Archive for the ‘University of Pennsylvania’ Category

Cornell v. Pennsylvania Football

November 1, 2013

An exceptional college football program is the 1905 Thanksgiving Day game featuring Penn v. Cornell

Cornell Penn 1905

Cornell was coached by Glenn ‘Pop’ Warner, very early on in his long and legendary coaching career, in between coaching assignments with the Carlisle Indian School where he later coached Jim Thorpe. Warner would then go on to coach at Pitt, and then coach Ernie Nevers at Stanford before finishing his career in the 1930s at Temple. Cornell finished at 6-4.

This exceptional high quality college football program has a full color Thanksgiving football theme cover, and on the inside first page has a remarkable large five panel fold-out, which accordions out to depict photographs of all of the players on the Penn team for 1905. Measures a whopping 29 – 1/2″ when extended out.

penn cornell 1

We have a nice selection of vintage Cornell v. Penn thanksgiving programs on our website:

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The New Yale Wedgwood Tea-Set

October 15, 2012

Well, new as of 1934. We recently found this vintage advertisement for a new Wedgwood tea set in a University of Pennsylvania v. Yale Football program from 1934. The set was designed by Professor Edwin C. Taylor of the Yale School of Fine arts and the teapot includes a portrait of Elihu Yale in the border.

Priced at $6.50 for the ta pot and plates at $12.50 per dozen, it wasn’t necessarily cheap. Sets of this Wedgwood piece are difficult to find.

We offer a nice selection of Yale collectibles including Wedgwood items on our website:



College Acceptance Gift Idea – Ivy League Coasters

March 28, 2012

We recently found a new set of items that collectors and aficionados of college football programs will like. Marble coasters based on old football programs.

The coasters are made of Botticino Marble;

Measure 4 inches;

Feature scenes from vintage football programs;

Are very hiqh quality;

And would make an ideal gift for the alum, upcoming grade or a newly accepted student

We have a nice selection of the coasters available for sale on our website at a cost below what you can buy for in the collegiate stores.

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Carter Hoffman Wooden Collegiate Mascots

January 1, 2012

Carter Hoffman mascots are listed for sale inside the front cover of this 1954 Ivy League football program.

Hoffman was a well-known artist from Los Angeles who made these hand carved mascots for various Ivy League and other colleges in the 1950s. Hoffman also did some mascots for professional sports teams and even some lesser know and more obscure schools. Sold under the name “Carter Hoffman Artcraft” they have become highly collectible. A brochure from the 1950s lists over 120 different schools that they made mascots for.

The mascots are also featured on this Yale-Uconn 1952 program cover. The mascots were available in two sizes, the normal size (catalog item #7) and larger size, called jumbo (listed in the catalog as #8).

The rare Princeton tiger mascot seen above

The now defunct Dartmouth Indian mascot from the 1950s

The company also made bottle pour spouts which replace a cork that has been pulled. The bottles contain the school mascot on the top.

The John Harvard bottle pour stop mascot, above and statue below.

The mascots were produced with two marking on the bottom. One was the name of the mascot. In the example below, it shows the “Dartmouth Indian”. Because these were paper labels, often they are now missing. The other marking is stamped in black ink “Carter Hoffman Original.”

Two pages from an original Carter Hoffman catalog are seen below, showing the location of the business in Glendale, California. The mascots and wine stoppers sold for $24 a dozen wholesale, the jumbo mascots for $7.50 each.

hoffman catalog

hoffman catalog 2

Carter Hoffman items are sought after by collectors and are difficult to find. There is an active market for them. We occasionally have some in inventory on our website:

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Credit to insidetheparkcollectibles on the history of these rare collectibles.

Lou Little

December 1, 2011

One of the most well known Ivy League football coaches of all time was Columbia’s Lou Little. Little played his college football at Penn. Little coached Columbia for a long time, from 1930 to 1956. Prior to serving as Columbia’s head coach, he coached Georgetown for five years.

The 1970 Columbia Cornell program features Little on its cover

The two biggest wins of Little’s career were the victory over Stanford in the 1934 Rose Bowl and when Columbia beat Army in 1947 snapping a 23-game undefeated streak for West Point.

Little was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1960. He also authored a book titled Lou Little’s Football, published in 1934, which describes his football philosophy. We have many nice Columbia programs that have articles about or by Lou Little at our website:


Thanksgiving Leftovers?

November 25, 2011

Cornell v. Penn is one of the oldest rivalries in football, with their first game played in 1893. This game was played on Thanksgiving Day at Franklin Field, as was the tradition for a long, long time.

The program cover of the 1922 program is a classic:

Apparently, they had problems in 1929, perhaps due to the onset of the Stock Market crash a month earlier. As you can see, they repeated the 1922 cover again in 1929, the only modification being the background color has changed from black to white.

No bother, it’s a great cover.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Please visit our website for a nice collection of Cornell v. Penn programs, one of the oldest and most traditional rivalries in college football:

Thomas Byrd Epps

May 1, 2011

One of the potentially greatest illustrators of college football programs gave us a brief glimpse of his genius and then went on to pursue other interests.

Thomas Byrd Epps was born in Dayton Ohio on November 9, 1896. He attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1915 through 1920. While at Penn, Epps was a member of the Varsity Club, was the track manager in 1918 and won the Beaux-Arts Medals in 1919 and 1920. He was also member of the Sphinx Senior Society. The only hint of his genius was that he was the arts editor of Punch Bowl magazine, Penn’s humorous and satirical student magazine.

The one pure genius piece of work Epps did is the Cornell v. Penn Football program from 1919 for a game played at Franklin Field Philadelphia. The cover illustration is one of the greatest of all time. It shows an angel standing atop the earth with a scale. On either side of the scale is a player from Cornell and Penn, as if the angel is trying to decide who will win. The use of color is brilliant, as is the tinge of humor in the scene. It is not surprising that Epps has a point of view; the Penn player is higher, and the Cornell player below is protesting. How imaginative Epps was.

Another Epps gem is below, the Pennsylvania Punch Bowl from 1917, which shows a young lass dancing in an enticing fashion in front of a very old man:


Penn Punch Bowl

Epps graduated with a degree in architecture and went on the live in Boston. He was a partner in several firms including Graves and Epps and Thomas Byrd Epps, Inc. He lived a long life, dying in 1980.

We will never know how much more pleasure Epps could have given us if he had chosen to pursue the field of art.

We have a great selection of Penn programs on our website:

Bernard Wall College Girl Illustrations

March 15, 2011

These beautiful illustrations were created by Bernard Wall and feature women of the Ivy League in idyllic poses.

A full-figured Cornell baseball lass:

A Columbia University girl Yachting:

University of Pennsylvania Tennis Girl:

They were created as large chromolitho postcards measuring 5 3/4″ x 7 3/4″. Perhaps they were turn of the century college coed sports pin up art? They have an undivided back and were produced by J. I. Austen Fine Art Publishers, Chicago, Ill.

We feature several for sale on our website:

The First Football Uniforms

March 1, 2011

During the first intercollegiate football game Princeton v. Rutgers played in 1869, the sole suggestions of a uniform were the turbans on the heads of the Rutgers players. In all other respects all the players on both sides came to the field in their ordinary student clothing.

A picture of the original game of intercollegiate rugby, taken on April 14, 1874, on Jarvis Field, Cambridge, presented the teams of Harvard and Gill, depicts the Canadians in short white trousers, alternately striped jerseys and turbans, a complete modern uniform even for this modern day.

The Yale team of 1894 in simple period uniforms

The first use of the complete costumes by an American football team was presented by the Princeton team of 1876 in their game with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn’s first ever game) played at Germantown in November of that year. The Princeton players were attired in black tights. Their feet were clad in baseball shoes made of leather and canvas strips in the fashion of modern sports shoes. Their jerseys were trimmed with orange stripes on the sleeves and at the collars. The players also wore orange striped turbans on their heads, a practice of all players which continued down into the early ’90′s. The resemblance of the orange and black stripes to the stripes of the tiger instantly won for Princeton the name of “Tigers” which is the oldest of the college nicknames. The Pennsylvania players also wore distinctive uniforms: white cricket suits.

About two years later, a Princeton man by the name of Ledru P. Smock invented a suit consisting of canvas trousers and a canvas jacket, including sleeves, the jacket being laced up in front. These jackets, after their inventor, were named “smocks,” and this uniform lasted until the year of 1890 or 1891, when the canvas trousers were replaced with moleskin, a soft, tough felt fabric. The canvas jackets continued on for several years.

The 1874 UPenn football team without organized uniforms, we especially like the fellow wearing the top hat

Up to this time the only protective devices were light quilting on the knees and hips of the trousers. In the Harvard-Yale game of 1893 Harvard startled Yale by appearing in one-piece suits made of smooth leather, the idea being to increase the difficulty of tackling the slippery Harvard players, a condition which became accentuated in that game by a heavy rain. Yale neutralized the advantage, however, by quickly securing a barrel of powdered rosin and covering their arms and hands with the sticky material.

In 1890, the Princeton captain, Edgar Allen Poe, suffered a broken nose in a preliminary game. The late Arthur J. Cumnock, captain of Harvard, designed and sent to Captain Poe for use in the game against Yale, the original nose-guard.

The headgear followed soon after. On the Lafayette team in 1896 was a very famous player by the name of George Barclay, who later, while playing in the National Baseball League, was the “Ty” Cobb of his day. George was developing cauliflower ears. To prevent this he designed a headgear which was made by a harness maker in Easton. Playing a very spectacular and winning game against Pennsylvania on old Franklin Field, October 23, 1896, Barclay so popularized the headgear that the next year it was in general use throughout the United States.

Princeton’s Captain in 1930,  R.A. Mestres in a uniform without padding

The year before, shin-guards appeared. This classic old device, derived from the Roman soldier’ greaves, was not popular because it interfered with running. In the Harvard-Princeton game of that year, 1895, Herman Suter, of Princeton, picked up a Harvard fumble and ran ninety years, only to be deprived of his touchdown by his shin-guards becoming loose and tripping him up.

Shields for the thighs, which today are encased in almost every pair of football trousers, were invented by George Woodruff, Coach of the University of Pennsylvania, and came into use in the middle of the late ’90′s.

Percy Haughton, of Harvard, was the first to equip his players with the high felt waist-pads and shoulder pads which have characterized the players from his time until the present day.

The present universal practice of wearing identification numbers on jerseys had its origin on Franklin Field. Because few football spectators of the present day have been following the game for a period of more than twenty years it will be difficult for them to realize that this reform is less than twenty-five years old, or that it required nearly ten years or persistent agitation to bring it about. Yet until a few years before the first World War numbering players was not done. There was no method whereby either the public or the press could identify players on the field. The present editor of this publication (Edward R. Bushnell) made the original suggestion in the course or a series of football articles published in the Philadelphia Press. His contention was that football should follow the practice of track and sports and number the contestants. The suggestion was instantly opposed by many coaches who contended that the reform, desirable as it might be for spectators, would play into the hands of the opponent.

Adopted from an article by Edward R. Bushnell which originally appeared in the Penn-Navy 1940 Franklin Field Illustrated and was reprinted in the Cornell-Penn program of 1962.

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Ivy League Stadiums

February 1, 2011

The Grande Dames of Ivy League football are the historic stadiums of the elite eight. This post we focus on the historic stadiums, listed in chronological order.

Harvard Stadium brings to mind the Roman Colosseum. The concrete horseshow structure was erected in 1903 and was the first reinforced concrete stadium in America. Harvard Stadium is pockmarked with portals over its entire outer surface and is crowned by a colonnade.

Harvard Stadium as depicted on a Wedgwood Tile

Continuing the pattern of concrete horseshoe construction, Princeton’s Palmer Stadium held its first game on October 24, 1914, with the hole team beating Dartmouth 16-12. Less ornate than its predecessor at Harvard, Palmer nonetheless affords the viewer a good look from its fairly steep-rising sides.

Opening one month after Princeton’s stadium the cavernous Yale Bowl opened on November 21, 1914 when the Blue was blown out by Harvard 36-0. The big saucer is about one-half below ground level and can be very murky in the wrong kind of weather.


Erected on the highest point of the campus and dominated by a huge colonnade-topped concrete crescent, Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field was opened in 1915. Those seated high on the crescent side can see far below the waters of Lake Cayuga and beyond the often colorful hills of central New York State.

The most urban of all the Ivy League stadia is Penn’s Franklin Field. Its double-decked brick grandstand furnishes a good vantage point. The current structure has evolved through a number of alterations and the site has been used for Penn sports since 1893. Today’s stadium essentially dates from 1922, with the upper deck completed in 1925.

Franklin Field depicted on an early program

Columbia’s Baker Field is situated at the top of Manhattan and opened in 1923. The green-planked horseshoe was known for a long time as the largest all-wooden college football stadium. The atmosphere is punctuated by such diversions as trains winding their way along a cliff on the far side of the Spuyten Duyvil or a Circle Line cruiser passing through the same channel.

Huge Friday night bonfires on the Green, Saturday’s chicken barbecues just outside Dartmouth’s Memorial Field’s gates, the charm of the small New England village and the golden autumn hills all serve to make a visit to Hanover something special. Tiny Memorial Field opened in 1923 and has seating for only 15,600.

Brown Stadium is probably the least known of all the Iveys. Architecturally the stadium resembles that at Cornell with a large concrete stand 72 rows high on one side and a low concrete visitors’ gallery on the other. Located some miles from the main campus, it is surrounded by residential houses and gives little indication of its city address. It opened in 1925.

Adapted from an article by Bill Stryker which appeared in Yale Princeton program November 6, 1976.

We have lots of vintage memorabilia related to the Ivy League on our website.

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