Between 1897 and 1898, Victor Sporting Goods Co. began manufacturing nose masks variants that are known today in the hobby as “batwings,” owing to the shape of the “extra protecting pieces for the cheekbones.” The purpose of the extended wings was to distribute the force of impact to the cheekbones and chin. Embossed with “VICTOR SPECIAL, VICTOR SPORTING GOODS CO. MADE UNDER MORRILL PATENT, PATENTED SEPT 29, 1891,” Victor’s No. 535 Ideal Face Protector featured six air holes, three located in the nose shell and three located through the mouthpiece. In 1900, the Ideal Face Protector sold for $2.50. While the 535 continued to be listed in sporting goods catalogs until the 1920's, images of players wearing them after 1910 are practically non-existent.
c.1897 Victor Sporting Goods No. 535 "Batwing" Ideal Face Protector
1904 Victor Sporting Goods Co. Catalogue
This particular example is only the third to come up for sale in the past five years. It remains in near mint condition, with only minor knicks and surface abrasions from its owner's turn-of-the-century gridiron battles. This No. 535 retains its original chinstrap and bold Victor embossing on the chin.
c.1923 Winchester 5-Panel Advertising Display
The holy grail of vintage football advertising, this remarkable 5-panel display measures nearly eight feet long and three and a half feet high. The three center panels feature the image of Winchester's Official Intercollegiate football over a football stadium. The two side panels feature Winchester football equipment line from 1923. This particular set has "15-H Football Display" on each panel. At the top of each panel is printed "Football Display to be shown week of September 13 thru 19." The opposite side of the 5-panel display features Winchester's "Perfectly Balanced Shot Shell," Model 12 and Model 97 repeating shot guns.
The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was founded in 1855 by Oliver F. Winchester of Boston, Massachusetts. Winchester introduced the world's first successful repeating rifle in 1866, and became known as the world's leader in the manufacture of arms and ammunition. After World War I, Winchester began manufacturing tools, hardware and sporting goods. In 1922, Winchester merged with Simmons Hardware Company, forming the Winchester-Simmons Company. The merger dissolved in 1929, and Winchester declared bankruptcy in 1931. From the 1920 until 1929, Winchester produced beautiful lithographic cardboard advertising pieces for display in their retail store windows. The pieces were typically arranged in 5-panel sets that were to be displayed in wooden display stands that had been provided to retailers by Winchester.
This remarkable example is in mint condition and is being offered for sale with or without its original Winchester 5-panel display stand.