Back in the leatherhead days -- and even in the early plastic era -- football helmets were constructed with stock designs that made for some interesting possibilities when it came to painting pretty patterns (you can see examples here, here and here).
Harvard was no stranger to the party, as you can see here. But the Crimson's 1930s-40s helmet is an odd one, indeed. The helmet was crimson, except for the back panels, which were left white, giving the whole thing an unfinished appearance. I have no idea why it was like this, and I've never seen anything like it anywhere else. But then, I knew a guy in high school who had a bowl haircut in the front, and a shaved head in the back. Maybe one of his ancestors designed this helmet?
|The Harvard uniform, circa 1947. The helmet's missing something in the back.|
|Harvard in action against Penn -- which had its own unique helmet pattern -- in 1942.|
Judging by photos from the Harvard yearbooks (called the Class Album at the time, but with Harvard yearbooks, you can never really tell what they're called) the helmets were closer to a true red than crimson.
The rest of the uniform has the familiar crimson jersey and tan pants, with Red Sox-style numbers of varying sizes that were used through the end of the decade.
|This photo, from some time in the 1940s, provides a good look|
at the Harvard helmet's pattern, not to mention one of those
cool homemade facemarks.
Other Harvard unis you may have missed: 2016, 2015, 2012-14; 2008-11; 1980-83; 1975-79; 1972-73; 1972, 1967-70, 1962-63, 1950-52, 1948-49. Rivalry Week: Harvard-Yale.