Friday, December 16, 2016

1892 Yale Athletic Association Trophy

We have seen a number of Yale Athletic Association items offered this past year such as caps, sweaters and the like, so we decided to post one of our related trophies. From the Winter Meeting of 1892, this First Place Yale Athletic Association wrestling trophy was won by C.L. Avery Jr. Avery was a wrestler of note wrestling in various weight classes.
Avery was mentioned in numerous New York Times articles in 1892 and 1893. Mention was made of his wrestling on March 27, 1892, and on March 21, 1893 in the NYT article headlined “Yale's Winter Meeting; Closely contested events in which collegians win chief honors”. He was also mentioned in NYT articles on March 25, 1893. We see records of him wrestling at three weight classes, heavyweight, middleweight and lightweight during these two years. One article from the Times was headlined “Avery's fine Wrestling” in the March 28, 1893 edition.

This is a really neat trophy with outstanding engraving and unusual elephant handles. It measures roughly 6 3/8" height and 9"in width at the handles. One of our favorite non football trophies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Exceedingly Rare and Important 1868 Princeton Baseball / Football Silk

Printed in October of 1868 and worn by the Princeton Baseball Team as well as members of the student body, there is a great certainty that these ribbons were first worn at the Princeton vs. Athletics game of October 31, 1868. “Such badges, arranged for by the Class of 1869, were much in evidence” in October of 1868, at the time of President McCosh’s inauguration. McCosh was also in attendance at this baseball match. It is also likely that these were worn in April and May of 1869 when Princeton played the Athletics, Philadelphia and then the Atlantics. 

There is an interesting history behind this ribbon. George K. Ward, listed as having played in baseball games for the Nassaus/Princeton in 1866, '67, '68, '69 and '70, had a certain preoccupation with the Princeton Baseball Team ribbons and the team/school colors. An excerpt from his writings in 1869, taken from the book Athletics at Princeton – A History, 1901 is as follows:

It is also likely that these silks were worn at the first Princeton – Rutgers football matches in 1869 and I am currently looking for a reference stating this, that, I believe I had come across some time back. It does make sense that they would have been worn by those playing and those in attendance, as an expression of pride in Princeton's newly recognized colors. We also know that at the Princeton - Yale football game of 1873 (Princeton's only game of that year), Henry Moffatt "wearing an orange badge with the word "Princeton" printed in black"..."started the game by kicking off for the visitors, sending the round, black rubber ball into Yale territory" (Football: The Ivy League Origin of An American Obsession, Bernstein).

Baseball silks are scarce and are very desirable for advanced baseball collections, and this ribbon in particular has the probable additional football association, making it an important silk and a significant addition to our collection.  

For a related blog posting see our July 7, 2013 entry. Photos are of Princeton All-American William Church's orange and black ribbons that were worn by him in the 1890s; from his personal scrapbook.

From the National Baseball Hall of Fame is the following article on silk baseball ribbons.

A second reference from another blog page that deals with a 19th century collage of these ribbons.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Gem Sized Football Tintype c.1890

                                                            Actual size 1" x 1 1/2"

This tintype lies in between the standard gem and a sixteenth plate in size, measuring 1” x 1 1/2” . Smaller tintypes became quite popular as they could be produced more cheaply and in larger numbers, on one plate, with the advent of “multiplying” cameras (introduced in the mid 1850s).
The tintype, introduced in 1856, was more commonly referred to as a ferrotype, not actually a photograph on tin, but on a thin iron sheet that has a japanned surface. As CDVs, cabinet cards and larger format photographs on paper gained in popularity, tintypes quickly fell out of favor.
We have seen roughly twelve to eighteen football tintypes as compared with the many thousands of baseball tintypes that have been documented or have come on the market over the years. The reasons for this are in part related to baseball's earlier beginnings and prevalence, preceding the advent of football in this country by well over a decade and its notable rise in popularity by as many as three decades.
During the first decades of baseball the tintype was a major photographic format. When football was taking hold and establishing its place in the sporting hierarchy, photographs on paper media were the predominant photographic formats. Sports related gem sized tintypes are certainly scarce, as this is the only example we have come across.
I would also recommend looking at two of our other blog entries related to football tintypes (August 11, 2013 and November 3, 2014).

