Well, we are shocked. We did a piece on these sexy, gorgeous ladies who were often without scruples and sometimes with questionable morals, and readers wanted more! Well, we got ’em.
“The Lifeguard and the Lady”
This luscious illustration from a 1955 story called “The Lifeguard and the Lady” was by artist Ben Stahl. Oh, my—behind those wholesome Saturday Evening Post covers lurked some juicy stories.
“I’ll Never Love Again”
This 1954 illustration was by Post cover artist Coby Whitmore and was accompanied by a real soap-opera caption: “’I’m afraid,’ she whispered, ‘it meant too much one time. I can’t let it happen again—ever, ever.’” (Does anyone else hear organ music?) The title of the tear-jerker story by Michael Foster: “I’ll Never Love Again.”
“A Wife for the Doctor”
“Since old Doctor West died, there had been no doctor at all in Clayton,” the 1951 story “A Wife for the Doctor” by Baird Hill states. The whole town agreed this was quite a pickle indeed, since “the uppity doctors” from a nearby burg had to be called in and “charged seven-fifty for the trip and acted as if were a favor besides.” The caption on this Roy Price illustration is: “Sandra entered. She and Julie looked at each other and at the doctor.” Oh, dear. One hopes medical attention is not required.
“The Artful Bride”
“Is she pliant, submissive, eager to please?” went the tagline to the 1949 story, “The Artful Bride” by Jay Wilson. “Then watch out—the lady’s about to get her own way.” This is another illustration by cover artist Coby Whitmore. The caption: “Doris sat down on his lap and closed her eyes—perhaps in order to hide the feline, hungry look.” Okay, so the MANipulative female isn’t politically correct these days… but she sure is fun!
“The Passenger Hated Redheads”
“He knew how to handle the stewardess. ‘Go tend to your trays,’ he said.” Ooooh. That’s enough to make a gal say “I quit,” grab a couple of brews, and scuttle down the emergency chute. I really like the guy in the middle trying to hide and NOT get caught in the middle. Artist Joe De Mers did many of our leading lady illustrations. The story was Nord Riley’s “The Passenger Hated Redheads” from 1949. Methinks he’s simply hiding an overwhelming attraction for the lovely lady.
“Bait for a Bachelor”
In March of 1958, directly across from an article by Eleanor Roosevelt (“My Round-the-World Adventures”) was a story called “Bait for a Bachelor.” “He was fair game,” went the tagline, “and he seemed only too willing to play right into her hands.” The illustration by artist Ken Davies bore the caption, “‘I’ll be by at six,’ he said in a low tone. ‘Grace smiled with satisfaction.’” What ever did Mrs. Roosevelt think?
By the way, prints of our leading ladies are available at curtispublishing.com. Here’s how one co-worker has decorated her office with our ladies: