Posts Tagged ‘1912 Spalding’s Guide’

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>