It’s as true today as it was in 1934. Nothing is better on a warm spring day than riding through the neighborhood on your bicycle.
“Jungle Commando” by Mead Schaeffer
The great artist Mead Schaeffer (1898-1980) worked as a war correspondent for The Saturday Evening Post, depicting in cover after cover the daily life of the military man. Schaeffer worked hard for authenticity: he hitched a ride on a submarine, a Coast Guard patrol boat, and various aircraft for his over sixteen World War II covers.
“Medic Treating Injured in Field” by Mead Schaeffer
This 1944 illustration, again by Schaeffer, is a striking reminder of the role of the brave medic in the midst of battle. Schaeffer felt honor-bound to depict the real world of the soldier. But a cover from later that same year, which we show below, depicts a more relaxed side.
“Barn Dance” by Mead Schaeffer
A well-deserved break at a barn dance is the only war cover Schaeffer did showing a fun side of the times.
“Baby Booties at Boot Camp” by Howard Scott
Artist Howard Scott also did a number of covers during World War II—usually of the lighter side. A cover bound to make you go “awww,” the story here is clear: It’s a boy!
“Soldier or Sailor” by John Newton Howitt
This 1940 cover by artist John Newton Howitt shows a twist on the old saw about a sailor having a gal in every port. Tumbling from the lady’s purse is a photo of a soldier. Wartime is hell, buddy.
“The Homecoming G.I.” by Norman Rockwell
“It was of course very gratifying for me when this painting was selected by the U.S. Treasury for the official poster of the Eighth War Bond Drive,” said Norman Rockwell. The family is rushing out to greet the returning soldier, including the dog and … could mother’s arms be open any wider? The whole neighborhood is delighted in the scene. Notice the shy girl next door waiting patiently to see her sweetheart. You can click on the cover for a close-up of this classic.
Are you ready for the passionate kiss appearing on the cover of the Post in … are you ready … 1907? The beautiful painting by Frank X. Leyendecker (brother of renowned artist J.C. Leyendecker) shows a beautifully dressed couple at the piano, carried away by the music, one supposes.
Covers from both world wars often depicted heartbreaking scenes of kissing a lover goodbye, but there was a twist to artist John Newton Howitt’s October 19, 1940, cover. The sailor is just about to kiss the pretty girl in his arms, when oops! Her purse opens, and a loving photo of a soldier springs into view. Perhaps she has a military beau in every port? Or maybe it’s her brother … yeah, that’s it.
Not everyone approved of this kissing stuff. Robert Robinson was a cover artist in the early 1900s who was gifted at painting what we gently refer to as “old geezers.” This particular old salt sees the shadows of a kissing couple, one of whom is probably his little girl. The young man might want to hurry his “good night” along.
We not only approve, we simply cannot resist this 1938 Post cover by Frances Tipton Hunter. The little girl (who bears a resemblance to Shirley Temple) decides the best way to celebrate her friend’s birthday is with a smooch. We can’t quite tell if the birthday boy likes or dislikes the “gift,” but the boy witnessing the scene is sure getting a kick out of it.
We end with a unique winter scene from 1962 by an artist named James Williamson. An industrious wife is clearing the driveway of snow, and hubby shows his appreciation as he leaves for the office. If you look carefully, you’ll discover a witness to this lip action as well. A tiny squirrel perched atop the snowy fence by the mailbox is wondering what the heck these humans are up to now.