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 Page 15 

THE MAY 2011  



By Carlton Hendricks


16 pages - 16,521 words - 33 photo pages

Pg. 1 Pg. 2 Pg. 3 Pg. 4 Pg. 5 Pg. 6 Pg. 7 Pg. 8
Pg. 9 Pg. 10 Pg. 11 Pg. 12 Pg. 13 Pg. 14 Pg. 15 Pg. 16

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Harvard Square and  University grounds

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Leavitt & Peirce 

Tobacco Shop

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Basketball Hall of 
Fame, Springfield MA

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Harvard University Sports Trophies at Murr Center

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Yale Univ. Trophy Room 
at Payne Whitney Gym

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Museum of 
Fine Arts Boston



 Part 4 

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Speaking of Walter Camp...and moving on with the rest of the room...In that same cabinet was another priceless relic...a silver, likely sterling, presentation pitcher trophy with Walter Camp's name engraved on it. Somehow in all the rush I only got one lame side view shot of it. The little description card said It was from 1880 which would have been his PICT1777_900x1200.jpg (166478 bytes)senior year, and that it was PICT1728_1200x900.jpg (218528 bytes)owned by him and presented by his daughter Janet Camp Troxell in 1940. To the left in the same case was a killer blue and white striped trophy football of some importance but didn't get the particulars. Then to the left of that was what appeared a porcelain statue of an animated Handsome Dan, the Yale Mascot, wearing a blue and white striped sweater and cap. Again I didn't learn the significance but it was great looking...very exceptional really and It was the only one I've ever seen...probably about nine inches tall.


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I didn't see too much in the way of antique equipment but did spot a few things...a couple of early leather football helmets were at the bottom of one cabinet. In another case I spotted a pair of c1920 leather football shoulder pads. There wasn't a description card to say who any of the equipment had belonged to. Next to the helmets was a orange/yellow and black striped football that said 1904 on it but the ball looked PICT1804_1200x900.jpg (201488 bytes)much later. In another case was a very cool plaster relief plaque of a long haired helmet-less ball carrier wearing a blue football smock getting tackled by a player in a red jersey and socks, appeared c1890...no doubt representing Harvard vs. Yale....Again didn't get a good shot of the description card but it looks like it says "Touchdown" by Nancy Steiner - Hamden CT. I notice anything figural like that. I have a remarkably similar plaque in my collection signed by G.M. Bailey from about 25 years later, say c1915 that you can see in this link. In another case I saw a c1900 collared pull over Yale baseball jersey with two c1880 bats crossed in front of it....the bat on the right was especially interesting with some kind of laminated V shaped decoration. Both bats had squared ends (sawed off appearance) typical of 1880 ones.










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There are probably more 19th- early 20th century sports championship and celebratory silk banners in the Yale Trophy Room than any in the world. Baseball, football, and rowing were represented. My favorite was the one enlarged at top ... with the crossed bats titled "Inter Collegiate Base Ball Championship 1881-won by Yale Football Banner 1897.jpg (82468 bytes) Yale". These kinds of banners are extremely rare. I recall seeing only two silk banners of this genera offered in the hobby. One was for the Wickwire Spencer Athletic Association of Clinton Mass circa 1880. That one was offered by John Kanuit at the 2004 National for $600.00. The other was a Yale football one from 1897, in excellent condition. It was auctioned in the spring 2003 Mastronet auction for $2,094.00 



Some of the banners were deteriorating. I don't know what conservation measures would prevent that, or how the tattered ones could be restored. I think a textile conservator should be consulted so a comprehensive examination, report, and conservation plan could be established. If one hasn't already. Among everything in the room the banners appeared to be suffering more than any.


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  Yale starts first college boat club in America.


  Yale- Harvard meet for first intercollegiate athletic event in U.S.


  Sliding seat first used in Yale-Harvard race.


  Yale and Harvard agree on 4 mile distance for annual regatta.

1878   Yale-Harvard Regatta moves to Thames River, New London CT.
1886  Heavyweight crew begins streak over Harvard - 17 wins in 20 races.



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Decorated Trophy Rudder from Yale-Harvard races 1884-86

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Speaking of textiles there was a framed crew type shirt with a Y on the chest that was exceptional....It looked typical of the ones you see worn in early crew team photos. PICT1710_900x1200.jpg (142405 bytes) Best I can make out the little description card said won and worn by "Harry Burr Ferris Yale 1887" who went on to become a professor of anatomy at Yale..As I recall it was traditional for oarsman to win the shirt of their opponent in the early days of rowing. And on the subject of crew...There were a few rowing things here and there. There was a decorated rudder with inscription indicating it was used in the 1924 Olympics. In another cabinet were PICT1708_1200x900.jpg (209962 bytes) two very nice silver rowing trophies, one was engraved Yale Harvard race with an engraving of what looked like an 8 man crew boat and had four crossed oars..There was an early white letterman's sweater with a Y next to it. On the back wall of the case was a trophy plaque....But the greatest thing in the case was what appeared to be a Very early felt rowing cap decorated with a blue star on top and a tassel...looked very 1870's Peck and Snider, maybe earlier! Another decorated rudder was for an 1884-85-86 Yale-Harvard boat race of some kind, presented by Lewis E. Cadwell 86'. S Coxswain. There was a framed letter which appears to say it is a duplicate, but which PICT1763_1200x900.jpg (180512 bytes)looked period, which challenged Harvard to a race, dated 1864...best I can make out anyway. Plus there were more nice rowing things too many to mention. One last mention for the crew stuff was an incredible 1852 large team photo of the Atlanta Crew...I don't know who, how, or why about it but it was a big picture about say 14" x 14" and the uniforms were out of this world...bib front shirts with stars and white pants and incredible hats that looked almost Spanish...super archaic! At the end of the day which I visited the Yale Trophy Room, I drove the twenty five or so minutes out to Yale's Gilder Boathouse in Derby, but it was late and the janitor was just closing up so I didn't get to see the trophies there. I imagine the best of Yale's crew memorabilia is there....Next time!


continue to part 5






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