Saturday, December 23, 2017

Brown University Class of 1899 and 1900 Freshman Football Teams

It turns out that many Brown teams had their photograph taken by Horton Bros., in Providence, Rhode Island. The identical painted background (as seen in this photo) was utilized in many of these photos from the mid 1890s. A number of those pictured in this photo went on to play with the varsity football team.

Measuring 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

Another Horton Bros. photo taken in 1895 of the 1899 Brown Freshman football team. This photo has the owner and team roster identified on the reverse. Photo measures approximately                       8 1/4" x 6 1/4".

1886 University of California Berkeley Football Team

Early UC football photos are virtually non-existent. This is due in part to football only being introduced in the 1880s, and 1886 being the first year football as we know it existed rather than variations of rugby played primarily against local clubs. Various sources cite different players as captaining the team, however the 1887 Blue and Gold, published in 1886 lists P.S. Woolsey as Captain. The team is made up of Rushers, Rothganger, Moffitt, O.S. Howard, Shoaf, Merrill and Wilbur, Quarterback, Bosse, Half-backs Turner and Woolsey, Three-Quarter Back Magee and Back, Blanchard.
This albumin photo measuring approximately 4 ¼” x 6” was actually set directly into the 1887 volume of the Blue & Gold, and is likely the earliest known UC football photo. This photo is earlier than anything pictured in either "66 Years of the California Gridiron", by Brodie, published in 1949, or in "100 Years of Blue & Gold", by Peters, published in 1982.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

S.S. John P. Poe Liberty Ship Life Preserver

WW II Liberty ship life preserver from the S.S. John P. Poe, named for John Prentiss Poe Sr., Democratic political power and Attorney General of Maryland from 1891 to 1895. Poe was father to six sons who all played football while at Princeton (referenced throughout posts on this blog), several being named as All-American. His sons took part in and made their mark in other sports as well, including lacrosse, hockey and wrestling.
When researching the history of the Liberty Ships, we found it to be an absolutely fascinating subject. At the beginning of the 1940s, there was a critical need for cargo vessels to carry troops, vehicles, guns and munitions and other war related cargo. An emergency program was put in place to build a fleet of ships following the general rules of mass production, and 2710 ships were built in this fashion from 1941 to 1945 (one burned during construction, or the total would be 2711).
The largest of the shipyards manufacturing these ships was the Bethlehem – Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, where the S.S. John P. Poe was built, launching on July 25, 1942, hull number 0054. The Poe was scraped in 1972, which was later than most.
Only three of the Liberty Ships still exist, most having been scraped. During the war over two hundred of these ships were lost. The majority of the records show that this was due to causes such as torpedoes, bombardment, kamikazes, explosions and wrecks.

A very unusual find, and a fitting addition to our collection, this life preserver was found in St. Petersburg, Florida and was identified simply as “Original Antique Life Maritime Life Preserver Baltimore” - we were lucky to have come across it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wonderful New Website On Frank Hinkey

It is not often that we find what we consider a great football site, especially  from the perspective of bringing to light well executed historical research.
One such site, that is new to the internet, can be found at .  Well researched, photographed and scanned, it gives the reader information that cannot be found elsewhere. We greatly appreciate a researcher that shares such knowledge and does so on a subject that is of interest to all of us that collect, research or follow the early history of football, Frank Hinkey.
This is a wonderful site that we wholeheartedly recommend and we look forward to the updates as they are made.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Championship Team Photo 1888

MIT won the Eastern Inter-Collegiate Football Association title in 1887 and 1888 (co-winning in 1888 with Dartmouth who had the same win - loss record in league play).

Back row standing, left to right:  Charles Garrison, ’91, William M. Duane, ’89, Odin B. Roberts, ’88, Frank L. Dame, ’88, Richard Devens, ‘88
Middle row, seated: F. Goodhue, Jr., ’90, Edgar L. Hamilton, ’90, Frank M. Ladd, ’88, Robert C. Mitchell, ’91, Edward W. Herrick, ’88, P.H. Tracy, ’90, Clarence B. Vorce, ‘88
Front row, seated on ground: Frederick E. Ellis, ’88, Otto Germer Jr., ‘91

Photo approximately 10" x 15"

                                                                Close up of banner

Sunday, June 18, 2017

From The Scrapbook Of Princeton All-American William Church

There are hundreds of items in William Church's scrapbook, and we have posted some of the more interesting photographs and ephemera previously on this blog (Jan 2, 2014, Sept 14, 2013, Feb 13, 2014, Nov 2, 2014, July 21, 2013).
Going through one of our bins tonight, we chose a few more pieces that we thought interesting to post. Church kept absolutely everything.

