The Saturday Evening Post is an American magazine, currently published six times a year. It was published weekly under this title from 1897 until 1963, then every two weeks until 1969. From the 1920s to the 1960s, it was one of the most widely circulated and influential magazines for the American middle class, with fiction, non-fiction, cartoons and features that reached millions of homes every week. The magazine declined in readership through the 1960s, and in 1969 The Saturday Evening Post folded for two years before being revived as a quarterly publication with an emphasis on medical articles in 1971.
The magazine was redesigned in 2013.
|The Saturday Evening Post|
|Publisher||Curtis Publishing Company|
|First issue||August 4, 1821|
|Company||Saturday Evening Post Society|
The Saturday Evening Post was founded in 1821 and grew to become the most widely circulated weekly magazine in America. The magazine gained prominent status under the leadership of its longtime editor George Horace Lorimer (1899–1937). The editors claimed it had historical roots in the Pennsylvania Gazette, which was first published in 1728 by Samuel Keimer and sold to Benjamin Franklin in 1729. It discontinued publication in 1800.
The Saturday Evening Post published current event articles, editorials, human interest pieces, humor, illustrations, a letter column, poetry (with contributions submitted by readers), single-panel gag cartoons (including Hazel by Ted Key) and stories by the leading writers of the time. It was known for commissioning lavish illustrations and original works of fiction. Illustrations were featured on the cover and embedded in stories and advertising. Some Post illustrations became popular and continue to be reproduced as posters or prints, especially those by Norman Rockwell.
Curtis Publishing Co. stopped publishing the Post in 1969 after the company lost a landmark defamation suit and was ordered to pay over $3 million in damages. The Post was revived in 1971 as a limited circulation quarterly publication. As of the late 2000s, The Saturday Evening Post is published six times a year by the Saturday Evening Post Society, which purchased the magazine in 1982.
In 1916, Saturday Evening Post editor George Horace Lorimer discovered Norman Rockwell, then an unknown 22-year-old New York artist. Lorimer promptly purchased two illustrations from Rockwell, using them as covers, and commissioned three more drawings. Rockwell's illustrations of the American family and rural life of a bygone era became icons. During his 50-year career with the Post, Rockwell painted more than 300 covers.
The Post also employed Nebraska artist John Philip Falter, who became known "as a painter of Americana with an accent of the Middle West," who "brought out some of the homeliness and humor of Middle Western town life and home life." He produced 120 covers for the Post between 1943 and 1968, ceasing only when the magazine began displaying photographs on its covers. Another prominent artist was Charles R. Chickering, a freelance illustrator who went on to design numerous postage stamps for the U.S. Post Office. Other popular cover illustrators include the artists George Hughes, Constantin Alajalov,. John Clymer, W. H. D. Koerner, J. C. Leyendecker, Charles Archibald MacLellan, John E. Sheridan, Douglass Crockwell, Amos Sewell, and N. C. Wyeth.
The magazine's line-up of cartoonists included Bob Barnes, Irwin Caplan, Tom Henderson, Al Johns, Clyde Lamb, Jerry Marcus, Frank O'Neal, B. Tobey, Pete Wyma and Bill Yates. The magazine ran Ted Key's cartoon panel series Hazel from 1943 to 1969.
Each issue featured several original short stories and often included an installment of a serial appearing in successive issues. Most of the fiction was written for mainstream tastes by popular writers, but some literary writers were featured. The opening pages of stories featured paintings by the leading magazine illustrators. The Post published stories and essays by H. E. Bates, Ray Bradbury, Kay Boyle, Agatha Christie, Brian Cleeve, Eleanor Franklin Egan, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, C. S. Forester, Ernest Haycox, Robert A. Heinlein, Kurt Vonnegut, Paul Gallico, Normand Poirier, Hammond Innes, Louis L'Amour, Sinclair Lewis, Joseph C. Lincoln, John P. Marquand, Edgar Allan Poe, Sax Rohmer, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck and Rex Stout and Rob Wagner. It also published poetry by such noted poets as Carl Sandburg, Ogden Nash, Dorothy Parker and Hannah Kahn.
