The April Fool Archive

Blue Lobster Fishing    (April Fool's Day - 1945)

Norman Rockwell created a second April Fool cover for the Saturday Evening Post. His first such cover, in 1943, had been the magazine's most popular cover ever. Like its predecessor, the 1945 cover contained numerous "mistakes and incongruities" — 50 in all, according to Rockwell. However, the Post editors warned readers that the blue lobster didn't count as a mistake:

"As a matter of fact, we don't think this one is quite fair, and we're going to tell you that there is such a thing as a blue lobster. According to Charles Mohr, of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, the blue lobster is a rarity, but every once in a while one of them turns up in Maine waters, and it is completely blue."

The face of the reclining fisherman was based upon a "peculiar face" that the artist John Atherton had once made while talking to Rockwell. Atherton was Rockwell's neighbor in Arlington, Vermont and had also drawn numerous covers for the Saturday Evening Post.

A list of all 50 mistakes appeared inside the magazine:
  1. Apples on maple tree.
  2. Different-color apples.
  3. Baseball among apples.
  4. Pine boughs.
  5. Pine cone should point down under bough.
  6. Horse-chestnut leaves.
  7. Grapes.
  8. April 1st comes on Sunday, not Monday.
  9. Penguins don't fly.
  10. Halo.
  11. Nest on phone.
  12. Different-color eggs.
  13. Phone wire on wrong end of receiver.
  14. Different or wrong color butterflies.
  15. Books on tree.
  16. Castle in landscape.
  17. Lighthouse and ship.
  18. Earmuffs.
  19. Fur collar on velvet jacket.
  20. Two different designs on shirt.
  21. Shirt buttoned wrong way.
  22. Life jacket.
  23. Three hands.
  24. Cigarette and pipe used at same time.
  25. Collar and necktie on bird.
  26. Fly-casting reel on bait-casting rod.
  27. Cloth patches on waders.
  28. Rod upside down.
  29. Alligators as roots.
  30. Cobra in mandolin.
  31. Ribbon on mandolin.
  32. Post heading on wrong side of magazine.
  33. Snow scene.
  34. Horizons different on two scenes.
  35. Horns on mouse's head.
  36. Animal head on turtle.
  37. You're wrong; there are blue lobsters although they are extremely unusual freaks of nature.
  38. Tomato picture on plum can.
  39. House slippers on skis.
  40. Shells.
  41. Dutchman's-breeches.
  42. Lady's-slipper.
  43. Buttercup.
  44. Thimbleweed.
  45. Bachelor-buttons.
  46. Poison ivy.
  47. Signature upside down.
  48. Skis without backs.
  49. Lead sinkers on line should be below floater.
  50. Floater upside down.
  51. Red should be at top of floater in right position.

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