Archive for March, 2012

More About Warner’s 1912 Book

March 30, 2012

The endorsements at the bottom of the 1912 ad were the same as previously: one from Walter Camp and the other from an unnamed prominent athletic director.  Most of the ad is an endorsement written by Parke H. Davis.  The first paragraph is most interesting.

During the season of 1911 I made a critical study of the offensive and defensive tactics of the leading foot ball teams of the East.  At its conclusion my opinion was that the tactical system of the Carlisle Indian team was without any doubt the most ingenious and effective system of all.  Prompted thereby I have recently made a study of the ‘Course in Foot Ball for Players and Coaches,’ written by Glenn S. Warner, the Coach of the Carlisle  team.  This also is far and away the most advanced and scientific presentation of expert foot ball play in existence.  Mr. Warner’s course consists of twenty pamphlets, copiously illustrated with diagrams, drawings and photographs of players in action, exhaustive and complete, and covering every department of individual and team play.

Warner may have done the drawings or he may have enlisted Lone Star Dietz to do them or they each may have done some as they later did for Warner’s 1927 book.  That Dietz did the cover art for the 1912 book argues for his having done some of the interior illustrations.  Various “famous players” are photographed performing various football skills including kicking, punting, and catching punts.  Frank Mt. Pleasant is the only player specifically identified with a photo as Warner included three frames of Mt. Pleasant throwing a forward pass.  Each frame represents a different part in the throwing motion.  What looks to be a young, skinny Jim Thorpe is shown dropping the ball to punt it.  Gus Welch (possibly) is shown following through after punting the ball.

<more on the book next time>

Warner’s New Book

March 28, 2012

Warner’s ad in the 1912 Spalding’s Guide was very different from the previous ads because his product was different.  This is apparent from the new price emphasized in very large type at the top of the ad.  The title remained the same, [A] Course in Foot Ball for Players and Coaches, but the price was only a quarter of the amount he charged in previous years.  Ad copy mentioned that the correspondence course “…has proven so universally satisfactory and the demand has increased so greatly that he will revise the course in accordance with the new rules and publish it in book form.  Publishing new versions of the course each year was legitimate, probably necessary, at that time because rule changes came fast and furious in those days.  The revolutionary rule changes of 1906 required refinement in the immediately following years to complete the job of opening up football and reducing fatalities.  These annual changes necessitated significant changes to strategy and formations.  But keeping up with them was a chore.

An even bigger chore was handling the logistics of servicing customers who had bought the correspondence course in previous years differently than those who were buying it for the first time.  Those who first bought it in 1908 surely balked at paying the same $10 fee four times.  1912 would have been the fifth.  Keeping track of the individual pamphlets and, worse yet, getting out the mailings as pamphlets became ready would have been a nightmare.  Postage costs would have been substantial.

Warner’s solution was to bind the 1912 version of the course as a hardback book (I don’t think paperbacks were commonplace then) and sell for $2.50.  That he self-published the book is clear from the address to which orders were to be sent: Glenn S. Warner, Athletic Director, Indian School, Carlisle, Pa.

<more on the book next time>


March 22, 2012

Before getting to Warner’s new approach, we should talk about endorsements.  Celebrity endorsements are not a recent invention.  A prime example of this phenomenon can be seen on the ad found in the 1910 Spalding’s Guide.  At the bottom of the page, under the double lines, in boldface type is the name of the greatest football expert of the day, Walter Camp.  The ad copy states, “Mr. Walter Camp has endorsed and complimented Mr. Warner’s former foot ball courses and there has not been a single dissatisfied subscriber since the course was first put out…”  It says that Camp endorsed Warner’s course without including any specifics of what Camp said about it. Generally, a quote from the endorser is placed prominently in the ad. Perhaps Camp merely approved the use of his name without actually stating anything about the course. Following the Walter Camp endorsement of sorts was one from an anonymous “prominent athletic director.”

Your foot ball course reached me in due time. I have found it most interesting reading. It hits the mark for it is intelligible and systematic. I have had the opportunity of observing coaches at work on our field and find in your manuals more than the combined wisdom of them all. You have eliminated the non-essential. You proceed by the simple and direct method which shows that you know how to teach and the results you have obtained in past years are the inevitable results of methods of this kind.

Who was this mystery athletic director? A couple of possibilities come quickly to mind: 1) he wasn’t a major figure in the game of football or was controversial, or 2) he was a major figure but didn’t want his name to be associated publicly with the correspondence course. My money would go with first one because someone who didn’t want his name to be published probably wouldn’t have written Warner in the first place.

Next time—Warner’s new approach

Problems with Warner’s Correspondence Course

March 20, 2012

In 1910, Warner had three sets of customers all expected to pay the same $10 for that year’s course but, depending on the set they were in, received something different.  Old customers who first bought the course in 1908 or 1909 received the annual supplements where new customers received all the pamphlets from the original course plus the 1910 supplements.  This surely created a logistics headache for him.  To simplify things, he might have packaged a set of course pamphlets with the first supplement he released for the year, thus giving old customers a second or third copy of the course.  Arguing against him doing that is the likelihood of subscribers giving their duplicates to friends.  Warner would surely have foreseen that possibility.  Evidence to support that he didn’t send duplicate copies of the pamphlets to old customers is that none of the (few) archives that have copies of the course mention having multiple copies although some have annual supplements.

A hint that Warner received static from his old customers over the pricing is that Warner addressed that issue in the ad copy when he wrote, “The latter manual or pamphlet, diagramming and explaining an entirely new system of offense, will alone be worth many times the subscription price of the course which remains but $10.00.”

Not having a copy of the 1911 Spalding Guide yet, I don’t know what the ad copy for that year stated, but do expect that logistics problems and complaints over pricing from old customers compounded over time.  These issues may have become great enough by 1912 to cause Warner to take his training course in a different direction while making it affordable for a broader audience. The next installment in this conversation will discuss Warner’s new approach.  In the meantime, if you know of anyone who has copies of Warner’s correspondence course, particularly the Offense pamphlets, please let me know.

Ads for Warner’s Correspondence Course

March 16, 2012

The copy of the 1909 Spalding’s Guide that I have doesn’t include an ad for Warner’s correspondence course. It could just be missing a page as the advertising pages at the backs of those books are often in bad shape or, not infrequently, missing. If you have a copy of the 1909 Spalding’s Guide that includes an ad, please let me know. Moving on to 1910, we find a very different ad. This time, it is titled “FOOT BALL COACHING {BY CORRESPONDENCE FOR} $10.” The text-intensive ad copy begins with Warner’s name in bold print the size of the title, followed by two paragraphs that extol the virtues of his correspondence course and that is has been in use for two years. That implies that, even if he didn’t advertise it in the 1909 Spalding’s Guide, he continued to offer it. Looking at the copy of A Course in Football for Players and Coaches: Offense on my bookshelf, I see a 1909 supplement for the offense pamphlet. It appears that Warner continued to sell the basic course from 1908 but supplemented it with updates. Since he refers to the cost of the course as a subscription, he implies that those who bought the course in 1908 would pay an additional $10 fee each year for supplements.

The first paragraph includes a curious phrase, “…has been given this page….” Whether he wrote euphemistically or not is unknown. Ads for products, other than books written by Walter Camp, do not regularly appear in the pages of the Spalding’s Guides as the advertising space was reserved for the company’s own products. It is understandable that Walter Camp would be provided space because of his close relationship with Spalding. Whether Warner given the space as a reward for using or extolling the virtues of Spalding’s products is not known. That Walter Camp endorsed Warner’s course is clear.

<to be continued>

If you have, or know of someone who has, a copy of either the 1911 Spalding’s Guide or the 1911 Offense Supplement for Pop Warner’s correspondence course, please let me know.

Pop Warner’s Correspondence Course

March 14, 2012

While preparing the Spalding’s Guides for reprinting, I noticed ads for Pop Warner’s book in the backs of several of them. On closer inspection, I noticed that they changed a bit from year to year. Today, I will discuss these ads in sequence from when they first appeared to when they disappeared and conjecture why the ads no longer ran.
The first ad that I found appeared in the 1908 Spalding’s Guide. It is probably not a coincidence that 1908 was the year in which Warner released his then untitled correspondence course on football. The ad was boldly titled “EXPERT FOOT BALL COACHING FOR $10.” The text-intensive advertisement made the case for the need for such a book by stating that the new rules in place since 1906 “…have so radically changed the game that all writings or books on the subject are practically of no use.” Warner’s credentials as an experienced, innovative coach: “The originator of this plan is Glenn S. Warner, who has acted as Head Coach of prominent foot ball teams for the past thirteen years, and whose coaching and training enabled the Carlisle Indians to make such a remarkable record last year, and to be given credit for playing the most scientific and up-to-date game of any team since the adoption of the new rules. Mr. Warner has for many years been most successful in teaching the open game and there is no one in the field today who is better qualified to carry out this plan than he.”
The ad goes on to describe how Warner’s correspondence was organized as a set of pamphlets or letters on a number of subjects. The first group of subjects were aimed at teaching players how to best play the game and were sold or $5 as Group One. The pamphlets covering equipment, strategies, signals, formations and plays among other things comprise Group Two. Coaches, captains and teams would buy the entire course, including both groups, for $10. Warner promised to start sending the pamphlets around September 15, the traditional start of practice at that time.

