Santa,Nast, and the North Pole

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Sun Dec 19 19:27:58 UTC 2004

Question posted over at Straightdope message board:

    "When/How did Santa Claus=North Pole?"

Thomas Nast almost certainly helped to popularize it, but who first invented the connection?  

A website,, indicates that Nast provided the connection in a series of cartoons: 

   **Nast established Santa's workshop and official residence at the North Pole in four different drawings between 1879 and 1886. On January 4, 1879, Harper's Weekly published "A Christmas Post," showing a girl putting a letter in the mailbox, addressed to St. Claus, North Pole.**

Newspaperarchive has a cite from 1871, predating the Nast cartoons above.

23 Dec. 1871   _Titusville(PA.) Morning Herald_  p.3, col. 4

   <<How we used to lie awake the night before Christmas, in the hope of catching a glimpse of the little old man, who we supposed had his headquarters near the north pole, ....>>

I only searched Newspaperarchive, nothing else.  Used search term[ "Santa Claus"  "North Pole"].

If Nast came up with the idea before 1871, I'd love to know it.  

As a side note, there was also an 1874 cite, indicating that letters written by children were addressed to Santa Claus, Greenland, North Pole.  

The Scandinavians seemed to have thought that Santa came from Greenland.  But I don't know just when that started.

If this question is too far afield for the list, I apologize.

Sam Clements

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