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Class of 1897 Harvard Football Team

We pick up photographs of college class football teams as they can be great photos on their own and aid in our research. This particular photo of the Harvard class of 1897 team had several things that were of interest to us. This is a larger (9 ½” x 13”) albumin photo of great clarity and identified sitters. It came out of the personal album of Harvard graduate Thomas Gannett of Hopedale, MA, whose photo playing tennis can be seen below (on the reverse side of the album page from  the football photo).
Something I really enjoyed finding, was that a fly introduced itself during the photographic process and appears in the photo on the team manager’s shoulder. That was a first (see close up below).

Close Up of the Fly in the Photo

           “Thomas B. Gannett Jr. and Maggie Carr playing against Mr. Carr, Manchester, 1896”

Saturday, September 3, 2016

1900 Yale Tankard

Certainly unique, this amazing pottery tankard has over sixty signatures inscribed on it, predominantly from the Yale class of 1900. At 15 3/4” inches in height and over 23" in circumference at the base it’s significantly impressive. Of interest to readers of this blog are some of the signatures that are present on the tankard (signed with a “resist” such as wax so that the glaze would not adhere to the pottery during firing and leave their signature behind) representing various players on Yale’s varsity sports teams. Additionally, one would note those signing were a societal ‘Who’s Who’ for the period.
We often have sought out and acquired unusual examples of player’s autographs, whenever possible contemporaneous to the time they were playing (as are these) their respective sport (see the blog entry posted  July 8, 2013, “The Ghosts of My Friends” for another unusual collection of autographs). Autographs of those having signed the tankard are listed below and include senior societies and fraternities when known (S+B for Skull and Bones, S+K for Scroll and Key, WH for Wolf’s Head, ADP for Alpha Delta Phi, DKE for Delta Kappa Epsilon, PSI for Psi Upsilon). A handful of autographs are yet to be identified, and not every signatory has been fully researched as to sports affiliations, fraternities or senior societies.  
Signatories playing football for Yale include: 
Malcolm L McBride is a key signatory on the tankard. McBride was a three time All American, playing for the Yale varsity football team in 1897, ’98 and 1899, when he captained the team.  Coaching Yale in 1900 he had a 12-0 record and the team was named National Champions.  A New York Times article dated August 13, 1900 titled “McBride to Coach Yale” read as follows:  “It was stated today that Malcolm L. McBride, Captain of the Yale football team of 1899, would be head coach of the Yale eleven next fall. His chief advisor in the work of developing Yale’s team will be Walter Camp. McBride’s assistants in the coaching will be Frank A. Hinkey, Captain in 1894 and 1895; Frank Butterworth, the famous full back of his day and W.T.Bull, ’88. Mr. Camp does not expect to take any active part in the coaching. He will however keep in closer touch with the game than he has for the past five seasons and will resume his old rule of chief advisor to the team. This is the most formidable array of coaches that Yale has ever selected.” (ADP) 
George W. Hubbell played on the Yale varsity football team in 1898 and 1899. (WH, ADP) 
Richard J. Schweppe played on the varsity football team in 1898 and 1899 (WH, ADP) 
David R. Francis played on the varsity football team  in 1899 (S+K, ADP, Track 1899) 
Corliss E. Sullivan played on the varsity football team in 1897 and 1898 and on the varsity baseball team in 1897, ’98, ’99 and ’00 (S+B, DKE) 
References also had the following signers as earning their football Ys: 
Keyes Winter earned his football Y (Intercollegiate Football Book) (WH, DKE) 
Percy A. Rockefeller earned his football Y in 1899 (S+B,  ADP) 
Additional signatures of note that played varsity sports include: 
John P. Brock played on the varsity hockey team in 1898, ’99 and ’00 (Yale winning the Intercollegiate Hockey Championship in 1899 and 1900). This was very early for hockey and the first Harvard-Yale game was in 1900, which he played in. Brock also was a member of the varsity crew in 1898 and ’00 (WH, ADP) (Refer to our blog entry dated March 23, 2014, “Gresham Poe / Princeton Hockey 1902 / Northampton Hockey Trophy” for a summary of early American hockey). 
Stuart B. Camp played varsity baseball in 1897, ’98,’99, and ’00, captaining the team in 1900 (S+B,  ADP) 
James H. Niedecken rowed for varsity crew in 1898, ’99 and ’00 (S+K, DKE) 
Other signatories include (alphabetically): 
Frederick Baldwin Adams (ADP, S+B)
J. Pinckney H. Adams (Track 1899)
James W. Barney (DKE, S+K)
Charles E. Brinley (PSI)
Frank D. Cheney (DKE)
Thomas B. Clarke Jr.
William S. Coffin (S+B, DKE)
John W. Cross (S+B, PSI)
Malcolm Douglas (S+B)
Clare H. Draper (ADP)
Stephen B. Elkins
Henry E. Ellsworth (ADP)
John S. Ferguson (PSI)
Edward B. Greene (WH, ADP)
James C. Greenway (S+B, PSI, Crew ’97)
Harold H. Hackett
Frederick C. Havemeyer (S+K, DKE)
Lyman C. Hedge
Burns Henry (PSI)
John M. Hopkins (S+B, ADP)
Clarence P. Hulst
Bascom Johnson  (ADP, Track/Pole Vault)
Owen Johnson
Cortland F. Luce
George A. Lyon
Medill McCormick (ADP)
Robert H. McCormick (ADP)
Clarence Ordway
Charles R. Page (DKE)
Roswell M. Patterson (WH)
Robert Stevenson Jr. (S+K, DKE)
Hulbert Taft (S+B, DKE)
Charles L. Tiffany (S+K, PSI)
Robert C. Twichell (WH, ADP) 
Class members who were “Non-Graduates”: 
George N. Boyd
Arthur S. Goodwin
Harrison Gray
Henry O. Havemeyer
Davis M. Kellogg
Henry W. Lyman
Crispin Oglebay (S+K, ADP)
William Post Jr. (PSI)
David D. Tenney 
Signatories that are listed as members of the class of ’01: 
W. Woods Chandler
A.L. Gile
Julian Day

