Archive for the ‘Yale’ Category

The Best, Most Impressive Art Deco Football Program Ever

August 20, 2017

Absolutely stunning Art Deco football program from the Yale v. Army game of 1928, a game played at Yale. What makes the program exceptional, however, is the imagery on the cover and inside, and the artists who did the illustrations. Internally there is an image done by John Held Jr. and is titled “The Love Life of a Halfback” (pictured). Held was the preeminent artist of the Jazz Age who was widely published in the New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, Life Magazine and Vanity Fair. Held was famous for his depiction of the popular Roaring Twenties dance ‘The Charleston’ and his depictions of college-age women and in particular “the flapper”. The cover illustration and a full-page interior illustration was done by Russell Paterson. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Patterson also popularized the iconic images of the Jazz Age and essentially created the “lithe, full-breasted, long-legged American girl-goddess.” His illustrations appeared on the cover of Life Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Vanity Fair. The subtle use of pastel colors on the cover is as good as it gets. The illustration is titled “To the Victor” and shows a victorious football player surrounded by young adoring female fans of the era. It is one of the ultimate expressions of the Deco era and evokes images and a time that with F. Scott Fitzgerald popularized in the Great Gatsby. One of the most amazing and impressive college football programs ever produced!

Automobiles of the period were also exceptionally stylish as evidenced by the color Stutz advertisement above, from the interior of the program

Macy’s was also the place to buy your flapper garb!

The John Held, Jr. illustration in the program

We have a nice selection of vintage college football programs, including those with Deco themes on our website:

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Vintage College Slide Rules

July 17, 2017

Logarithms, the basis of slide rules, were invented by the Baron of Merchiston, John Napier, in Scotland in 1614. After a couple of centuries of tinkering and development, advanced mathematics took a quantum leap with a game changing device that made calculating complex formulas and mathematics easier: the slide rule. They effectively become obsolete in 1976 as the hand held calculator became available (at prices in the hundreds of dollars). A complicated device, the slide rule allowed the user to do basic multiplication, wrap around multiplication,  folded-scale multiplication, division, square roots and reciprocals. Things really got crazy when it turned to trigonometry. Then the world transmogrified into sines, cosines, roots, cube-roots and powers. It was at that point that most people left the building.

 

A slide rule owned by a Cornell University engineering student

However, for engineers and mathematicians, slide rules were cool: they were the Sony Walkman and iPhones of their day. Whoever had them was looked up to. Man, they were not only cool, but wicked smart. The heyday of the slide rule was between the 1930s and 1960s. The Keuffel & Esser Company were one of the primary makes of slide rules, and today we highlight two specimens made by the company: one for Cornell students and another for those at Yale. Not only did you have your slide rule, which made you a cool dude, but like today’s iPhone cases, you also had a cool case to carry it in. See the Yale case below featuring the school’s mascot, the bulldog.

The Yale slide rule made by Keuffel & Esser

We have a nice selection of original vintage slide rules and other collegiate collectibles on our website:

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Birds-Eye Views of the Ivy League

July 3, 2017

Harper & Brothers Publishers published an amazing book in 1895. It focuses on “Four American Universities,” specifically Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia. The 202 page book offers great historical context on each of the elite schools and includes over fifty nineteenth century illustrations of the schools. the piece-de-resistance of the book, however, are four fold out birds-eye views of the schools. In the pre-automobile era, each of the images show horse drawn carriages in front of the school and trolley cars.


Columbia University in 1895

The view seen above would look unfamiliar to the visitor to today’s campus because the view is looking North from Forty-ninth Street. The current campus in Morningside Heights opened in May of 1896. Rockefeller Center stands on the site of what is depicted.

Birds-Eye view of the Princeton Campus in 1895

The Princeton Campus along University Place shows a different campus than the one that exists today. Namely, several buildings were replaced over the years on the land that Rockefeller College now sits on: the Observatory, the old Tiger Inn and Reunion Hall.

The leafy campus of Yale as seen in the birds-eye view

The chapter in the book on Yale was written by Arthur T. Hadley who served as its president from 1899 to 1921.