Emblematic of the Post's fiction was author Clarence Budington Kelland, who first appeared in 1916–17 with stories of homespun heroes, Efficiency Edgar and Scattergood Baines. Kelland was a steady presence from 1922 until 1961.
For many years William Hazlett Upson contributed a very popular series of short stories about the escapades of Earthworm Tractors salesman Alexander Botts. Publication in the Post launched careers and helped established artists and writers stay afloat. P. G. Wodehouse said "the wolf was always at the door" until the Post gave him his "first break" in 1915 by serializing Something New.
After the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Post columnist Garet Garrett became a vocal critic of the New Deal. Garrett accused the Roosevelt Administration of initiating socialist strategies. After Lorimer died, Garrett became editorial writer-in-chief and criticized the Roosevelt Administration's support of the United Kingdom and efforts to prepare to enter what became the Second World War. Garrett's positions aroused controversy and may have cost the Post readers and advertisers.
The Post readership began to decline in the late 1950s and 1960s. In general, the decline of general interest magazines was blamed on television, which competed for advertisers and readers' attention. The Post had problems retaining readers: the public's taste in fiction was changing, and the Post's conservative politics and values appealed to a declining number of people. Content by popular writers became harder to obtain. Prominent authors drifted away to newer magazines offering more money and status. As a result, the Post published more articles on current events and cut costs by replacing illustrations with photographs for covers and advertisements.
The magazine's publisher, Curtis Publishing Company, lost a landmark defamation suit, Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts 388 U.S. 130 (1967), resulting from an article, and was ordered to pay $3,060,000 in damages to the plaintiff. The Post article implied that football coaches Paul "Bear" Bryant and Wally Butts conspired to fix a game between the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia. Both coaches sued Curtis Publishing Co. for defamation, each initially asking for $10 million. Bryant eventually settled for $300,000, while Butts' case went to the Supreme Court, which held that libel damages may be recoverable (in this instance against a news organization) when the injured party is a non-public official, if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant was guilty of a reckless lack of professional standards when examining allegations for reasonable credibility. (Butts was eventually awarded $460,000.)
In 1968, Martin Ackerman, a specialist in troubled firms, became president of Curtis after lending it $5 million. Although at first he said there were no plans to shut down the magazine, soon he halved its circulation, purportedly in an attempt to increase the quality of the audience, and then subsequently did shut it down. In announcing that the February 8, 1969, issue would be the magazine's last, Curtis executive Martin Ackerman stated that the magazine had lost $5 million in 1968 and would lose a projected $3 million in 1969. In a meeting with employees after the magazine's closure had been announced, Emerson thanked the staff for their professional work and promised "to stay here and see that everyone finds a job".
At a March 1969 post-mortem on the magazine's closing, Emerson stated that The Post "was a damn good vehicle for advertising" with competitive renewal rates and readership reports and expressed what The New York Times called "understandable bitterness" in wishing "that all the one-eyed critics will lose their other eye". Otto Friedrich, the magazine's last managing editor, blamed the death of The Post on Curtis. In his Decline and Fall (Harper & Row, 1970), an account of the magazine's final years (1962–69), he argued that corporate management was unimaginative and incompetent. Friedrich acknowledges that The Post faced challenges while the tastes of American readers changed over the course of the 1960s, but he insisted that the magazine maintained a standard of good quality and was appreciated by readers.
In 1970, control of the debilitated Curtis Publishing Company was acquired from the estate of Cyrus Curtis by Indianapolis industrialist Beurt SerVaas. SerVaas relaunched the Post the following year on a quarterly basis as a kind of nostalgia magazine.
In early 1982, ownership of the Post was transferred to the Benjamin Franklin Literary and Medical Society, founded in 1976 by the Post's then-editor, Dr. Corena "Cory" SerVaas (wife of Beurt SerVaas). The magazine's core focus was now health and medicine; indeed, the magazine's website originally noted that the "credibility of The Saturday Evening Post has made it a valuable asset for reaching medical consumers and for helping medical researchers obtain family histories. In the magazine, national health surveys are taken to further current research on topics such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcerative colitis, spina bifida, and bipolar disorder." Ownership of the magazine was later transferred to the Saturday Evening Post Society; Dr. SerVaas headed both organizations. The range of topics covered in the magazine's articles is now wide, suitable for a general readership.