Close up of J. Camp's signature, left middle

                                           Close up of Malcolm L. McBride's signature, middle

Friday, August 26, 2016

More on Amos Alonzo Stagg

   Stagg Posing With His Electric Car. He Was Known to Coach From His Car at Chicago,  photo 1933
There is an abundance that has been written about Amos Alonzo Stagg, nicknamed the “Grand Old Man of Football” whether it be related to football, baseball, basketball or any number of other sports. As a player, coach and author he has made his mark. We have made mention of Stagg in numerous postings (e.g. see previous posting) and will continue with this post. Stagg is listed on the Yale varsity football rosters for the years 1888 and 1889 (the year he was named an All – American) and captained  the team in 1888. He was better known at this time for his baseball prowess and pitching ability. He played for Yale and is listed on the varsity baseball rosters for the years 1885, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’89 and ’90.  He was a strong enough pitcher to have been given the opportunity to play professionally, but his personal morals precluded this. 

                          1889 Yale Team Baseball Photo (Stagg Holding the Ball), Pach Cabinet Photo

  Stagg and Catcher Jesse Dann (Captain of the Baseball Team in 1887), 1888, Pach Cabinet Card

                                              Jesse Dann, c. 1889, Catcher, Pach Cabinet Card

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

1888 Yale Football Team Cabinet Photo / Charles Gill

                             Back Row – Stagg, Rhodes, Woodruff, Heffelfinger, Gill, Wallace and Bull

                             Front Row – McClung, Wurtenberg, Pa Corbin (Captain) and Graves 

One of the best known and most desirable of early Yale football photos. This team had all three of the first Yale players to be named All-Americans in 1889, Stagg, Gill and Heffelfinger. With a 13 – 0 record this team outscored the opposition 698 – 0.  Pach albumin photo.

                                                       The 1888 Yale Varsity Crew

   We are including this Pach cabinet photo since it pictures Gill, Corbin, and Woodruff who appear in the football cabinet photo and also J.A. Hartwell (far right) who played varsity football 1889, '90 and '91. Charles Gill, who I have not written about previously in this blog played varsity football 1885, '86,'87, '88 and '89 (as Captain) and was considered amongst the best to have played football for Yale. He was a member of the varsity crew in 1887, '88 and '89.

