Leslie Thrasher

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Leslie Thrasher (1889-1936) was an American illustrator.


He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and attended the Ecole de Grande Chaumiere in Paris on a year's scholarship in 1909-1910. His first published cover was sold to The Saturday Evening Post in 1912 for $50.00. After serving in France during World War I, doing camouflage work, he returned to the States and resumed his illustration career, working for magazines such as Redbook, Collier's, Popular Magazine, and Everybody's. He also did advertising illustrations for Cream of Wheat, Fisk Tires and Spaulding.

By 1926 he had contracted to do a cover a week for Liberty at $1,000.00 each. These covers constituted a series in a continuing story line that depicted the life of a "Typical American Family". The very popular series followed a couple's courtship, marriage and children, and was later made into a movie, For the Love of Lil (1930).

People often mistook Thrasher's covers for those of Norman Rockwell and there may have been some kind of rivalry between them.

After a fire in Thrasher's summer home in 1936, he caught a fatal pneumonia induced by smoke inhalation.


Thrasher did at least three spanking related illustrations. One from 1931 with the caption "This Will Hurt You More Than Me" shows a mother spanking her daughter over the knee with a hairbrush. The background shows a crossed hairbrush and slipper, with a razor strop below like a banner; possibly a parody of a crest, seal or coat of arms.

The other is undated and untitled ("Washing dishes" may be a working title) and shows a mother overseeing her son washing the dishes, a switch in her hand. It is unknown for which magazine this one was made.

The third is also undated and known as "Portrait of a Boy" (which may or may not be a real title). It shows a boy putting a book in the seat of his pants as protection against a coming spanking.