4th Anniversary

March 9, 2012

Four years ago this week, on March 7, 2008—can it be that long ago already?– I posted my first message to this blog. Three hundred and sixty-six messages and numerous photos later, I wonder if you, the readers, find your time spent here worthwhile. I get little feedback from readers, either positive or negative, about the value of the information presented herein. What I generally get are questions about Carlisle Indian School students, often from family members. On several occasions, family members, most often grandchildren or great grandchildren, have provided me very useful information about their relative. Such information fills in holes about the person that I would never otherwise be able to find. In some cases—Mike Balenti comes quickly to mind–it would have been very difficult to write a chapter about the person without the information the relative sent to me as a result of this blog.

A few times, this blog has served as a means for family members to make contact with relatives they didn’t know existed or with whom relations had been severed by a previous generation. It is very rewarding to know that this blog played a role in these people establishing or reestablishing relationships.

A few months ago, readership jumped significantly and continues at that higher level. It could be that, due to the ever-growing number of topics covered herein, this blog shows up more often on searches and unsuspecting people are brought here unwittingly. Or, it could be that the collective amount of useful information is growing and providing more people something of value. I don’t know. A little feedback would be helpful in determining if I am doing anything of value. Now, I must go to physical therapy to work on the residue of health issues that interrupted this blog last summer and early fall.

ATF Came Calling Today

March 6, 2012

Today, I received an email completely out of the blue from the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The message was from an ATF historian wanting to know if I had any photographs of one-time agent William Gardner. What made the request all-the-more surprising was that, when I was researching Gardner’s life, the Department of Justice disavowed having any knowledge of him, even after I appealed their initial decision. Obviously, Justice does know something about the Untouchable who busted up breweries alongside Eliot Ness many decades ago.

While talking with the ATF historian, I learned that the Bureau had undergone several reorganizations over the years and the Untouchables’ files had been thought to be lost somewhere along the way. Recently, eight of the files were found, including Bill Gardner’s. Perhaps the person writing a definitive biography of Eliot Ness uncovered them while doing his research. Now, I must wait for copies to arrive to see what remains in his file and to learn some things I didn’t know about his time with the Justice Department.

Apparently, Eliot Ness, who was a physically small man who played in a very rough game with the likes of Al Capone, recruited Gardner, a large powerful man, for his muscle. Ness may have wanted Gardner for protection both when out on operations and to be with him should the thugs attempt reprisals against him. Ness has written that he initially intended to use Gardner in undercover work but, immediately after seeing him, changed his mind. A six-foot-tall Sioux with a muscular build would not blend in well in Chicago; he would definitely not blend into the background. Gardner’s experience on the football field probably served him as well as his Dickinson law degree when he was raiding those bootleggers. It will be interesting to see what is lurking in his file.

College Players in Carlisle-Haskell Game

March 1, 2012

Due to misreading a few lines in an article, I thought they have played another game that wasn’t included in Steckbeck’s Fabulous Redmen, but a closer reading cleared up the confusion. Before rereading it, I came across an article in a Wisconsin newspaper about the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game that included a couple of statements that caught my eye:

The program stated that every one of the players was a full-blooded Indian, but we doubted it in the case of one man with curley [sic] hair, and in the case of another who formerly played with the U. W. [University of Wisconsin–Madison] team and at least made no claim of Indian ancestry at that time. Most of them really were Indians, though they didn’t look the part except when they wrapped themselves in red blankets waiting to begin.

It is well known that a number of the Haskell players later enrolled at Carlisle, but not so well known that some players played on major college football teams before or after playing for Carlisle or, in a few cases, both.

I haven’t figured out which University of Wisconsin player the newspaper reporter had in mind yet. The only player on the 1903 Wisconsin squad that I know for sure played for either Carlisle or Haskell was William Baine. But he didn’t play in the World’s Fair game. However, two former University of Minnesota players played for their old alma mater, Carlisle. Perhaps, the writer confused players for his neighboring state’s team with those of his home state. Ed Rogers and John B. Warren both played for Minnesota in 1903. Rogers played for Carlisle from 1897 to 1901 before enrolling at the University of Minnesota law school. John B. Warren eventually came to play for Minnesota but by a more circuitous route. The April 22, 1904 edition of The Red Man & Helper included an article about him that included his football history. He played for Carlisle in 1898 and 1899. After graduating in 1900, he enrolled at the Indiana Pa. Normal School where he continued to play football in 1900 and 1901. He enrolled at Minnesota in 1902 and lettered at right tackle. In 1903, Warren shifted to right guard and Rogers was elected captain of the Minnesota squad.

1904 found both Ed Rogers and John Warren working as football coaches. Rogers coached at Carlisle and Warren was hired as coach and athletic director of Chilocco Indian School. Because Chilocco played a major role in the operation of the model government Indian school exhibit at the World’s Fair, Warren and his athletes spent the summer at the Fair, most likely playing baseball. He could have easily made contact with Haskell officials that summer and fall. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Rogers suited up as a player for Carlisle and Warren donned the moleskins for Haskell.