This vintage real photo postcard is a memento from the early history of football. This warrior of the gridiron stands at attention for his sports portrait. He appears to be college age and may be a member of a college football team. He is wearing his practice uniform and this image certainly reminds us of the major changes that have taken place over the years in the realm of sports equipment technology. This postcard has a divided back as well as a white border. It was likely produced during the White Border Era (1915-1930). The white borders were a method employed to help postcard publishers save on the expense of ink. This postcard is in good condition and the reverse of the card indicates that it once resided in a postcard album.

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2456

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Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2456

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This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of a football team. These eleven heroes of the gridiron are wearing their uniforms for this group photograph. Six of the young men are wearing their helmets. Unfortunately, these thin leather helmets didn’t offer much protection against concussions or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). At first glance, I thought this team may actually be a rugby team. I based my impression on the odd shape and size of the football. The ball looked more like a rugby ball than a football. A little investigating revealed that today’s football has evolved over time. Basically, footballs have gone from round, to watermelon shaped, to today’s shaped football. The modern football became commonly used in 1935. In 1869 (first collegiate football game), the ball used was round, resembling a soccer ball. In 1874, a rugby-type ball was introduced. Shaped like a watermelon, it was as difficult to throw as the round ball. In 1912, an oversized version of today’s football was introduced. This football gave the quarterback more control of the ball when passing. The football in this photo postcard appears to be the rugby style ball, and that is compatible with the AZO stamp box which indicates that this portrait was taken between 1904 and 1918. The players and their team are unidentified. 

Published in: on March 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm  Comments (7)  
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