Leather Football Helmet Hisitory
Football historians, those who have studied the game and its origins, place the games beginnings in rugby, an English game played with many similarities to football. Rugby began in eighteen twenty-three at the famous Rugby Boys School in England. Another cousin of the game of football is soccer, sometimes called association football; its beginnings can also be traced to English origin, being played as early as the eighteen twenties.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: ITS BEGINNINGS
At the same time, a group of students, who did not wear leather football helmets, at Princeton began playing what was then known as bal lown. First using their fists to advance the ball, and then their feet, this game consisted mainly of one goal: to advance the old watermeoln football past the opposing team. There were no hard and fast rules applied to this earliest attempt at the game we now call football .At Harvard, the freshman and sophomore classes, who also did not at first wear leather football helmets, competed in a football-type game, played on the first Monday of each school year; this event came to be known as Bloody Monday because of the roughness of the game. Pick up games,where there were no leather football helmets, similar in style to that played on Bloody Monday, soon became popular on the Boston Common, catching on in popularity around eighteen sixty .Soon after the end of the American Civil War, still the leather football helmet had not been invented, around eighteen sixty five, colleges began organizing football games.None of these early teams wore leather football helmets. In eighteen sixty seven, Princeton led the way in establishing some rudimentary rules of the game. But still , leather football helmets were not used or invented. Players simply tied a bandana around their heads. Also in that year, the football itself was patented for the very first time That early ball was a crude watermelon, almost round shape. But still no way to protect the players from death or concussins because there were no leather football helmets even thought of during these early years..Rutgers College also established a set of rules in eighteen sixty seven, and with the relatively short distance between it and Princeton, a game was decided upon by both universities. A date was chosen, November sixth, eighteen sixty nine; Rutgers won by a score of six goals to four, and thus was played what has become known as the very first intercollegiate football game No leather football helmets were worn during this contest. The flying wedge plays injured many because they had no leather football helmets..In eighteen seventy three, representatives from Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton, and Yale met in New York City to formulate the first intercollegiate football rules for the increasingly popular game, still being played with many of the rules of soccer. These four teams established the Intercollegiate Football Association, and set as fifteen the number of players allowed on each team.Walter Camp, the coach at Yale and a dissenter from the IFA over his desire for an eleven man team, helped begin the final step in the evolution from rugby-style play to the modernfootball game of American football. The IFAs rules committee, led by Camp, soon cut the number of players from fifteen to eleven, and also instituted the size of the playing field, at one hundred ten yards. But still no one thought to protect themselves better with a leather footbal hemet. In eighteen eighty-two Camp also introduced the system of downs. After first allowing three attempts to advance the ball five yards, in nineteen six it was changed to ten yards. The fourth down was added in nineteen twelve. Tackling below the waist had been legalized in eighteen eighty-eight.Within a decade, concern over the increasing brutality of the game led to its ban by some colleges.Brutal plays that actually walked and trampled opposing players were the norm and leather football helmets still had not been invented to protect the head of the players of early football. Nearly one hundred eighty players had suffered serious injuries, and eighteen deaths had been reported from the brutal mass plays that had become common in practice. The earliest leather football helmets were invented by a Navy player in 1893. He asked a local blacksmith to improvise a leather harness hat to protect his head. As his doctor said that if he continued to play , one more kick to the head would kill or paralyze him for life. Thus the first leather football helmet was born. Soon other players created additional styles of leather football helmets to protect their heads and ears. Still the early leather football helmets provided littl protection. There were such styles as the early beehive leather football helmet, the flat-top leather football helmets and the dogear leather football helmet. In nineteen hundred five, President Theodore Roosevelt called upon Harvard, Princeton, and Yale to help save the sport from demise.At a meeting between the schools, reform was agreed upon, and at a second meeting, attended by more than sixty other schools, the group appointed a seven member Rules Committee and set up what would later become known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or the NCAA.From this committee came the legalization of the forward pass, which resulted in a more open style of play on the field. The rough mass plays, which once caused so many serious injuries, and even deaths, were prohibited by the committee. Also prohibited was the locking of arms by teammates in an effort to clear the way for their ball carriers. Still many early teams wotre no leather football helmets. But eventually the advantages of the leather football helemt were seen . And soon one could watch a game and observe half the players with out leather football helmets and half with leather football helmets to protect their heads.The length of the game was shortened, from seventy to sixty minutes, and the neutral zone, which separates the teams by the length of the ball before each play begins, was also established. The earliest balls wree called watermelon footballs and they have become almost extinct along with the earliest leather football helmets . Today these leather football helmets can only be found in museums or among fine collections of leather foorball helmets. Today, almost one hundred years since the inception of the NCAA, the sport of college football flourishes as one of the most popular of collegiate games. Colleges and universities are placed into three divisions under NCAA guidelines and each division has many conferences. Seasonal and conference play leads to post-season bowl games, where the champions of conferences meet to play in front of a world-wide television audience. Some of these bowls include the Rose Bowl, played on New Years Day in Pasadena, California, between the Big Ten and Pacific Ten conference champions. Other bowls include the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, and the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. The leather football helmet evolution follows the great early college game as lether helmets first showed up in the 1890s and then the leather helmets gradually develeoped into a stronger and more protective piece of gear. .PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL: ITS BEGINNINGSProfessional football was first played soon after the demise of the Intercollegiate Football Association, around eighteen ninety-five. In nineteen twenty, the American Professional Football Association was formed; one year later it was reorganized and in nineteen twenty-two was renamed the National Football League Some of the great early Pro players who wore leather football helmets were Red Grange , Jim Thorpe, the early Packer team , the early Bear team , the early Giant team , the early Philadelphia team, and the early Pittsburgh team. Players wore varying style of leather football helmets . And the colors also began to show up on the early 40s leather football helmet s. Before that most helmets were plain natural leather either brown, cordovan , or black. Color leather football helmets allowed the quaterback to better see the receiver at long distances when he was far down the field. So more and more teams begab=n to paint their leather football helmets to put some visibility sizzel into their games. .Unlike the APFA, which handed out franchises far and wide with little discretion, the NFL, from nineteen forty-six to forty-nine, was limited to ten teams. Gradually in the late 1940s the leather football helmet began to be replaced by early plastics. However many of the early plastic football helmets shattered and caused injury. So. the leather football helme survived thru the World war II years and lingered into the early 1950s. But gradually the old leather football helmet was replaced by the plastics and more and more teams began to add logos and symbols to their helmets . the early leather football helmets were spared this clutter and reamined unadorned right into the 50s eara. Soon howevre the old leather football helmet faded into history. many pooreer high school teams and JR high teams still used these old leather helmets right into the 1960s and 70s . Today the leather football helmet is practically extinct and can only be found at museums or in fine collections.The APFA, on the other hand, consisted of twenty three teams in the year between its inception and the change-over in becoming the NFL.A merger in nineteen seventy, fifty years after the inception of the first pro football association, combined sixteen NFL teams with ten AFL teams to comprise one league with two conferences. In the nineteen eighties, further expansion was proposed and by the ninety three-ninety four NFL season, approval was given for a thirty-team league. The next step towards growth of the league would be to realign the NFL into eight different divisions, each with four teams.Pro football, like its college counterpart, was not without its failures. Among the number of competitive leagues that have folded in failure are the All-American Football conference, nineteen forty-six to forty-nine, the American Football League, nineteen sixty to sixty-nine, and the World Football League, nineteen seventy-four to seventy-five.Arena Football, an indoor league played in the spring with eight man teams, debuted in nineteen eighty-seven. It is still played, but does not enjoy the popularity or success that is found in the National Football League.PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TODAY: A BUSINESSFrom its humble beginnings in eighteen sixty-nine, when the first intercollegiate game was played between Rutgers and Princeton, football has become a multi-billion dollar business in its professional form.Once watched by no more than a handful of loyal sideline enthusiasts, football is now available for worldwide viewing. With the advent of cable television, dozens of high school and college games can be watched over Friday and Saturday afternoons. Pro games are televised on Sunday and Monday nights, with at least half a dozen games televised each weekend during the season. At the end of each NFL season, champs from both the National and American conferences meet in the Super Bowl to determine a national champion. This game, always played in January, has been called the most watched sporting event of all time, with a viewing audience from around the entire globe, watching and listening to the televise in dozens of languages.Although television commercials foot a very large part of the bill, the competition between networks for the coverage rights highly inflates the value of NFL franchises. In nineteen twenty, a franchise cost one hundred dollars. By nineteen sixty, each was worth approximately two million dollars. In nineteen ninety three, when the league decided to expand, selling teams to Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida, the cost rose to one hundred forty millions dollars per franchise.In the same year, the NFL signed a five-network, four year television contract, totaling almost four and a half billion dollars.Some may say that if cheerleading was truly a sport then it would have been included with other sports long ago. He will frequently use the word draw here for lack of a more precise term to refer to the use of graphics software. All bodies will rotate easiest about their center of mass. In the year 2000, the popularity of arena football led to the formation of arena football 2, an expansion league. The ancient egyptians swam, raced, wrestled, and played games with balls. Pass patterns are the routes the receivers run downfield after the snap of the ball.The rare kinds and styles of leather football helmets worn by college and Pro teams can still be seen at their respective college campus museums , at the College football hall of Fame Museum and or the Pro Football hall of Fame Museum in Canton Ohio. Today many sports history enthusisasts look for old leather football helmets for their collections or to offer as awards or commemoratives. These olfd battle helmets, the leather football helmet, will always represent the great history and evolution of the game itself.
College & Pro Teams Changed their helmet colors over the years varying off of their School colors establisehd at the turn of the century or earlier.
....................Click on the Team College or Pro to look at that Helmet year and style
Alabama - 1930s White with Red Stripes
Auburn - Deep Blue with Orange strip
Arkansas - White with Red
Baylor - Gold with Green Stripe
Boise - Blue with Orange stripes
Brooklyn Dodgers 1930s Pro Team White with Red Stripes Ace Parker
Bronko Nagurski -Chicago Bears - Black/Orange
Chicago Bears - Black
Chicago Cardinals -1930s 40s White
Cleveland Browns - White
Canton Bull Dogs - Jim Thorpe 1920s
Detroit Lions - Silver
Eagles - Green with Silver
Florida Gators - Orange with Blue stripe
Florida State - Gold with Red Stripe
Georgia - Red with hite stripe , ............old silver
Giants - Blue with red stripes
Green Bay - Yellow Gold
Iowa Hawkeyes - dark leather with gold stripes
Kansas State - Purple Silver stripes
Kansas City Chiefs - Red with Gold stripe
LSU - Yellow Gold with Purple Stripes
Michigan - Winged Helmet
Michigan State - Green with White Stripes
Minnesots - Purple with Gold Stripes
Missouri - Black With Yellow Stripe
Nebraska - White with Red Stripe
North Carolina - Light Blue with White Stripe
Notre Dame -1940--50 Lujak, Lattner Horning Years ..........1920 Gipper Years
Notre Dame - Four Horsemen Years ,
North Western - Black
Ohio State - Bill Willis Red Helmet
Ohio State - Silver with Red Stripes
Oklahoma - Red with White stripes
Oklahoma State - Orange with White Stripes
Oregon - Ducks Green with Gold Stripe
Penn State -- White with Blue Stripe
Penn - University of Pennsylvania Ivy league
Pittsburg Steelers - Old Yellow 1940s ....................... Black with Gold Stripe
San Francsco 49ers Gold with Red Stripe -
Seattle Sea hawks - Silver with Blue Stripe
South Carolina - White with Red Stripe
Stanford - White with red stripe-
TCU - ......1930-40 Old Black or............................. Modern Purple-
Tennesee - Orange or Natural Leather White stripe
Texas A & M ........1940 Maroon and White stripe........ 1939 National Champs Maroon with White Panel
Texas - White ........................... or Rare White with Orange Striping 1 year
Texas Tech - Solid Red....................... 1930s Black
UCLA - Gold with Blue Stripe
USC - Red with Gold yellow stripe .............................1930s Dark Bulls Neck Brown
Washington Red Skins - Burgundy
Wisconsin - Red with White Stripe ........................... or ...... Solid Red
West Virginia - Blue with yellow Gold Stripe
A "WHEELIN'" GOOD TIME
A Little Bit of Football in My Life
A SMASHING BIRTHDAY
And they're off....
Any Time Is Tee Time
Are You Ready for Some Football?
Athlete by nature, cheerleader by choice!
Back with a Splash
Baseball diamonds are a boy's best friend
Baseball diamonds are a boy's best friend
Baseball diamonds are a boy's best friend!
Basketball doesn't build character, it reveals it
Baskets of fun
Batter, Batter, Swing!!!!
Bring It On (for cheerleading)
Bump! Set! Spike!
Cheer All Out or Don't Cheer At All!
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Do you prefer safety or push? Because you're about to get pinned.
Eat, Sleep, Cheer!
For Love of the Game
Get In The Game
Girls with Attitude
Give blood, play HOCKEY!
Give Blood, Play Rugby
Go, Fight, Win!
GOING FOR GOAL
GREAT 2 SK8
Ground & Pound
Hav'n a Wheelie good time
Having A Ball
he shoots, he scores
Hey now you're an all star, get your game on , go play
Hoooop, There it Is!
I'd hoped you'd dance, and you did!
I'm a Swimmer
I've Got Game
If Hockey was easy, they'd call it Football!
If Softball were easy, they'd call it Baseball!
If you think dancers arent athletes, think again!
in a league of your own
In every field of life a little boy must fall...
It's not bragging if you can do it
It's Tee Time
Jumping for Joy (trampoline)
Just for kicks!
Just Kickin' it!
Kick, Hit, Yell! :) (For Taekwondo)
Kicking Off the Season
Leading By Example
Legend in your own time
Let the games begin
Let the Good Times Roll (Bowling)
let's play ball!
Let's Sail Away
Life is simple... Eat, Sleep, Hike!
mommy's lil rookie
My Goal is to Play Soccer
My world, my life, my game
No Pain, No Gain!
Nothin but Net!
On the other side of the fence...
On the Right Track
One defining moment
Pin to Win!
Pom Pom Power!
Pom Poms and Ponytails
Pom Poms and Ponytails
Power of the Ponytail
Pretty in pink, wicked in competition.
Pretty in pink, wicked in competition.
Princess of the Pool
Put it through for two
Put Me In Coach
Put me In Coach!
Sink it and win
Soccer is a kick
Some Day You'll Ask for My Autograph
Spring rains and Baseball games.
Still They Ride
Swimming in the Fast Lane
Swing easy. Hit hard. (Golf)
T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Achieves More!
Take me out to the ball game
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
That was a slam dunk
That's the Way the Ball Bounces
The Ball is in Your Court
The Beautiful Game
The legend lives on
The Love of Hocky (or Football, Baseball)
The Pain of Defeat
The Pool's Open
The season begins...
There is no I in team
Ticket to Togetherness
Ton of Fun
Tough Times Don't Last Tough People Do
Tu Tu Cute
Twas The Night Before State
Volleyball sets me in the right direction
We are Sailing
We are the champions
Welcome to the Next Level! (For getting a new belt in Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, etc.)
Weve Got Spirit
Who Let the Dogs Out? (School Mascot: Bulldogs, etc.)
Without the band it's just a game.
You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first
Your going down (rough housing)