Posts Tagged ‘College Football Programs’

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:


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


#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!


#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


#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!


#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


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


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


#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

byrd epps


#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:

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

The Indian on Dartmouth Football Programs

April 17, 2008



For a long time, Native American’s were depicted on the covers of Ivy League football program when teams played against Dartmouth. The illustration above is from a Princeton-Dartmouth game in 1949. The program below is from a Columbia-Dartmouth game in 1949. Although most are funny and were meant to poke fun at the Dartmouth fans, we can see where Native Americans can take offense to the poor depictions of Indians.


The following was taken from Dartmouth’s website:

The nickname for Dartmouth’s athletics teams is “The Big Green,” but the College has never had an official mascot. Contrary to what some believe, the Indian was never Dartmouth’s official mascot. The use of the Indian, in conjunction with Dartmouth’s athletic teams, dated back to the 1920s. It is difficult to determine exactly why, but some Boston sportswriters and cartoonists began to refer to Dartmouth’s teams as the Indians prior to the 1922 football game with Harvard. The use of the “Indian” nickname remained in use informally and unofficially until the early 1970s. In 1974, Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees issued a statement calling for an end to the use of the Indian as a mascot.”


 Our friend Ben Franklin hits the Dartmouth Indian in the derriere with an arrow in this 1961 program:


Harvard-Dartmouth 1942:


Even into the late 60s, the Indian was a continued motif on Dartmouth programs. The one below is a Dartmouth program and not one published by a rival team. This makes the University’s assertion that it didn’t endorse the use of the Indian a bit disingenuous.



Editorials in The Dartmouth Review have argued the opposite, that the school should not have abandoned the Indian as its mascot – since it  was part of its history: “Our Indian representations have not been cartoonish slurs but serious, noble portraits of serious, noble warriors. Our connection with the Indian has not been arbitrary stereotype but a reference to an important historical fact — Dartmouth, of course, was originally conceived as a school for educating American Indians”.


In 1984 The Dartmouth Review asked more than 200 chiefs of Indian tribes across the country whether or not they thought the Indian symbol offensive. By a margin of more than 10-to-1, these chiefs said that Dartmouth’s Indian symbol did not offend them; many said it was a symbol of Indian pride.

We’re not going to take sides in the debate, simply, we point out that some of the Dartmouth covers are the most interesting and original of all the Ivy League football programs.

Ben Franklin – Penn Football Programs

April 1, 2008

It would be difficult for a college in the United States to have a better pedigree than Penn. The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. Franklin was frequently used by illustrators on Penn programs. His depiction varied greatly depending upon whether the game was held at Franklin Field or away. Franklin in depicted in an unflattering manner on this 1942 program for that year’s game played at Harvard:



The mascot of the University of Pennsylvania is The Quaker, used from time to time to adorn covers of their football programs, as in this 1958 home game against Harvard:


Ben’s a lot happier here, shown after capturing Handsome Dan, Yale’s mascot on this wonderful 1968 program:


Although, he looks a bit quisical here, looking for the Brown Bear depicted in the sky in this 1966 home game program:


Penn has a rich history in Ivy League football. It’s first Ivy League opponent was Princeton, who beat them 6-0 on November 11, 1876. He also is credited with inventing the forward pass and center snap.


John Heisman was a graduate of Penn (1892) and served as their football coach from 1920-1922.

Penn’s website has a nice history of nineteenth century football played at this historic university.

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

Cornell Princeton Football Program 1904

March 15, 2008

We have just obtained a Princeton v. Cornell Program from the game played October 29, 1904 in Ithaca.

As was typical at this time, programs during the Victorian era had a ‘landscape’ orientation.

1904 was the twelvth time that Cornell played Princeton. Princeton lead the series at this point 9-2. Princeton’s 1904 team is pictured below:


Cornell’s 1904 football team:


W.L. Foulke, ’05, Princeton’s 5 foot 10 1/2 inch captain is pictured below. The program contains the height and weight of each player. Of Princeton’s fourteen man roster only two players are taller than six feet tall, most are 5 foot 10″ or five foot 11″


Cornell’s Captain, James Lynah ’05 was prepared at Clemson College, S.C., is 22 years old, weighs 160 pounds and is five foot 11 inches tall:


Nice advertisements highlight the Victorian era splendor:



Princeton-Cornell Football Program 1904