The birds-eye view of Harvard 

The chapter on Harvard was written by the Harvard scholar Charles Eliot Norton.

We have a nice selection of Ivy League memorabilia includes Four American Universities on our website:

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Monopoly Game for your favorite University

June 9, 2017

We’ll bet you don’t know who Elizabeth Magie is off the top your head. Well, she invented the original Monopoly, at the time called the Landlord’s Game. She even applied for a patent for it in 1903. Oddly enough the game didn’t take off immediately and even Parker Brothers turned down the option to produce the game. It was a University of Pennsylvania professor that was instrumental in the game’s gaining traction. He used the game to help teach his students about real estate. Parker Brothers took over the game in 1934 and the rest, as they say is history.

 

In 1991 a company named Late for the Sky Production in Cincinnati, Ohio came up with the idea to do spin off versions of the famous Monopoly game, but substituting the streets of Atlantic City for locals at well know universities. Exhibit A, above, appropriately is of the University of Pennsylvania. Instead of going to jail in the University version of the game you go on academic probation. The Harvard version of the game features properties clustered together by color: instead of having Boardwalk and Park Place you instead have the Dunster House, Adams House and Eliot House. The cards you pick up when landing on various spots on the board might feature a library fine ($50), increased tuition ($200) or making the deans list (receive $200).


The Yale version of the game (Yaleopoly) allows you to buy Mory’s, the Law School or the Yale Bowl.

Players (students) receive a diploma after they have four Years of Credit on each property. Only one diploma can be on each property. The game is fun way for students and alumni to remember their golden years.

The company ceased making the game several years ago, but not before producing a Californiaopoly, Irishopoly, Brownopoly, Stanfordopoly and game for many more schools. We typically have nice selection of the games available on our website:

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The Top 10 Best College Football Program Covers of All Time

May 15, 2016

There are many reasons people buy and college vintage college football programs: they went to the college or university; they are looking for a relative in one; or, the simply just love the eye appeal of the cover. With this last reason in mind we offer our top ten favorites images on college football programs:

#10 This vintage Stanford v. Michigan 1949 program was drawn by Don Bloodgood and features the teams mascots in a humorous scene:

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#9 Check out these old guys partying on this Stanford v. UCLA Program from 1950:

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#8 This Harvard v. Cornell program from 1983 plays off the famous New Yorker’s view of the world but features the Ivy League mascots looking west!

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#7 While technically not purely a football program since they played by rugby rules for a few years, this Stanford v. California program is an evocative image of collegiate sports

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#6 Washington Evening Star illustrator Gib Crockett illustrated Army v. Navy programs for over 40 years. This classic from 1953 shows an enthused fan ready to play at home!

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#5 This 1920 beauty from the classic Harvard v. Yale series shows artful images of leather head players with a brilliant and subtle use of color

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#4 The famous illustrator Russell Patterson contributed to the genre of football programs with this Art Deco gem from the 1930 Yale-Army game

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#3 This fantastic cover, done by J.D. Whiting, featuring “The Game” brings you back to the sport of 100 years ago with joy

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#2 Byrd Epps, a student at Penn (’20), shows a perplexed angel standing atop the earth with a scale in this 1919 Cornell Penn Thanksgiving day classic

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#1 It is only fitting that the greatest illustrator of college programs, Gib Crockett, did this gem of an enthusiastic fan trying to take the goal post home through 30th Street Station for the 1957 Army Navy Game:

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We have a wide selection of vintage college football programs on our website:

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College Pins and Buttons

April 15, 2016

Pins featuring the name and colors or your alma mater are a nice way to show affinity to the college you love and support. We’re not sure how far back collegiate pins go; the first reference we could find was to a Bowdoin College pin referenced in the New York Times in November 1892, “A college pin has at last made its appearance. It is in the shape of a small square silver button, and across its white enameled fact is the word Bowdoin.”

Collegiate buttons mirror the evolution of buttons in the political sphere. Although their history can be traced back earlier, the first buttons widely used in a presidential campaign were in 1896. For those a little rusty on their 19th century history that was William McKinley vs. William Jennings Bryan. The first pin-back style button was patented in 1896.