                              Charles Otis Gill, Captain of the 1889 Yale Football Team
                              1889 All-American                               Pach Cabinet Card

               In 1889 the Yale team under Gill scored 665 points to their opponents 31.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

David S. Schaff (Yale "73) Autograph and Cabinet Photo

Two handwritten and signed ("David S. Schaff" and "D.S.S.") postcards, stamped "PRAHA" [Prague] 19. VII. and INNSBRUCK (Austria) 22. VII. 1913, both to his daughter Mary Louise Schaff.  Exceedingly rare autographs.

Forget most of what you think you know or what you have read in the great majority of the books, David Schaff, Yale class of '73 never attended or played rugby at the Rugby school in England. He did however learn the game while at boarding school at Kornthal (near Stuttgart) where there were English boys in attendance who played the game on a regular basis. One of my favorite quotes that I read from his time at Kornthal related to rugby was as follows:, "The German and French boys at the school never entered the field; the play was too much like 'work' to them".
Schaff is properly credited with being one of the main forces reintroducing football (soccer) at Yale in the first years of the 1870s, after about a thirteen year hiatus from the time it was prohibited (banned by the faculty in October of 1857).
On November 3, 1872 Schaff was elected president of the newly formed Yale Football Club (captaining the football team this same year) and he was singly instrumental in arranging for the November 16, 1872 Yale - Columbia Football match (picked twenties), at Hamilton Park, which he was unable to compete in, having injured himself the Wednesday before.

Quoting Schaff in 1894:  "As early as 1871, and perhaps as early as 1870, when I entered college as a sophomore, a number of us began playing football.  Many in the class of '73 made a great deal out  of it as a daily after-dinner sport. We then played on some large, open lots on Elm street, I think, and  just in the rear of a young ladies' boarding school. Some of the leading boating and baseball men in   the class joined in the sport and were prominent players, such as Boyce, Oaks, Meyer, McCook, Piatt and Hemingway. The ball used in the early part of this period was the round rubber ball, wound up by a key. In the fall of  '71 I sent to a school friend, ' Babes ' Smith, of Bath, England, for a Rugby    ball. Smith and I had played together in many a game at school near Stuttgart. He sent me an oval     ball with leather cover. It came blown-up and incased in a wooden box. To his honor, as a football   man, be it said, the ball came as a gift to the football interests of the class. It came with the freight    paid in advance, and how it got through the custom-house remained a mystery to me. The coming of the new ball had been much talked about, and on its arrival was looked upon as a curiosity. So far as  the tradition among us went, this was the first Rugby ball ever seen on the college grounds. I remember well the man who carried it out to the grounds with me for the first afternoon's play and the expectancy with which its first use excited us. Like some other good things in this world, the Rugby   ball met with anything but general favor at first. It was tried, reprobated by some, put aside, but  brought out again and kept before the players till it came to be regarded as the best kind of ball for a  football field" (which was years away) -  for the early history of rugby football see the blog entry for June 13, 2015.


                                                  Schaff cabinet photo from 1872/73

Reverse of the Notman cabinet photo

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hyde Park (Massachusetts) Football Team

Benefit Program from March of 1895, picturing the 1894 Hyde Park* Championship team. The benefit was held to raise money for the Hyde Park Football Team which included William Henry Lewis (lower right corner) (see August 10, 2015 blog posting). 

Oversized albumin matching the benefit photo of the 1894 Hyde Park team.

In 1893 Hyde Park applied for and was admitted to the Suburban Football League (Eastern Massachusetts). At the time the league consisted of teams from Lynn, Newton and West Roxbury.

In 1894, the team was bolstered by ex-collegians, including William Henry Lewis, who played for Hyde Park this year. A larger complement of opposition this year included league and non-league teams and included the Brockton Athletic Association, Lynn, Newton, Dorchester,  the Haverhill Athletic Association, Tufts College,  the Highland Athletic Association, and MIT (the only loss of the season).

Other games had been scheduled for 1894, however teams backed out rather than suffering a presumed loss to a powerful Hyde Park. This included teams from the Manual Training School, Andover and a second round of matches with Newton and Dorchester. Hyde Park retained the League championship that it had also won in 1893. For the 1894 season Hyde Park scored 140 points to the opposition’s 10. 

