Posts Tagged ‘Caspar Whitney’

1903 Carlisle All Stars

February 7, 2012

The 1904 Spalding Guide includes various pundits’ All Whatever Teams, ranging from Walter Camp’s annual All America teams to others’ nationwide selection to various regional teams composed of who they thought were the best players from the 1903 season.  Not surprisingly, some Carlisle players’ names were included in some of these selections.  More surprising was that some former Carlisle stars were listed but as members of other teams, usually major universities!

Walter Camp named James Johnson to his All-American Team for 1903 First Eleven at quarterback, saying this about him:

“Johnson, captain and quarterback of the Indian team, demonstrated in his Harvard and Pennsylvania games his ability as a strategist as well as his power as a quarter-back. He is versatile, watches the ball splendidly, understands how to use his men, and plays so as to get good work out of them, and finally is a dangerous man on field-kick goals.”

Johnson’s photo differs from that of the other All Americans in that he is wearing a helmet. About half wear their playing clothes while the others sport their letter sweaters. Only Johnson wears his headgear. Perhaps Spalding selected this photo of him because he was wearing something that looks a lot like Spalding’s Head Harness No. A, which at $5.00 made it, along with the equally priced Pneumatic Head Harness No. 70, Spalding’s most expensive headgear at the time. (Less expensive headwear options started at $1.50.) Modern readers might find Spalding’s ad copy for Head Harness No. A interesting:

“Made of firm tanned black leather, molded to shape, perforated for ventilation and well padded. Adjustable chin strap. This head harness presents a perfectly smooth surface, and while giving absolute protection is one of the coolest and lightest made. When ordering specify size of hat worn.”

Next time, more on 1903 Carlisle Stars.

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Reprints of Early Spalding’s Football Guides Now Available

August 19, 2011

A. G. Spalding’s football guides from the early days of college football are excellent sources of information for football historians and researchers. Unfortunately, these books are now quite old and fragile, a factor that severely limits their use as research tools. To make matters worse, they have become rare enough that, when copies appear for sale, they are quite expensive.

Seeing the need for inexpensive copies of these highly useful books, Tuxedo Press is reprinting them in paperback form as they previously did for what they call Pop Warner’s Single-Wing Trilogy. Coaches, researchers and historians have found the Warner books so useful that Tuxedo Press is doing the same thing for Spalding’s Official Football Guides for the years 1883 to 1919 as copies of these books become available to them to reprint in paperback form.

Because the years from 1883 to 1893 were very small, they are bound as a single volume. Beginning with 1899, the next year Tuxedo press has found so far, each year is printed separately because those volumes are much larger. Besides the rule changes for the upcoming season, an annual volume includes Walter Camp’s three All-America team selections for the previous season, other critics picks for their All-America teams, assessments of the various teams’ successes for the previous season and outlook for the upcoming season. These books are filled with illustrated ads for Spalding equipment. The equipment illustrations could be very useful in researching the evolution of helmets and such.

More information can be found at http://www.tuxedo-press.com/index_files/Reprints.htm. The reprints of the Spalding’s Guides are also available through on-line resellers and can be ordered by your local bookstore.