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Although less popular today, vintage pin-back buttons are still sought after by collectors and alumni. As seen in the image above, there is a broad range of style and types of buttons. Many were intended to be worn at football games, thus many schools have varieties that feature dangling footballs or football players.

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Famous illustrators even dabbled in pins as evidenced by this nice Yale button with the design done by Rube Goldberg:

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We have a nice selection of vintage pins and buttons for many colleges available on our website:

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Anri Wooden Collegiate Mascots

February 7, 2016

The ANRI company, located in the Alps of Northern Italy, specializes in hand-carved wooden items including collegiate mascots. Although the company still makes wooden carvings, they have not produced collegiate mascots in the last 30-40 years due to the stricter enforcement of copyright laws.

Founded in 1912, the company has a rich heritage, and as you would expect from hand-crafted Italian objects, they are very high quality.

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A close-up of the colorful University of Illinois Illiniwek mascot

ANRI made wooden mascot for scores of schools including the University of Michigan, Princeton, Yale, Tulane, Columbia, Cornell, Penn State, NYU and Lehigh. ANRI collegiate mascots are often confused with those made in the United States by Carter Hoffman. Hoffman’s mascots are almost always stamped with the company name on the bottom, the ANRI mascots are unmarked.

Like each of us, ANRI mascots were done in all shapes and sizes. Typically they are five or six inches in height, although they were also done in miniature versions, as shown in the cute Columbia lion mascot below, which is two inches from end-to end.

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A Columbia University lion wooden ANRI mascot

ANRI also produced other wooden accessories associated with colleges and universities, most notably letter openers.  A University of Michigan wolverine letter opener is pictured below:

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ANRI carved items are sought after by collectors and alumni and are a nostalgic piece of ephemera from the glory days of collegiate life. We have a nice collection of ANRI and Carter Hoffman collectibles on our website:

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The Ivy League Today

November 11, 2015

Students all over America are clamoring to get into one of the eight Ivy League colleges. This is the first book to show the layman just how these venerable schools shape up today. The combined enrollment of the eight schools on only 29,700 male students, a small proportion of the total college enrollment. Brown is training its freshman and sophomores to think for themselves it its Identification Criticism of Ideas curriculum. Columbia’s magnificent Contemporary Civilization course has been widely imitated. But Columbia alone among the Ivy group wants to double its college enrollment in the next few years and raise its academic standards so high that only half of its present undergraduates could even gain admission there. Cornell is managing to stress a liberal-arts approach to education, even though it is the largest and most complicated school in the League. At Dartmouth seniors must take the Great Issues course. This means reading The New York Times and other periodicals regularly; listening to outside lecturers like Dean Acheson, Harold Urey, and Clement Attlee; and trying to apply  to present-day problems the knowledge they have gained during four years of college. Harvard is still tops academically, and still favors complete intellectual freedom for students and faculty alike. At Pennsylvania, President Gaylord P. Harnwell, a foremost atomic scientist, not only administers a sprawling university  but teaches a freshman class himself to keep his hand in. Princeton offers three unique programs: in American Civilization, in Creative Arts, and in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At Yale, President Griswold has been trying to stimulate the exceptional student with the new Directed Studies Program.

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The above quote is from the book jacket blurb of The Ivy League Today was written in 1961 by Frederic A. Birmingham and published by the Thomas Y. Crowell Company. The subtitle is: A light-hearted reappraisal of all 8 colleges. Birmingham (Dartmouth ’33) spent nearly three years visiting the Ivy campuses, talking with students and comparing one school to another. It’s rather quaint to think that cutting edge thinking in 1961 included reading The Times periodically to expand the mind. The most striking contrast I found after reading the book was how much the world has change in the last 50 or so years, particularly in how women are viewed and treated generally. Below is a sampling of gems from the book, which really provides a nice retro look into the psyche of the Ivy League not so long ago.

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Frederic A. Birmingham

Harvard

Harvard is admittedly the nation’s number one educational institution as well as its oldest. Harvard College leads all others in number of graduates in Who’s Who. The Harvard undergraduate turns to intellectual pursuits with a zest he reserves for primary business. He tends to look on his college career with more than ordinary seriousness, and in this he is stimulated by everything that touches him at Harvard. Statistically the student finds the college just a overpowering. The market value of Harvard investments is $625,102,000; its endowment funds are an estimated $370,773,000. President Lowell once remarked that “every educated man should know a little of everything and something well.”

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Princeton

The Princeton student himself, in this happy setting, lives on a campus of extraordinary sweep and beauty. There are a full 2,225 acres of it, and every inch is superbly landscaped and groomed like some fine English estate–an effect not spoiled by the predominantly “Collegiate Gothic” buildings, which are studded with hidden quadrangles, turrets, arches, balconies and gateways. She may love or love him not, but one thing is sure, and it is that the Princetonian’s girl is going to enjoy no nightly trysts in her lad’s quarters. She is allowed to visit him on weekdays until 7 pm and on Friday and Saturday nights until the bacchanalian hour of nine. The much misunderstood social life at Princeton still centers around its eating clubs.

Dartmouth

Dartmouth, founded as an Indian school and until quite recently considered quite remote in New Hampshire, has an outdoor tradition suggesting some of the newer colleges in the Southwest or the Northwest. Dartmouth is the American dream of a college come true. Traditionally goodness and purity dwell in the rural areas, and wickedness in the city. Nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains, Dartmouth still preserves its Indian heritage. The Dartmouth student does not live in monastic seclusion, as he one did. But his is still a simple life relatively free of the female presence or influence, and he must go far, even though he may go fast for sophisticated pleasures. There is much to be said for a college that, while happily attuned to the sophisticated Ivies, still gives its students a chance to get up early in the morning and drive along back roads where a glimpse of small game, deer or even bear is not uncommon. City boys find a lot of learning in the feel of an ax handle or in the sharp tang of a sawmill.

Brown

On Brown’s College Hill the descendants of the great skippers and the lordly merchants live as their aristocratic forebears did, in three- and four-story mansions, with a courtly air you cannot match except in the deep South. Cobbled drives curve in under their porte-cocheres, gardens and terraces are hidden by beautiful ivied walls, and the columned and porticoed fronts look down on the visitor with the benign and courteous gravity of wealth long entrenched. Brown is ancient but not antique. In eighteenth-century buildings students learn to program IBM machines or how to smash the atom.

Cornell

“Self-sufficient” is probably the best word for Cornell. The students do not seem to care particularly whether they are regarded as the Ivy League or out of it. But they look down on their fellows at Colgate, Syracuse and Hamilton as unworthy neighbors sometimes grouped with Cornell only because of an irritating proximity.” When Cornell’s first little coed walked up the gorge path to her classes on the hill, the public was profoundly shocked. And it was shocked again in the nineties, when Cornell sent its women’s eight-oared crew out to churn up the waters of Lake Cayuga, in a day when proper young ladies were supposed to concentrate on needle-point and piano lessons.

Columbia

Columbia draws one-third of its student body from New York City itself, and a second third from the metropolitan area surrounding the city. The “Ivy” idea is not carried through fanatically at Columbia. There are no dreamy lakes or lagoons on the campus. Just a few fountains, hundreds of steps, brick walks, and a couple of plots of crabgrass. No luxurious fraternity houses, with the brothers tossing a football around on spacious lawns. No golf course. No regal faculty row where the better-heeled professors live. The school is a paradox. Great athletes–and not first-class athletic equipment. A glittering record of intellectual achievement–by students many of whom come by subway. But the spirit of Columbia is well-nigh explosive. One of the pleasures of Columbia is contact with the girls of “associated” Barnard College, although the boys are loath to admit it. The average undergrad naturally desires a female companion composed of equal parts of Mata Hari, Cleopatra, Madame Curie, Florence Nightingale, Marilyn Monroe, and The Girl Next Door; and the Barnard girls are generally considered lacking in some of these qualities.

Penn

It is no wonder that the undergraduate here clutches his tie a little more tightly and dresses a little more self-consciously “Ivy” that his counterpart at Princeton. He shares, besides, the latent inferiority complex of all the Ivy schools with respect to the Big Three [Harvard, Yale, Princeton]. He is much more caste-conscious than a Columbia student–who may eschew Ivy clothes entirely for a more cosmopolitan drape. the Penn boy is almost uniformly found in the symbolic button-down shirt with foulard tie , Shetland jacket and unpressed pants.

