A Timeless Journey through Pages
Ah, the Saturday Evening Post, a true testament to the enduring spirit of storytelling! This tale begins in the bustling heart of Philadelphia, in the very print shop that sprouted from the legacy of Benjamin Franklin. Samuel Atkinson, the proud owner of the shop, brought into existence the Saturday Evening Post with a humble 200 subscribers in 1821. Can you imagine the thrill of those Saturday mornings, awaiting the arrival of the Post with the second mail delivery, a tradition that continued well into the 1950s?
A Chronicle of Changing Times
From the building of the transcontinental railroad to the gold rush and the settling of the western territories, the Post was there, ever-present, capturing the ebb and flow of life. Anecdotes about this beloved publication speak volumes about its impact on the community. The Post, with its densely packed text, was a mirror reflecting the dynamic American society. Remember, this was a time when it was up to the reader to visualize the unfolding stories, a testament to our rich imagination.
Transition and Triumph
Cyrus Curtis, a visionary publisher, purchased the Post in 1897 for a mere thousand dollars. Under his stewardship, the Post bloomed, embracing its first full cover illustration in 1899, a move that initially led to a loss in subscribers. Yet, Curtis believed in the transformative power of his magazine. His gamble paid off, with subscriptions surging to over a million by 1908. Advertisements, chosen with care to align with the honest and wholesome ethos of the Post, were instrumental in driving its growth.
The Post’s Artistic Legacy
Ah, the artists! The Post gave us some of the most beloved illustrators of the time. It was the canvas for the likes of Andrew Wyeth, JC Liondecker, and George Hughes. And how can we forget Norman Rockwell? His idyllic depictions of everyday life, from summertime fun to family holidays, became the very essence of the Saturday Evening Post. His work resonated deeply, catapulting the Post to nearly 7 million subscribers by 1960 because the covers he crafted painted a vivid picture of life that we could all connect with.
A Phoenix Rising
Even when the popularity of the Post waned, its indomitable spirit lived on. Rescued from the brink of bankruptcy in 1969 by Bert Cervas, the Post found a new lease on life. Today, owned by the Benjamin Franklin Literary Society, the Post continues its legacy of celebrating life through engaging stories, a constant reminder of our shared heritage and the beauty of our collective experience.
Watch the video below for a deeper dive into the vibrant history of the Saturday Evening Post. Share it with others who might appreciate this journey down memory lane. And do hit the like button because nostalgia, after all, is the warm embrace of stories that continue to enrich our lives.