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Posts Tagged ‘archival athletics’

From the archives – Marine Corps Basketball

April 7th, 2014

Thanks to the Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections for these historic photographs of Marine Corps basketball teams. While I know very little about the game of basketball I do admire the wool pullovers, wide legged sweats, canvas sneakers and tailored shorts sported by the men’s and women’s teams.  Bonus points the gents who completed their outfit with shawl collar cardigans or heavy wool overcoats (future trend alert: greatcoats over shorts).   Like the best athletic garb from the past, the uniforms worn by the Marine Corps teams (sans logos) could stand in as everyday clothing rather than sports specific gear.  If you are looking to equip your own team, see my 2011 post on vintage basketball equipment and gym equipment.


Archival Athletes

March 26th, 2013
From the Musee McCord Museum Archives, here are some terrific photographs of individual and team sports from the turn of the (past) century.  I love reprinting images of historical athletes as evidence of a time when athletic prowess was conflated with a snappy, well tailored presentation for the camera.  Here, in the McCord image set, both male and female athletes wear sporting garb that could easily double as street clothing.  I long for the days when heraldic emblems, plus fours, bowler hats, wool knits and striped tunics were de rigeur elements of the the amateur sporting uniform.
 John Lowe, 1931
 Frank Barnwell, 1891
Louis Rubenstein, 1893
 Rowing Crew, 1871
Fencers, 1925
 “Bonnie Lassies” group, 1891

Hurdle race on snowshoes, 1892
Trafagler Basketball Institute, 1928
 YWCA Water Polo Team, 1925

Bank of Montreal Hockey Team, 1895
 Kahnawake Lacrosse, 1867
Wesleyan Thelogical Basketball Team, 1916
Physical Education Hockey Group, 1925

Shopping from the 1950s: Sporting Goods

March 8th, 2013

One of my primary time travel fantasies involves shopping from catalogs from the past.  For my Spring workout wardrobe, I’d love to order sportswear and gym equipment from the pages of these old Athletic Journals from the 1950s.  What I adore about this era of sporting garb is the emphasis on rugged construction, quality materials (virigin wools, pure orlons!), “glove smooth” fit and a tailored look (“neatness and uniformity”).  Even the trampolines, gym mats and megaphones were made from super sturdy materials and promised to last for ages.  Take a look at some of these classic ads and tell me what you would buy now. 


From the Archives: Rugby Ephemera

September 28th, 2011

In honor of the World Cup, I’m reposting selections from Frederick Humbert’s awesome collection of historical rugby print ephemera. Humbert’s flickr catalog and blog, Rugby-Pioneers, include photographs, programs, cigarette cards, advertisements and even hand painted lantern slides of vintage rugby action. Even if you don’t follow rugby as a sport, study the photographs as a guide to looking stylish in a sports uniform (blazers and wool knits in lieu of track jackets and sweats).

Archival Exercise: Rope Jumping

September 25th, 2011

Count the Olympic brand jump rope as another best quality product still being manufactured in Oregon. The plastic beaded Olympic rope was designed over 45 years ago by a coach who was looking for a durable sports product that could be used both indoors and outdoors. The Archival Web Shop is now offering this rope in five different sizes including a double dutch model.

Rope jumping is a nearly perfect exercise. It’s low impact, provides cardio training and enhances general strength and coordination. As one early health publication remarks, “[t]he jumping-rope has long been famous as a flesh reducer. It is this because you can jump rapidly enough to burn away superfluous tissues.” No expensive equipment or gym membership is required. All you need is a sturdy pair of shoes and a good rope.

Here, Sara, wearing apron and clogs, gets in a little exercise while waiting for the grill to heat.

Some basic jump rope exercises from the Navy Seal Physical Fitness guide:

Instructions for producing your own rope from scratch: