Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Dark (Blue-Green) Days of the 1950s

Reader Jeremy Weber sends these two photos of the Packers' 1950s uniforms in action against the Cleveland Browns. The first one comes from a game in Cleveland on October 23, 1955:

Special Collections, Cleveland State University Library
Cleveland Browns' Otto Graham (#14) shakes loose from Green Bay Packer Bobby Dillon (#44) as the Browns defeat the Packers 41-10 at Cleveland Stadium.
Jeremy adds "love the clear facemask on Dillon". And I agree. The ever-indispensible Helmet Hut has this to say about this style:
Prior to the mid 1950s most players would only wear a face mask after suffering a facial area injury. By the end of the decade face masks were worn primarily to prevent facial injuries and used by almost every player. In the early 1950s Riddell introduced this clear Lucite face mask bar. The mask was securely attached to the helmet by three bolts on each side of the helmet, one of which also served as the snap to buckle the leather chin strap. Unfortunately the mask would occasionally shatter upon direct impact causing Riddell to replace it with the tubular plastic mask which was almost indestructible.
The second photo was taken November 4, 1956 at Milwaukee County Stadium.

Special Collections, Cleveland State University Library
HB Joe Johnson gains 10 yds & first down on Browns 38 before being dumped by Tommy James. Coming up to help on the pass completion from Starr is (70) captain Don Colo." -- photo verso. The Browns won the game 24-7.
The uniform Messrs. Dillon and Johnson are wearing is this "midnight green" beauty, with gold numbers and Northwestern stripes:

This uniform remains largely forgotten by Packer fans, if not the team itself. Not surprising, in that it represents a dark time in the team's history—the Packers went 6-6 and 4-8 in these two seasons—but I like it on its æsthetic merits.


Rick said...

The packers are selling a crossbreed jersey of this one mixed with the 1929 jerseys

Jeremy said...

Thanks for the mention, keep up the great work!