Any medium shows you who it thinks it's audience is by the ads it runs. The Saturday Evening Post was a big deal in 1949. It was read by the wife as well as the husband. It had fluffy romance stories and ads for industrial products like Timken roller bearings.
Roller bearings (you know: with cylindrical rollers) can take much heavier loads than ordinary ball (spherical) bearings, due to the larger contact surface between the rollers and the races. The bearings in this ad are tapered rollers, which, when paired in mirror configurations (see the very bottom picture) improve on cylindrical rollers by offering longer life through reduced wear.
Before Timken's patent of the tapered roller bearing, railway cars were carried by wheels mounted on a broom handle stuck through beef hearts. The smell was awful and the beef hearts needed to be replaced every hundred yards.
The first illustration offers many ponderables. The customer in the hat looks like he's under duress, haggling for a price with one of Iowa's slick, devious farmers. "Three cents a bushel? I was really hoping to pay two cents. I'm a senator and I work hard for my money. You couldn't come down at all, could you?"
And who's the kid in the background with the green "X" on his shirt? Clearly, he's the Village Prurient, forever branded with the Viridian X for his unholy relationship with his own mother, who happens to be a cow. Incest! Sickening.
Lastly, there's the creepy little boy on the left, staring directly at us, as if he can see through time and knows what we're doing. "I can see you, snarky future people, and I know what you do with our pictures. I want my iPad, you son of a bitches!" Shudder.
The boy in the bottom picture seems really agitated at the sight of the train. Either he knows something about tapered roller bearings or he thinks the train is guilty of something. Since he's a corn-fed hayseed, we'll assume it's the latter.
Joke # - "Paw! That's the dragon that done ate our chickens! He's gittin' away! Throw some 'maters at 'im, quick!" "No, son. Dragons breathe fire. Stay back!"
Joke #2 - "Father, the horse with a thousand legs runs free. Why do we live imprisoned behind this impenetrable fence? I long to run free with my thousand legs, also."
Joke #3 - "Look, son! The Great Yellow Sun Serpent has come again. It must be pleased with our offering of a maiden tied to it's metal road. We have truly earned this harvest's bounty of 'maters."
[Commenter jokes will be added to the post. -mgmt.]
Jokes ahoy! From Craig...
Joke A: Lookee, Paw, that hobo is equipped with Timken's latest roller-bearing-equipped stink-producing device!
Joke II: 1949: A young Karl Rove invents the "Pull my finger" gag.