Establishing What Santa Claus Looked Like
The look of the modern-day Santa Claus was created in an 1804 meeting of the New York Historical Society. Here, a philanthropist named John Pintard handed out wooden cutouts of the jolly St. Nick that we know of today, next to a large bag filled with toys.
In 1819, the image of Santa Claus flying in his sleigh was created by Washington Irving. Strangely enough, Irving was also the author who created the concept of the Headless Horseman for his short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”