Successful Farming celebrates moms
Take a walk down memory lane and see how mothers and grandmothers were depicted on the cover of Successful Farming magazine in the early 20th century.
Magazine and clothing styles may change over the years, but a mother’s love is forever.
This hard-working mom sweetly snuggles her toddler outside the barn on the family farm.
This illustration of a young man dreading the chore of helping his grandmother in the garden looks like something from the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, and with good reason! Artist Charles A. MacLellan painted 44 covers for that publication.
- See more classic covers: Vintage springtime Successful Farming covers
Grandma is busy knitting, but not too busy to sew up her grandson’s ripped baseball.
Junior doesn’t look too happy about having to help Grandma with the wash. His gun and hunting dog are waiting for him. Grandma, on the other hand, looks pretty pleased to have help cranking the wringer handle!
This Successful Farming cover, entitled “Christmas at Home,” depicts life for many families during a time of war. A soldier rests for a moment and imagines his wife and baby safe at home, while baby reaches for a soldier ornament on the Christmas tree.
A frost must be expected, since Mom and son are busy plucking ripe tomatoes off the vine and covering plants with a sheet.
By today’s standards, this mother and daughter are a bit overdressed for working in the garden, but since they’re just harvesting a few vegetables, hopefully they won’t get too dirty.
This mom has it all together! Even though there’s livestock right outside the door, her kitchen floor is still clean enough for the baby to crawl on, and she’s happily making lunch while looking beautiful. What a happy scene!
What a comforting sight! Mom looks beautiful as she pulls the Thanksgiving turkey out of the oven, and Junior is the first to taste-test the bird.
It’s spring cleaning time on this farm! Here, Mom watches over her son, who’s heading out the door with a rolled up rug and rug beater. He’s doing his duty, but looking longingly at his fishing pole next to the door.
There’s nothing more exciting for a farm kid than a trip to town. Here, a little girl and her mother enjoy a little window-shopping together. She has her eye on a pretty doll!
Mrs. Miller and daughter Joan are busy writing Christmas cards on this 1940 Successful Farming cover.
Mrs. Russell Smith and her daughter, Sylvia, are featured on this classic Successful Farming cover. Mrs. Smith is carrying a box of baby chicks into the barn, followed by Sylvia, carrying a feeder and bucket of feed.
The Successful Farming cover was redesigned again in the early 1940s, and this is the first Christmas cover featuring a photograph instead of a painting or drawing. Here, a soldier identified as Private Jim Lucas of Kansas opens a box from home, complete with homemade goodies and a photo of Mother.
- See more classic covers: Successful Farming Christmas covers from the early 1900s
The cover blurb identifies the woman in this cover as Mrs. Clarence Reddeman of Washtenaw County, Michigan. This sweet everyday scene captures the mother choosing a dress for her daughter, as she buckles her shoes.
Laura Gross of Missouri looks admiringly at her mother as they put up meals for the coming winter. What a beautiful harvest of carrots and tomatoes!
Here, Isabelle Johnson and her son, Leonard, are touted as a poultry-improvement team. The Michigan duo are carefully inspecting a new shipment of chicks. Leonard is wearing his Future Farmers of America sweater.
The look of Successful Farming continued to evolve in the ’40s, but the tagline, “The magazine of farm business and farm homes,” remained. By 1944, the price jumped to 10¢. Here, a farm mom reads The Night Before Christmas to her kids.