By 1991, Curtis Publishing Company had been renamed Curtis International, a subsidiary of SerVaas Inc., and had become an importer of audiovisual equipment. Today the Post is published six times a year by the Saturday Evening Post Society, which claims 501(c)(3) non-profit organization status.
With the January/February 2013 issue, the Post launched a major makeover of the publication including a new cover design and efforts to increase the magazine's profile in response to a general public misbelief that it was no longer in existence. The magazine's new logo is an update of a logo it had used beginning in 1942.
(from the purchase by Curtis, 1898)
A Damsel in Distress is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United States on 4 October 1919 by George H. Doran, New York, and in the United Kingdom by Herbert Jenkins, London, on 15 October 1919. It had previously been serialised in The Saturday Evening Post, between May and June of that year.
Its plot revolves around golf-loving American composer George Bevan who falls in love with a mysterious young lady who takes refuge in his taxicab one day. When he later tracks her down to a romantic rural manor, mistaken identity leads to all manner of brouhaha.Bill the Conqueror
Bill the Conqueror is a novel by P.G. Wodehouse, first published in the United Kingdom on 13 November 1924 by Methuen & Co., London, and in the United States on 20 February 1925 by George H. Doran, New York, the story having previously been serialised in The Saturday Evening Post from 24 May to 12 July 1924. The full title reads Bill the Conqueror, His Invasion of England in the Springtime.
The cast includes the recurring characters Sir George Pyke (later Lord Tilbury), publishing magnate and founder of the Mammoth Publishing Company (who would later visit Blandings Castle in Heavy Weather (1933)), and his subordinate Percy Pilbeam.Both Parties Concerned
"Both Parties Concerned" is a short story by J. D. Salinger, first published in the Saturday Evening Post on February 26, 1944. The story chronicles a young couple's struggles to mature from adolescence and the conflicts they encounter raising a baby.Extricating Young Gussie
"Extricating Young Gussie" is a short story by British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse. It was first published in the United States in the 18 September 1915 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, and in the United Kingdom in the January 1916 edition of The Strand Magazine. It was included in the collection The Man with Two Left Feet (1917).The story features the first appearance of two of Wodehouse's most popular and enduring characters, the impeccable valet Jeeves and his master Bertie Wooster, though there are some differences between this story and later stories in which they appear. Jeeves only plays a very small role in this story, and Bertie's surname, which is not explicitly given, appears to be Mannering-Phipps, as that is the name of his cousin Gussie, whose father is Bertie’s paternal uncle. Bertie's imperious Aunt Agatha, a recurring character, is also introduced in this story.
The first meeting of Jeeves and Bertie would be chronicled one year later, in the November 1916 short story "Jeeves Takes Charge". Some elements of the plot of "Extricating Young Gussie" were later incorporated by Wodehouse into a 1918 Jeeves story, "Jeeves and the Chump Cyril".F. Scott Fitzgerald bibliography
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby (his most famous), and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with age and despair.Frame-Up for Murder
"Frame-Up for Murder" is a Nero Wolfe mystery novella by Rex Stout, serialized in three issues of The Saturday Evening Post (June 21, June 28 and July 5, 1958).
