It’s been a while since I acquired a vintage uniform catalog, and a long while since I acquired one as magnificent as the 1924 Goldsmith beauty you see above. Some parts of it are better than others, but almost every page offers at least one item of unusual interest, so let’s take a page-by-page guided tour of the entire thing:
Inside front cover: The inner cover lists all the schools that wear Goldsmith gear, including many schools that we now think of as major football powerhouses: Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, etc. That’s funny, I thought Nike and Adidas invented football at those schools.
Page 1: You’ll rarely see a more effective use of three-color design than this. Wouldn’t that make a swell poster?
Pages 2 and 3: This spread offers Goldsmith’s official footballs. Nice but unremarkable. These are the least interesting pages in the catalog.
Page 4: A page of fairly rudimentary helmets. Perfect in case you plow into a goalpost, like the guy in the illustration at top-center. But go ahead, do your worst — this baby is “padded throughout with best quality white felt.”
Page 5: Here’s where things start to get really interesting. Check out this helmet with elastic lacing in the back. Never seen anything like that. Also, note the “additional extension for back of head” (basically an early neck bumper) and the lower-jaw protection (more than 80 years before the Riddell Revolution!). “The finest helmet ever designed,” indeed.
Page 6: Another page of helmets, but I especially like the cutaway drawing on the bottom. I figure Michael Princip might want to incorporate some of those design details into his next version of the Bulwark, so here’s a close-up of the cutaway.
Page 7: Still more helmets, but note that the one at top-left has a built-in nose and cheek guard. Nice of them to provide comic relief with another spot illo, too.
Page 8: A selection of shoulder pads. The “interlocking pivotcentre” on the lower model is interesting. And man, do I love all those hand-lettered labels.
Page 9: More shoulder pads, notable primarily for the unusual design at top-right.
Page 10: Still more shoulder pads. Nothing particularly remarkable here.
Page 11: Now we’re talkin’ — a page devoted to football pants, complete with swatches. I’ve seen a lot of old catalogs over the years, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen fabric swatches for football knickers. Love the inside-out schematic views, too.
Page 12: If you’d like your pants to have an “inner harness,” then this is the page for you.
Page 15: Here’s a page of practice equipment and accessories. I love that the tackling dummy is “correctly stuffed.”
Page 16: Matt Powers, this page is for you. Put me down for a pair of No. 44, thanks.
Page 17: Another page of footwear. Love those square-toed kicking shoes.
Page 18: Okay, I know you’re thinking, “Enough with the pads and shoes already. Where’s the good stuff?” I hear ya — here’s your money shot. Man, after 87 years, those colors still pop! And when’s the last time you saw a sports catalog offering “Blood Orange”? Worth the price of admission for this page alone.
Page 19: You know I love these wool jerseys. Note that numerals are optional, and are only for the back of the jersey. Lots of other good stuff on this page — I recommend reading the whole thing.
Page 20: More jerseys, this time with a variety of collar styles. Man, is the guy at lower-right the most unlikely-looking football model ever?
Inside back cover: Why do socks so often get lumped in with the jockstraps?
Back cover: And that’s a wrap.
Pretty nice, right? If you want a closer look, you can access larger versions of each page here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Love love love these old roller derby skates. … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: The Wenatchee Wild — that’s a minor league hockey team will wear Seahawks-themed jerseys later this month. Note the captaincy designation — a nice touch. … I like this shot of former UCLA football coach Red Sanders holding the old National Championship trophy (with thanks to Paul Molina). … When the Hollywood Stars came out with their famous shorts in 1950, it prompted Baseball Digest to publish a fun piece on baseball uni history (nice find by Mike Hersh). … Nike made special shoes for the Nets/Raptors game in London. “They went with the Raptors’ pre-2006 color scheme, including purple,” notes Cody Van Ryn — weird. … Those camo warm-ups are now spreading like a virus through the NHL. Latest team to be infected: the Caps. … When Mike Engle recently mailed me his membership fee, he addressed the envelope with vertically arched lettering! … A few weeks ago I linked to this white Cal helmet but didn’t know anything more about it. Now Kyle Mackie, who attends Cal, says he’s spoken with one of the team’s players: “He told me that it’s gonna be worn at an away game, so we can likely expect the Storm Trooper look. Cal opens the season with a game against Fresno State at a neutral site, Candlestick Park, in San Francisco. The player told me that if Cal is designated the away team, expect the white helmets to open the season; otherwise they would be held for a later road game. He also mentioned that at this point it’s a one-time thing only.” … Also from Kyle: “The other day I stumbled my way into a commercial shoot for a video the Pac-10 was filming at Cal to promote the new Pac-12 logo. The video is set to be released (I think) on March 16th on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. The video is going to feature mainly Cal student-athletes, but dressed up in gear from all 12 schools in the conference. The Pac-10 people brought boxes of props, jerseys and helmets from all of the schools for the shoot, and had different students representing the different schools for the video. I didn’t see the new logo but was told that it’s pretty much the same as the current Pac-10 logo, but with a 12.” … This is pretty cool — it’s called “NBA: Six Degrees of Separation,” and l’ll let you play around with it so you can discover what that means. Be warned — it’s addictive (blame Matt Weidner). … Here are all the uni combos that the Angels will be wearing for their Flashback Fridays throwback games (with thanks to Adam Stoneman). … The Spurs and Heat did the Español thing on Friday night. … Another high school hoops mix-up in Indiana, as Northridge played Concord at a neutral site and both teams brought their white uniforms. Northridge ended up borrowing jerseys from the host school, Elkhart, which led to an unusual-looking uni match-up (big thanks to Tony Miller). … Always loved the Dallas Chaparrals logo (thanks, Brinke). … I’ve mentioned several times that Tsuyoshi Nishioka is obviously an Adidas guy, so it was surprising to see him wearing Nike cleats the other day (good spot by Jeff Metzdorff). … “Kris Letang of the Penguins got in a fight Friday night and was given game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down,” reports Doug Keklak. “They showed the strap in postgame, and you could make out the tag.” … Syracuse lacrosse wore throwbacks on Friday (with thanks to Troy Fowler). … Gordon Blau spotted this MLB-esque barber shop sign. … Here’s something interesting: I’ve seen high school and college basketball warm-up tops with snap-on nameplates before (this was so the warm-ups could be used for multiple seasons with different players), but I’d never seen a baseball jersey with snap-on functionality until now. It’s from this eBay auction. … According to this report, two young pitchers in Mets camp are working on lengthening their strides by wearing spikes on their push-off feet and sneakers on their landing feet. “That way,” says the article, “they learn to step further because they’re hitting the ground later.” … New logo for the Anaheim Bolts (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). … Georgetown and Cincinnati went color-vs.-color on Saturday, but the real story is that Cincy point guard Chris Wright was missing the “s” on his chest insignia (good spot by Christopher Winschel). … Very disappointing to hear that FIFA has banned snoods, if only because “snood” is such a fun word (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Another college hoops player is wearing boxing headgear on the court. That’s Kyron Stokes of Oral Roberts University. Further details here (with thanks to Joe Moore). … Here’s a major find: Pete Rose and Johnny Bench in basketball attire (big thanks to Dwayne White). … Here’s a good look at the centennial shoulder patch that LSU wore in 1993 (with thanks to Kenny Pellegrin). … The Rockland Boulders, a new entry in the Can-Am baseball league, have unveiled their logo (with thanks to Matt Harris). … New home uni for the Arkansas Travelers (with thanks to Justin Bates). … Oooh, check this out: The FBI and the Secret Service have their own hockey teams! I’m assuming the Secret Service guys are really good at sliding in front of a slapshot (nice one, Brinke). … The Rev. John Berg notes that Bemidji State goalie Dan Bakala has Bob and Doug McKenzie on his backplate. … The Mets’ only approved undershirt colors are blue (when they’re wearing their blue caps) and black (all other caps). But David Wright went through a period a few years back when he frequently wore orange. He’d stopped doing it over the past two seasons, but I noticed him doing it again yesterday. … Byron Alvarez of the MISL’s Missouri Comets put this headdress on after scoring a goal Sunday against the Chicago Riot. “I have no idea why,” says Kenn Tomasch. … Remember my super-keen Lane Tech varsity jacket? I just scored a great companion piece for it on eBay: this amazing-looking Lane Tech varsity sweater, complete with a Hale America sleeve patch, just like the ones MLB teams wore during World War II! More photos when I receive the sweater from the seller. … Dave Grob recently acquired a game-used 1975 tequila sunrise jersey and has written a detailed description of it. One particularly interesting note: The uni numbers were heat-pressed. Lots of other good info, too — recommended reading. … Bill Kellick has found yet another Raider with a smiley face sticker on his helmet. That’s Rod Sherman from 1971. What the hell was the deal with that trope? … Richmond hoops player Kevin Anderson has a tattoo of the Hawks’ old Pac Man logo. “To be fair, he grew up in Atlanta,” says Scott Turner. … Michael Lipinski was shopping the other day and spotted an NHL knapsack with an identity crisis. … Any of you Canadian readers got a spare $250 lying around? If so, you should totally snap up this gorgeous 1920s flannel jersey (nice find by Robert Silverman). … Matt Harris notes that Carmelo Anthony wore a headband in the first half of last night’s Knicks/Hawks game, but not in the second half. … The Rangers wore white at home yesterday, at the Times made a fairly big fuss over it — cool (thanks, Phil). … Günter Mast, who died last week, did not exactly leave the world a better place than he found it. For starters, he came up with the concept of corporate sponsorships on soccer jerseys. He also invented Jägermeister. Full details in this obituary (as noted by Jason Bernard). … One more from Brinke: a shot of Roger Staubach showing off his new Brooks shoes. … Mike Hersh has put together an excellent overview on the history of satin baseball uniforms. Highly recommended. … Some interesting attire at the Competitive Snowball Fighting Championships (good one from Chad Todd). … Jake Doyle sent along one of his periodic grab bags of material. This batch featured a goalie making like Superman, a tremendous Providence Reds jersey, and, as Jake put it, “a Hall of Famer and his syrup.” … Whoa — was that Mariano Rivera going high-cuffed the other day? This merits further investigation (big thanks to Grant Goldman).