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SPORTS ANTIQUE 

OF THE WEEK

March 15th-21st 2009

Standout items 

by SportsAntiques.com

 

THIS WEEKS FEATURE 

352DeafMutesFB.jpg (120920 bytes)

 

c1890's

DEAF MUTES vs. AKRON

FOOTBALL GAME 

BROADSIDE POSTER

40" wide x 26" tall 
printed on paper
Sold in Hunt March 
2009 Live Auction for
$2,200.00 click here
TunaTheWeek
"The Way" by Speedball

 

.....If indeed AKRON was Buchtel College, and Buchtell started playing football in 1891, then the closest year following 1891 in which a Saturday November 13th fell on would be 1897. Moreover, the graphics style is closer consistent with the 1890's than 1909, the next closest year Saturday November 13th fell on.....

 

HISTORICAL TIME LINE

Based on the following review I believe it 

probable this poster dates from 1897. Saturday November 13th occurred in 1880, 1886, 1897, 1909, 1915 and 1920. 

 

There were two schools for the hearing impaired which the indicated "DEAF MUTES"  could likely have represented. One was Gallaudet University, founded in 1857, also referred to as Kendall College for Deaf Mutes in Washington D.C. The first football team at Gallaudet/Kendall was in 1883

 

The other school this poster could represent was the New York Buchtel_College_Picture_1884_-!885.jpg (35213 bytes) Institute for the Deaf and Dumb.  Football was first played there in 1894.

 

The opposing team, "AKRON" was likely Buchtel College, which the poster indicates as the location of the game. Buchtel College was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1870 and renamed The University of Akron in 1913. Buchtel's first football team was in 1891. John A Heisman which the Heisman trophy is named after coached football at Buchtel College in 1893. 

 

If indeed AKRON was Buchtel College, and Buchtell started playing football in 1891, then the closest year following 1891 in which a Saturday November 13th fell on would be 1897. Moreover, the graphics style is closer consistent with the 1890's than 1909, the next closest year Saturday November 13th fell on.

 

GRAPHICS AND DESIGN

This Deaf Mutes vs. Akron football game broadside poster would be considered a classic in several aspects, size, graphics, and style. It’s dimensions of 40 inches wide by 26 inches tall would be striking in person. In it’s day, it would have been easily visible from at least twenty feet. Up close you would notice it no matter what other distractions. As for graphics and style, whoever designed it was either directed, or took it upon themselves to give it extra  detail. The illustration of the football player isn’t one I recognize and I speculate may have been produced originally for the poster, not stock art. The youthful player is simple and straight forward. He has the details of a real player, from the seams on the ball, to his shoe laces. Perhaps the designer was proud of him and opted to use as full-length an image as possible, placing him side by side to the text. The word “football” is given deluxe stylized treatment of the time including black shadowing. The red text, striped sleeves and socks gives the poster a colorful look even though only black and red was used.

 

Below is an interesting story the New York Times ran in 1894 about the first football team being organized at the New York Institute for the Deaf and Dumb:

 

Published Sept.16,1894

 

 

 

All referencing of the hearing impaired is taken from historical accounts and or titles of the period of this poster and in no possible way represents the regular vernacular of SportsAntiques.com

 

END

 

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