    Church's scrapbook contains over one hundred newspaper clippings and articles.

                          Church even kept his train tickets - this selection from 1895.

                                  ..."do up Yale at all hazards". What a great quote!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Extremely Rare Sheet Music Featuring Native American John Levi

Published in 1929, this football themed sheet music is nearly impossible to locate a copy of, and our interest in Native American football made this something of great interest to us. The cover features Arapaho Indian John Levi, who rivaled Jim Thorpe as the greatest Native American athlete. Tradition holds that Thorpe considered Levi the greatest athlete that he had seen. Levi played and coached at the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas (All-American) and was a player/coach for the professional Hominy Indian team (see our blog entries of August 14, 2013 and August 3, 2015). 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cyanotype of the 1900 Dartmouth Varsity Captains and Managers

Cyanotypes of sports subjects are not common but can be found, and this is one of the best examples we have come across. Having a unique blue hue, these photos are known for their clarity and resistance to fading.
Front row left to right are Irving French, captain of the varsity baseball team, Frank William Lowe, football captain and Frederick White Haskell, captain of the track team.
Back row left to right are Joseph Raphael, manager of the baseball team, Harry Washburn, manager of the football team and Verson Gooch, manager of the track team.
French and Haskell were also classmates at Philips Andover Academy, representing the same sports they played at Dartmouth.
It is interesting to note that most sports related cyanotypes that have come on the market in the last five or six years happen to have Dartmouth as their subject matter. It was likely the preference of, or possibly simply experimentation with a lesser utilized photographic process, by a singular photographer for a relatively short period of time.

Monday, May 8, 2017

1891 Dudley Riggs Team Cabinet Photo

Normally only referred to by his nickname “Dudley”, Thomas “Dudley” Riggs, at 16 years of age is pictured  holding the ball, as captain, in this 1891 albumin of the “Old Hundred Eleven, S.P.S.”. Before attending Princeton (’97), where he was named an All-American in 1895, he attended the St. Paul School in Concord, New Hampshire. Dudley played only two years for the Tigers, 1894 and 1895. A 1896 Boston Herald article states that “Dudley Riggs, ’97 has been forbidden by his parents to play football again”, thus his relatively short but noteworthy career.  He followed in his brother’s footsteps. First, Lawrence, ’83, then Jesse, ’92.  Jesse was named an All-American in 1890. Additionally, his brothers Frank and Harry played as substitutes.
Riggs is pictured as one of the Princeton cards of the 1894 Mayo Cut Plug series.
Photo 13 1/2 x 10 1/8, on a slightly larger mount. In gilt on the mount "Old Hundred Eleven, S.P.S. 1891".

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Joe Carr 1926 Pottsville Maroons Coal Charm

 Historically significant 1926 Pottsville Maroons anthracite charm presented to NFL commissioner Joe Carr. The significance of this piece cannot be overstated as Carr was responsible for stripping the Maroons of their championship and suspension from the NFL at the end of 1925. In 1926 Carr visited Pottsville and was presented with this charm, an olive branch of sorts. The Maroons were subsequently readmitted to the NFL, having some leverage due to their notoriety (NFL championship and their defeat of the Four Horseman), and given the fact that Carr now needed the Maroons as another upstart league, the AFL, was threatening to bring the Maroons on board (the other league already had Grange) and this may have spelled the end for the NFL. The charm has been in the Carr family from 1926 until this year. The Pottsville Maroon story is an intriguing one and a central figure to it is Joe Carr. Engraved in coal is "Pottsville 1926" and "JFC" (for Joseph Francis Carr).  Roughly an inch in size.  There were numerous controversies and concerns with Carr wielding his power as commissioner unevenly, often favoring teams from larger cities or owners with bigger bankrolls. One cannot help but draw a modern day comparison to Roger Goodell and a number of his rulings, such as those against Brady and the Patriots, as being uneven or excessive or even unwarranted, as in his most high profile rulings against the team.

The significance of the charm being carved from coal is due to Pottsville having been a coal mining town as well as originally having played in the Anthracite Football League. This charm is specifically mentioned in "Breaker Boys: The NFL's Greatest Team and the Stolen Championship", by Fleming; see pages 248 and 249.  In 1928 coal fobs were awarded to Maroons' team members. A few have found their way to market, including those having belonged to Wilbur "Fats""Pete" Henry, Tony Latone, Frankie Racis and Johnny "Blood" McNally.