Yale

Formerly it was always a good guess that a Yale man was also a prep school man. In 1935, 77.9 per cent of the undergraduates were from prep schools. The Yale student thinks of himself not as a boy but as a man, and a good part of the time he dresses like one. The Yalie buys these accouterments from Brooks Brothers and a few other conservative stores in New York. The most characteristic thing about student life at Yale is the emphasis on doing. The active man is the valuable man. This is an educational community frankly enamored of the dynamic.

Sex and the Ivy League

The elitism in the book is nothing short of astonishing looking back through today’s standards. Consider the chapter about women, which leads off with this beauty, “The Ivy male, as we have seen, is a creature of tradition and habit. He chooses his women as he does his ties. He selects only those his classmates will approve. And, by custom, the girls are almost invariably college students. In his dating habits the Ivy male displays plenty of ardor but very little social adventure. But even through occasionally he may be tempted by the undulations of a “town” girl crossing his own campus, he probably will not date her.”

We have a copy of The Ivy League Today on our website and loads of other vintage collectibles from the Ivy League schools:

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Collectableivy featured in Country Living Magazine

August 29, 2015

We are pleased to once again be featured in the September, 2015 issue of Country Living Magazine, highlighting our expertise in vintage football programs in their resource guide.

 

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We offer a wide range of collegiate collectibles and unique items:

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Website of Collectableivy.com

Gift Ideas – Vintage College and University Song Books

July 6, 2015

Nothing gets the heart of a college grad pumping like the song of their school. An ideal gift for the collegiate alumni who has everything? How about a vintage book of songs from their alma mater. The books typically include both the sheet music and the lyrics for all the songs.

The vintage Cornell Songs published in 1915 includes All Round the World Cornell, Hail Thou in Majesty Cornell, The Cornell Cheer, Cornell Victorious and many more, including the school’s “Alma Mater” or official song of “Cornell,” which predates the current “Far above the Cayuga’s Waters.”

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The 1902 published Harvard Songs includes a collection of 27 songs (including the sheet music) sung at Harvard including “Johnny Harvard” and “Fair Harvard”. Selected Songs Sung at Harvard College from 1862 to 1866 was one of the earliest song books published and dates from 1866. It also includes “The Marseillaises,” which was later changed to “On to Victory” and is a football fight song. It was originally written by Bill Reid, who was football coach in 1901. He was jealous of the fact that Princeton and Yale had football songs and approached the head of the Harvard Glee Club, Paul Dillingham to write one.

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The 1905 Decennial of Stanford Song includes words and music of the “football, farce, drinking and other songs of Stanford University Some include songs that would no longer be politically correct. Stanford’s song book includes The Drinking Song, Down with California, Stanford Mandalay, Chin Chin Chinaman, Stanford Red and many more. The book also contains a history of the evolution of the songs and trace how they came into being in the University’s early years.

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Stanford’s song book also contains nice hand-drawn illustrations that compliment the themes of some songs, such as the one below which patronizes the University of California.

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Songs of Western Colleges published in 1902 includes the University of Chicago, Michigan and Stanford University songs such as “Hail, Sanford, Hail!”, “A Football Song – Leland Stanford University”, “John D. Rockefeller – University of Chicago”.

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Princeton’s song book is titled Carmina Princetonia was first produced in 1869 and takes its name from Carmina Burana, an ancient satirical song book. It is believed that the Carmina Burana contained the first “drinking songs.” Princeton’s book includes the “soul-stirring songs Old Nassau and The Triangle Song which no Princeton man ever forgets or wants to forget.”

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What is the earliest college song? It is hard to say definitively, however, “Hail Columbia” would be a good choice. Written by John Hopkinson, Class of 1786 at the University of Pennsylvania. The song played an important part in rallying support around President Washington during a serious political disturbance.

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We have a nice collection of vintage song books for sale on our website:

www.collectableivy.com