Another Norman Rockwell cover. This one depicting a family lifestyle that was being changed dramatically by the inventions of the late 19th century and the early twentieth century. Electric lights, the typewriter, Macadam (paved streets), the bicycle, the automobile, and the airplane. The telephone, the sewing machine and vacuum cleaner and the washing machine, the radio and the moving picture machine. All things to make life easier and expand the horizons of the individual. All reducing the centralized family and family life.
Civilization was at a crossroads according the illustrator Sarka who created this cover. Could what was happening in Europe – all the killing and maiming be at all considered “civilized”? War was once a “gentleman’s” vocation, now it was being fought on a massive violence level. World War 1 is considered one of the first “modern” war. Modern war is defined as a war where more individuals died on the battlefield than other places. Was this war the war to end all civilization? Had man finally created a world so violent that it would destroy itself? Had man finally created inventions so sophisticated that it would destroy a world that had finally given man victory over nature? One hundred years later and with inventions which made those of 1917 seem primitive we are still asking ourselves the same question.