An expanded rewrite of the 1958 novella "Murder Is No Joke", "Frame-Up for Murder" did not appear in book form until the 1985 Bantam Books release, Death Times Three.John Philip Falter
John Philip Falter (February 28, 1910 – May 20, 1982), more commonly known as John Falter, was an American artist best known for his many cover paintings for The Saturday Evening Post.Kill Now—Pay Later
"Kill Now—Pay Later" is a Nero Wolfe mystery novella by Rex Stout, first serialized in three issues of The Saturday Evening Post (December 9, 16 and 23–30, 1961). It first appeared in book form in the short-story collection Trio for Blunt Instruments, published by the Viking Press in 1964.Method Three for Murder
"Method Three for Murder" is a Nero Wolfe mystery novella by Rex Stout, first serialized in three issues of The Saturday Evening Post (January 30–February 13, 1960). It first appeared in book form in the short-story collection Three at Wolfe's Door, published by the Viking Press in 1960.Norman Rockwell
Norman Percevel Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was an American author, painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over nearly five decades. Among the best-known of Rockwell's works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, Saying Grace, and the Four Freedoms series. He is also noted for his 64-year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), during which he produced covers for their publication Boys' Life, calendars, and other illustrations. These works include popular images that reflect the Scout Oath and Scout Law such as The Scoutmaster, A Scout is Reverent and A Guiding Hand, among many others.
Norman Rockwell was a prolific artist, producing more than 4,000 original works in his lifetime. Most of his works are either in public collections, or have been destroyed in fire or other misfortunes. Rockwell was also commissioned to illustrate more than 40 books, including Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as well as painting the portraits for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, as well as those of foreign figures, including Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru. His portrait subjects included Judy Garland. One of his last portraits was of Colonel Sanders in 1973. His annual contributions for the Boy Scouts calendars between 1925 and 1976 (Rockwell was a 1939 recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult award given by the Boy Scouts of America), were only slightly overshadowed by his most popular of calendar works: the "Four Seasons" illustrations for Brown & Bigelow that were published for 17 years beginning in 1947 and reproduced in various styles and sizes since 1964. He painted six images for Coca-Cola advertising. Illustrations for booklets, catalogs, posters (particularly movie promotions), sheet music, stamps, playing cards, and murals (including "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "God Bless the Hills", which was completed in 1936 for the Nassau Inn in Princeton, New Jersey) rounded out Rockwell's œuvre as an illustrator.
Rockwell's work was dismissed by serious art critics in his lifetime. Many of his works appear overly sweet in the opinion of modern critics, especially the Saturday Evening Post covers, which tend toward idealistic or sentimentalized portrayals of American life. This has led to the often-deprecatory adjective, "Rockwellesque". Consequently, Rockwell is not considered a "serious painter" by some contemporary artists, who regard his work as bourgeois and kitsch. Writer Vladimir Nabokov stated that Rockwell's brilliant technique was put to "banal" use, and wrote in his book Pnin: "That Dalí is really Norman Rockwell's twin brother kidnapped by Gypsies in babyhood". He is called an "illustrator" instead of an artist by some critics, a designation he did not mind, as that was what he called himself.In his later years, however, Rockwell began receiving more attention as a painter when he chose more serious subjects such as the series on racism for Look magazine. One example of this more serious work is The Problem We All Live With, which dealt with the issue of school racial integration. The painting depicts a young black girl, Ruby Bridges, flanked by white federal marshals, walking to school past a wall defaced by racist graffiti. This painting was displayed in the White House when Bridges met with President Obama in 2011.Piccadilly Jim
Piccadilly Jim is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United States on 24 February 1917 by Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, and in the United Kingdom in May 1918 by Herbert Jenkins, London. The story had previously appeared in the US in the Saturday Evening Post between 16 September and 11 November 1916.
The novel features Ogden Ford and his mother Nesta (both previously encountered in The Little Nugget (1913). Nesta has remarried, to the hen-pecked, baseball-loving millionaire Mr. Peter Pett, and Ogden remains spoilt and obnoxious. The story takes its title from the charismatic character of Jimmy Crocker, Nesta's nephew and a reforming playboy. 'Jim' is called upon to assist in the kidnapping of Ogden, amongst much confusion involving imposters, crooks, detectives, butlers, aunts etc. – all in the name of romance.Sam the Sudden
Sam the Sudden is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United Kingdom on 15 October 1925 by Methuen, London, and in the United States on 6 November 1925 by George H. Doran, New York, under the title Sam in the Suburbs. The story had previously been serialised under that title in the Saturday Evening Post from 13 June to 18 July 1925.
