Popular Image of Santa Claus

catspjamas

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#1
Our popular image of Santa Claus was created by Clement Moore's poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas", better known as "The Night Before Christmas" and the images of Santa done by Thomas Nast, for Harper's Weekly.

Santa in Camp, Christmas 1862
Appeared in the January 3, 1863 edition of Harper's Weekly.

Expired Image Removedhttp://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w16/catspjamas-album/Original_Santa_Claus.jpg


Santa Claus 1865

Thomas_Nast_Santa.jpg
 

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K Hale

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#2
Man, that is one creepy Santa.

Every child wants beheaded Confederates for Christmas!
 

K Hale

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#5
I'm also noticing the Neanderthal child in the upper left corner.
 

catspjamas

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#8
Actually our modern Santa was created by the artists at Coca-Cola years ago. That's the reason for his red & white suit.
Nast is attributed with the image of Santa being large, round, and with a snowy beard, Coca-Cola just made him jolly looking, like in Clement Moore's poem.

This is what Coca-Cola says about their Santa:

"The Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862; Santa was shown as a small elf-like figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years and along the way changed the color of his coat from tan to the now traditional red. Though some people believe the Coca-Cola Santa wears red because that is the Coke® color, the red suit comes from Nast's interpretation of St. Nick. ..."

http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/heritage/cokelore_santa.html

Note that Coke says the red suit comes from Nast.

Cats
 
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#10

K Hale

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#12
Did you notice in the "Santa in Camp" that Santa has a figure on a string, with the string around the figure's neck? The figure is supposed to be Jeff Davis. It's that a jolly Santa, condoning lynching.
I couldn't tell what that was, I guess my monitor has a lower resolution than yours!

In the larger picture, though, take a look at the center right panel. What's this -- a witch trial? I see a man waving his arms excitedly at a woman who is poised in front of a huge fire, while other townsfolk gather around.

Some trippy stuff back in the day... oh and what's up with Santa supporting the Union? Santa won't come if you're a Confederate kid? How mean is that!
 

K Hale

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#13
In addition to Thomas Nast, other American artists were depicting St. Nick as early as 1837 - see Robert Weir's St. Nick below (Smithsonian American Art Museum):
Good grief. That is something I do NOT want coming down my chimney.
 

catspjamas

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#15
I couldn't tell what that was, I guess my monitor has a lower resolution than yours!

In the larger picture, though, take a look at the center right panel. What's this -- a witch trial? I see a man waving his arms excitedly at a woman who is poised in front of a huge fire, while other townsfolk gather around.

Some trippy stuff back in the day... oh and what's up with Santa supporting the Union? Santa won't come if you're a Confederate kid? How mean is that!
A presentation was given at my last UDC meeting about Christmas in the 1860s, included were copies of the Harper's Weekly pictures on 8.5x11. The center right picutre of the man & woman in front of the fireplace, I think the man is holding a book in his right hand, the woman in front of the fireplace is holding a baby (I had to use a magnifying glass to see that detail), so maybe he's blessing the mother & child?

Of the 3 big heads in the bottom panel, the center head is definitely Gen. Lee, to the left of Lee, it looks like Gen. Longstreet (and yes, he's being thrown up on). The head on the right, possibly Gen. Joe Johnston.

Cats
 

K Hale

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#16
Stay classy, Harper's Weekly.

I thought the giant head on the right might be Ewell. I can see where it might be Johnston. The only one I could ID for certain was Lee.
 

ole

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#18
I thought it was Burnside at first, but then I figured it had to be Joe Johnston or Ewell. My final bet is Johnston ... Ewell wasn't important enough.
 

The Iron Duke

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#20
I'm assuming that's Grant standing in the center between the heads. I interpret that scene as representing the "trophies" he took in 1865: Hill at Petersburg, Ewell at Sayler's Creek, and Lee at Appomattox.
 


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