Holy Grail Discovery
Chris Hornung
April 1, 2015
Page 2
Dielman, Gary.
"A History of Early Baker City: 1862-1910."
Web. March 28, 2015.
References
Baker County (Oregon) Library Historic Photo Collection.
Web. March 28, 2015.
Baker County Oregon Geneology and History.
Web. March 28, 2015.
While the provenance on this head harness is exceptional, the fact that it has retained its NOS condition is astounding. It was stored in the Palmer Brothers basement for 70 years and then in Bill Anderson's attic for another 40. Even unused for all of those years, you would expect significant deterioration from 110 years of storage in unconditioned spaces. The explanation may just lie in the climate in which it has resided. Compared to the eastern United States, Eugene, Oregon has higher, more stable year round humidity, and relatively cooler summers. As a result, the leather remains as supple as the day it was first put on the shelves at Palmer Brothers. Thanks to the Palmer Brothers, John Palmer, Bill Anderson, and the temperate Oregon weather, this priceless artifact and its story will be preserved for generations to come.
Final Thoughts
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William "Bill" Anderson in his workshop, April 2015.
Invented by Hiram Boardham Conibear, the trainer for the University of Chicago's Division of Physical Culture and Athletics, the Spalding No. 30 Head Harness is a hybrid between the earliest 4-strap head harnesses and the heavier, more substantial, improved head harnesses. The No. 30 is basically a 4-strap harness with a sole leather crown pad. The rarity of the Chicago Head Harness is the result of three factors:
Spalding's Head Harness No. 30
It's one of the earliest forms of head harnesses (1901-1903).

It was only produced for 3 years.

During its production run, most players did not wear head protection.
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Football game image insert from The Denver Post, November 1901
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