The cast includes the recurring character Lord Tilbury, publishing magnate and founder of the Mammoth Publishing Company, who had appeared in Wodehouse's novel of the previous year, Bill the Conqueror, and who would later visit Blandings Castle in Heavy Weather (1933). It also introduced the criminals Alexander "Chimp" Twist, Dora "Dolly" Molloy and Thomas "Soapy" Molloy, who reappeared in Money for Nothing (1928) and Money in the Bank (1946).Sinclair Lewis
Harry Sinclair Lewis (February 7, 1885 – January 10, 1951) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. H. L. Mencken wrote of him, "[If] there was ever a novelist among us with an authentic call to the trade ... it is this red-haired tornado from the Minnesota wilds." He has been honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a postage stamp in the Great Americans series.Summer Moonshine
Summer Moonshine is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United States on 8 October 1937 by Doubleday, Doran, New York, and in the United Kingdom on 11 February 1938 by Herbert Jenkins, London. It was serialised in The Saturday Evening Post (US) from 24 July to 11 September 1937 and in Pearson's Magazine (UK) between September 1937 and April 1938.The Black Cat (short story)
"The Black Cat" is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843, edition of The Saturday Evening Post. It is a study of the psychology of guilt, often paired in analysis with Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart". In both, a murderer carefully conceals his crime and believes himself unassailable, but eventually breaks down and reveals himself, impelled by a nagging reminder of his guilt.The Crime Wave at Blandings
"The Crime Wave at Blandings" is a short story by P. G. Wodehouse that first appeared in the United States in two parts, in the October 10 and October 17, 1936 editions of the Saturday Evening Post, and in the United Kingdom in the January 1937 issue of the Strand. It was included in the collection Lord Emsworth and Others, (1937), and provided the title to the U.S. equivalent of that collection.
The story was a rewritten version of an older piece, entitled "Creatures of Instinct", which had appeared in the Strand in October 1914, and in the U.S. in McClure's that same month. It is set at Blandings Castle, home of Lord Emsworth, and features several other well-known characters; the story is considered something of a classic, and is included in many "Best of Wodehouse" collections.The Ransom of Red Chief
"The Ransom of Red Chief" is a 1910 short story by O. Henry first published in The Saturday Evening Post. It follows two men who kidnap and attempt to ransom a wealthy Alabamian's son. Eventually, the men are driven crazy by the boy's spoiled and hyperactive behavior, and they pay the boy's father to take him back.
The story and its main idea have become a part of popular culture, with many children's television programs depicting versions of the story as one of their episodes. The tale is a light-hearted example of the ultimate in "poetic justice" and fortuitous intervention for the public good: the crooks had intended to use the ransom money to fund an even larger and much more elaborate scam that would likely have caused widespread monetary damage to the local populace, and so having their plans "foiled in their infancy" by Red Chief's shrewd father saves countless other honest folks from financial ruin. It has also been often used as a classic example of two ultimate comic ironies – a supposed "hostage" actually liking his abductors and enjoying being captured, and his captors getting their just deserts by having the tables turned on them, and being compelled to pay to be rid of him.The Veldt (short story)
"The Veldt" is a science fiction short story by American author Ray Bradbury. Originally appearing as "The World the Children Made" in the 23 September 1950 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, it was republished under its current name in the 1951 anthology The Illustrated Man.
In the story, a mother and father struggle with their technologically advanced home taking over their role as parents, and their children becoming uncooperative as a result of their lack of discipline.Uneasy Money
Uneasy Money is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United States on 17 March 1916 by D. Appleton & Company, New York, and in the United Kingdom on 4 October 1917 by Methuen & Co., London. The story had earlier been serialised in the U.S in the Saturday Evening Post from December 1915, and in the UK in the Strand Magazine starting December 1916. It was the second novel Wodehouse sold to George Horace Lorimer of the Post, after Something Fresh.The story doesn't include any of Wodehouse's regular characters or settings; instead it tells of amiable, kindly but hard-up Lord "Bill" Dawlish, golf lover, and his adventures in romance, golf and the theatre.
The Saturday Evening Post Society
|Distribution / syndication|