Best Covers: The War Years

In the early 1930s, the covers--like this one from September, 1930--were similar in style to covers from the previous decades. Things would change, however, as the United States increased its involvement and presence in the conflicts of Europe. In the ensuing years, the covers of Outdoor Life would change in tone and become more overtly patriotic.
Still, things in July 1935 were very carefree, indeed.
Here's another action-packed fishing cover from the mid-1930s.
World War II officially began when Germany invaded Poland in September of 1939. However, the light-hearted nature of the September 1939 cover gave no indication of the tragedy of war or the patriotic wave that was about to sweep the country.
Note how large and prominent the title was on the late 1930s covers.
As the war progressed, the covers became more patriotic. Things started out subtly at first, but notice the prominent use of red, white and blue.
Note the new slogan, "The Magazine that has EVERYTHING for the SPORTSMAN!"
August 1940. The patriotic spirit was in full swing.
Still, the covers occasionally returned to their old look and feel.
Look in the upper right-hand corner: "Buy War Bonds."
Here's an interesting patriotic cover from 1944. Not only does it feature a man who appears to be a soldier on the cover, but it also included a piece titled, "Flintlock to Garand: Our Army Rifles 1775-1944."
April 1943: "Woodcraft Goes to War."
Nothing patriotic here, but it's an exciting, colorful cover from the 1940s nonetheless.
July 1943.
Here's a closer look at Outdoor Life's "stars-and-stripes" logo from the era. Note the patriotic rifle/fishing rod insignia.
November 1942. As this issue shows, some of the covers from the decade appeared more comic book-like in style and coloration.
A closer look reveals that this cover features both a sportsman and a soldier.
July 1942...
...two generations of sportsmen, raising the same flag.
January 1947. Do you know the Outdoor Life conservation pledge? "I give my pledge as an American to save and faithfully to defend from waste the natural resources of my country-its soul and minerals, its forests, waters, and wildlife."
By 1950, World War II was over, and _Outdoor Life'_s covers were increasingly photographs rather than illustrations.
In addition, the cover price had increased to 25 cents.
Here's a unique cover from January 1950.
They don't make cars like the used to.
December 1952. With World War II long finished, the covers returned to the familiar Normal Rockwell style.
The United States was involved in another military conflict in the 1950s, the Korean War. However, the covers of the era--like this one from January 1953--gave little indication of the country's military and political woes.
A landmark was reached in March of 1953--the magazine's circulation reached over 1,000,000. That was a huge number for the early 1950s.
What do you think about the covers from the World War II and Korean War era? Leave comments below and let us know!