Classic Covers: Special Delivery!

Delivery truck, bus stop, or even boat, Post covers have shown us how to get our holiday shopping home. Sometimes with difficulty.

One hundred years ago this very month, scurrying home with his purchases is the gentleman in J.C. Leyendecker’s December 4, 1909 cover. How he manages to carry even a rocking horse at such a rapid clip is one of the mysteries of the season.

Another rocking horse shows up on artist James R. Bingham’s inviting 1945 cover. It is a rather clumsily wrapped gift—but how does one wrap a horse? As the editors noted, “Santa himself could not make a rocking horse look like anything else.”

A rural post office on artist Stevan Dohanos’ December 1947 cover is about to get some business from the man bearing parcels while the dog and the cow wait in the truck. (We’re told the cow was one of the most cooperative models the artist had in a long time.)

Waiting for a bus laden with purchases is a hard way to get gifts where they need to go! Dohanos’ 1952 cover shows a crowd waiting, some rather impatiently, for that ride. Too bad we can’t see the next scene, where the man jiggles the sled through the bus door, and the older lady surprises the bus driver by hauling a tree aboard. And … is that a goose?

Our most unusual Christmas delivery must be on Mead Schaeffer’s December 1946 cover. Rowing the gift-laden boat to the lighthouse in the chill winter must be a challenge. The picturesque lighthouse existed in real life (and still does) in the Hudson River between Athens and Hudson. A man named Edward Bremmer tended the light and is shown rowing the boat. The editors suggested he might be startled when he gets to the lighthouse. In depicting the Bremmer family, the artist decided to add three additional children. Surprise!

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