d know that white mustache anywhere; this gentleman appeared in many beautiful J.F. Kernan covers. In this 1930 cover, he’s dressed for the hunt and picking up spaniels for the job. When the little pups grow up, they’ll be great hunters, too.

Duck Hunters – Robert Robinson

Duck Hunters by Robert Robinson
Duck Hunters
Robert Robinson
December 12, 1911

Now we all know that hunters and fishermen are the most honest and upright of sportsmen. But there’s not only this 1911 cover of an unsuccessful hunter buying someone else’s catch, there’s a cover a few years later depicting a fisherman doing the same thing. Who wants to go home after hours of hunting or fishing with nothing to show for it?

Patient Dog – John Atherton

Patient Dog by John Atherton
Patient Dog
John Atherton
December 12, 1942

This is a sweet one. World War II has taken the man of the house away and this beautiful dog is waiting patiently for his master to return and take him hunting. Not all of those waiting at home are two-legged.

Hunting Couple on Walk – J. Hennesy

Hunter Couple on Walk by J. Hennesy
Hunter Couple on Walk
J. Hennesy
November 1, 1936

It’s a crisp autumn day, and together time for this couple means hunting – or at least walking in the woods. Country Gentleman magazine was a sister publication to the Post for many years and often shared the same artists.

Classic Covers: That First Nip of Autumn

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant. These Saturday Evening Post and Country Gentleman covers evoke the first coolness of autumn.

Fall in the Park by Neysa McMein

Fall in the Park by Neysa McMein
Fall in the Park
Neysa McMein
December 3, 1938

You can feel that nip in the air with this cover by artist Neysa McMein (1888-1949) from 1938. McMein created almost 60 Saturday Evening Post covers between 1916 and 1939, all of fashionable women. She is probably best known for creating the image of Betty Crocker for General Mills.

Geese Flying South by William Meade Prince

Geese Flying South by Wm. Meade Prince
Geese Flying South
Wm. Meade Prince
October 1, 1925

We love the colors in this William Meade Prince (1893-1962) cover for The Country Gentleman magazine (a sister publication of the Post). There are many charming or humorous CG covers by Prince, nearly 50 in fact. You can see more of Prince’s work here.

Hunter and Spaniel by J.F. Kernan

Hunter and Spaniel by J.F. Kernan
Hunter and Spaniel
J.F. Kernan
November 3, 1928

Many J.F. Kernan (1878-1958) covers depicted a delightful older gent, and this is one of the most beautiful. From 1928, the hunter and his beloved spaniel are framed by the cool beauty of autumn. You may recall the “What Happens Next?” piece a couple of weeks ago that featured Kernan’s Country Gentleman covers of a man making fun of his wife’s choice of political candidate. Kernan illustrated over 50 covers for CG and the Post.

A Walk in the Woods by John Newton Howitt

A Walk in the Woods by John Newton Hewitt
A Walk in the Woods
John Newton Hewitt
August 1, 1931

Gazing on this lovely country scene, it is difficult indeed to believe that artist John Newton Howitt (1885-1958) became known as the “Dean of the Weird Menace Cover” for his dime pulp and horror magazine art! We’re delighted to show this side of the fine artist/illustrator.

Pointing to the Pheasant by Paul Bransom

Pointing to the Pheasant by Paul Bransom
Point to the Pheasant
Paul Bransom
November 1, 1937

Paul Bransom (1885-1979) was a young comic-strip artist, but ended up spending most of his time at the Bronx Zoo, sketching the animals. The zookeeper noticed Bransom and allowed him to set up his own private studio in the lion house. Filled with confidence, he met with the editor of The Saturday Evening Post who immediately purchased four covers and several other illustrations. Quite the coup for a young man in his early 20s. This autumn hunting scene is from 1937.

Pumpkin Patch by Sarah Stilwell-Weber

Pumpkin Patch by Sarah Stilwell Weber
Pumpkin Patch
Sarah Stilwell Weber
November 7, 1914

How soon that nip turns to a chill when the wind is blowing. Sarah Stilwell-Weber (1878-1939) depicted many a charming child for The Saturday Evening Post. Picking out just the right pumpkin is a rite of fall, but we think this little lass is going to need assistance here, as it appears her choice weighs more than she does.

Classic Covers: For the Birds

We’ve all been fascinated, even envious, of our feathered friends, and our cover artists have helped us our with our bird watching. From these beautiful nesting orioles to daunting birds of prey, Saturday Evening Post and Country Gentleman magazine covers run the gamut—and the seasons—of bird watching. Come fly with us!

Man Feeding Birds by R. Bolles

An elderly man feeds sparrows
Man Feeding BirdsR. BollesApril 21, 1923

I’m not familiar with artist R. Bolles, but this is the cover that got me started on this quest. I knew there must be more beautiful covers with birds, and there were many. The elderly man feeding the birds with such gentleness reminded me of a better-known cover by Norman Rockwell the same year (below).

Farmer and the Bird by Norman Rockwell

A farmer holds a bird in his hands
Farmer and the BirdNorman RockwellAugust 18, 1923

The “Farmer and the Bird” is a Rockwell favorite. There is a touching contrast between the delicate fledgling and the hard-working ruggedness of the farmer. Rockwell loved old hats and well-worn clothing and kept a supply of such items for his models. If he was going for a strong, rough look, he picked the right model and knew how to make him look even more so.

Harbinger of Spring by John Clymer

Harbinger of SpringJohn ClymerMay 7, 1955

Oh, to be a bird in a beautiful John Clymer landscape! If the two little girls didn’t already know it was spring from the fact that dad’s tractor is running again in the background and from the achingly beautiful apple blossoms, Mr. Robin Redbreast is hailing the season from his perch. If you need a more detailed look, you can click on the cover.

South for the Winter by John Clymer

South for the WinterJohn ClymerOctober 26, 1957

Artist Clymer again, because who did nature better? This time it’s mallards flying south for the winter. The vastness of the sky is beautifully executed with the pastels of dusk (or dawn). You can almost feel that new nip in the air. A family has pulled the station wagon over to observe the feathered flight and if you want a closer look, you can click on the cover. This is a migratory flyway in the lakelands of Alberta.

Snowy Owls by Don Bleitz

Snowy Owls and a pine
Snowy OwlsDon BleitzSeptember 14, 1957

“Through Don Bleitz’s photographic skill let’s go calling on Mr. and Mrs. Snowy Owl in their country home near Edmonton Alberta. That’s the Mr. gazing at you from his living room, and the Mrs., smartly arrayed in her chic polka-dot ensemble, is just getting home from somewhere or other.” –Post editors, September 14, 1957. Yes, in the 1950’s, most Post covers were artist renditions rather than photographic, but happily, this photo slipped through.

Owl and Rabbit by Paul Bransom

An owl swoops down on a rabbit.
Owl and RabbitPaul BransomMarch 24, 1925

Born in 1885, Paul Bransom was a well-known wildlife painter. His Post and Country Gentleman covers boasted everything from leopards to foxhounds. This one shows the wild side of nature with the great owl honing in on a rabbit who senses he is about to become dinner. Oh, and Bransom did great roosters – I have to share one more (below).

Fancy Rooster in Mirror by Paul Bransom

Rooster checking himself out in a mirror.
Fancy Rooster in the MirrorPaul BransomThe Country GentlemanApril 21, 1923

Country Gentleman was a sister publication to the Post, and another great spot for a wildlife illustrator to land. I couldn’t resist this preening rooster checking himself out in a mirror from 1923. Okay, okay – you’re handsome, already. Reprints of Country Gentleman covers, like those from the Post, are available at

Classic Covers: Calling All Gardeners

So your tomatoes are a little bit smaller than you expected. We can’t help with gardening tips (at least in the “Featured Artists” segment), but we can show you covers from The Saturday Evening Post and The Country Gentleman that will make you want to grab your gardening gloves and get started.

Toddler Watering Geraniums by K.R. Wireman, June 28, 1924 (The Country Gentleman)

Toddler Watering Geraniums by K. R. Wireman
Toddler Watering Geraniums
K. R. Wireman
The Country Gentleman
June 28, 1924

The Country Gentleman magazine (from the same publisher as the Post) showed us that gardeners come in all shapes and sizes. Cutie Patootie here wants to help with watering the flowers. This is from 1924. Artist K.R. Wireman is little known today but did about two dozen covers for The Country Gentleman magazine and about a half dozen for the Post.

Hardware Store at Springtime by Stevan Dohanos, March 16, 1946

Hardware Store at Springtime by Stevan Dohanos
Hardware Store at Springtime
Stevan Dohanos
March 16, 1946

This is the part I love best! Shopping for flowers at the local stores. This hardware store in 1946 is tempting your wallet with shiny equipment, seeds, and cool stuff for your patio. “There is nothing like the feel of a good rake or hoe in your hand,” the editors noted, “in the hardware store.”

Ready to Garden by J.C. Leyendecker, May 6, 1916

Ready to Garden by J. C. Leyendecker
Ready to Garden
J. C. Leyendecker
May 6, 1916

All ready with his brand-spanking-new equipment and the latest seed catalog is this endearing fellow by artist J.C. Leyendecker. Oh, to have a shiny new push mower like this one from 1916! Oh wait, we can still get one. It’s just that it will be $100-$200 these days.

Geranium Gardener by W.D. Stevens, May 1, 1937

Geranium Gardener by W. D. Stevens
Geranium Gardener
W. D. Stevens
May 1, 1937

I wish artist W.D. Stevens had done more than one cover for the Post, because this is a charmer. Dig the high-tech wheelbarrow. That, a couple of rakes, a shovel, a hoe, and a watering can for one itty-bitty geranium. And darned if she doesn’t look good doing it!

Little Girl Gardener by K.R. Wireman, March 15, 1919 (The Country Gentleman)

Little Girl Gardener by K. R. Wireman
Little Girl Gardener
K. R. Wireman
The Country Gentleman Magazine
March 15, 1919

Now THIS is a gardener! If you can grow cabbages half your size and body weight, you have accomplished something indeed. This is another adorable cover from artist K.R. Wireman and is from 1919.

Victory Garden by Howard Scott, August 7, 1943

Victory Garden by Howard Scott
Victory Garden
Howard Scott
August 7, 1943

Now for the part about gardening we all like least. Toiling in his victory garden in 1943, the man’s face and posture says it all. Maybe a wifely backrub and some fresh-cooked veggies will make it all worthwhile.