*We have seen reference to Hyde Park as the Hyde Park Athletic Association in several sources.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dartmouth College "Old Division Football" 1870s

A fall football game on the Dartmouth College Green. Reed Hall on the left, Gates House, Bissell Hall, Chase residence and the Dartmouth Hotel.

Old Division Football was played exclusively on the Dartmouth College green. It was a brand of football with no limitations as to the size of the teams (normally of equal numbers), and where the two defended ends of the field in their entirety were considered the goal line. A set of rules was initially established for this game in 1871. Old Division was played primarily between classes or combinations thereof, such as contests between freshman and sophomores or between combined teams of freshman and juniors competing against sophomores and seniors.

This is a very rare early cabinet photo, picturing what some might term mob football. Image 7 3/8 x 4 3/8.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Halsted's Patented Exercising Chair 1844

The first patent for a true “exercising machine” was issued on March 13, 1844 to Oliver Halsted of New York; Specification of Letters Patent No. 3,480, “Machine For Producing Exercise”.
This chair’s significance lies in it’s being the earliest documented and manufactured piece of American exercising equipment. An extreme rarity, we know of only this example. The chair is stamped twice on the underside with “Halsted’s Patent  New York”. Period advertisements in the New York Herald and New York Evening Post ran sporadically for this chair in 1844 and 1845. No advertisements or information post 1845 can be located and sales of the exercising chairs must have been extremely limited.
The “ purpose for which it is designed, a substitute for carriage, horse and many other forms of gymnastic exercise” …"an admirable substitute for horseback exercise , which its motion most resembles. It has however, the additional advantage of giving active exercise to the arms and chest.”  There are also numerous recommendations from physicians  on its benefits to dyspeptics, primarily those with irritable dispositions or digestive issues, as well.


             Moving the levers slightly raises and lowers the seat, exercising primarily the arms and chest,  body weight providing the resistance.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

1920s Football Kicking Shoes

We have a pretty good selection of football shoes but had a hole in the collection, never having picked up any kicking shoes. We found this pair at Brimfield. They are earlier than most (figuring likely 1920s due to the construction) and are unusual in that they are for a left footed kicker. They are labeled "Golden" (Golden Sporting Shoe Co., Brockton, Mass.) and are just over 12" in length.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Meeting at Brimfield May 10, 2016

From left to right, Dan Hauser, up from North Carolina, Joe Lurie and Ed Turner, down from Maine. Meeting on the field at the Brimfield Fair on Tuesday. Great to have met up with these guys. As expected, saw a lot of interesting pieces.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Great Get-Together April 29, 2016

From L to R: John Gennantonio, Ed Turner, Joe Lurie and Jacob Lurie

What a great day. We spent the day delving into two of our football collections, swapping stories and looking over some pretty special pieces, driving back and forth between Maine and Massachusetts. John even flew in from Cincinnati, and Jacob in from New York City.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Phillips Exeter Football Team w/ McClung , Rhodes and Morison c.1886 and Phillips Andover Football Team c.1886

Oversized albumin of the Phillips Exeter football team. Exeter was a feeder school for Yale and pictured are several notable players that went on to star for the University. Of particular interest are Thomas Lee McClung, William Castle Rhodes and Sanford Newel Morison.

 A young Thomas "Bum" McClung, mentioned a number of times previously in this blog.
McClung was a two time All-American at Yale, class of 1892 and played football in '88,'89,'90 and '91, captaining the team in his last year. He is generally considered one of the top twenty players of the 19th century. He coached football at the University of California in 1892 and went on to become the Treasurer of the United States.

William Rhodes, Yale class of 1891 played for Yale in '87,'88,'89 and 1890, captaining the team in 1890. Rhodes was also an All-American. After graduation he played for the Cleveland Athletic Club and then returned to Yale to coach the football team in 1893 and 1894.

Sanford Morison followed up his time at Exeter also playing for Yale, in '89,'90 and '91

A good shot of the ball
Oversized albumin of the Phillips Andover Academy football team and chief rivals of those portrayed in the preceding Exeter team photographs.  See also blog entries for Aug 4, 2014 and Aug 13, 2015.