Who Invented The Football Helmet?

Football helmets are the only thing protecting participant’s heads from hard strikes, concussions, and other head injuries during a game. A football helmet could be defined as a part of protective equipment used mainly in American football and Canadian football. It consists of a hard plastic casing with thick cushioning on the interior, a face mask made of one or more plastic-coated metallic bars, and a chinstrap.

Perform an internet search on “Who Invented the Football Helmet?” and you will likely develop one of three replies:

James Naismith, the”Father of Basketball,” devised the helmet whilst playing for the YMCA International Training College football team in 1891.

Joseph M. Reeves, U.S.N.A., after being warned that the additional blow to the head could cause”minute insanity,” had the very first helmet made for him in 1893.

George Barclay, a national champion at Lafayette College, needed a shoemaker to construct the first helmet to protect his damaged ears in 1894.

So who has the best claim? The basketballer, the admiral, or the national champion? Perhaps, the inventor is a person who isn’t recorded on any website?
This guide will analyze the claims in support of every one of our prospective inventors and again ask the question: “Who Invented the Football Helmet?”

who invented the football helmet

Who invented the football helmet

James Naismith – The Father of Basketball (and Football Helmets)

A football helmet was not necessarily a polycarbonate or plastic exterior shell with comfy padding on the interior, a face mask made of more plastic-coated metallic bars, and a hard-shell chinstrap, as it is defined now. Football helmets like the Xenith Shadow have come a long way as the first models of years ago.

Let’s rewind to Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891 if the game of football was changed forever. It was on these hallowed grounds that the creation of this football helmet has been brought to life. James Naismith, the “Father of Basketball,” had joined the YMCA College, football team. Playing center to the squad, Naismith was the anchor of the offensive line and had to make physical contact while he blocked because of his quarterback.

Following a barrage of hits to his face and head, Naismith had an idea. He needed his girlfriend to sew two pieces of flannel together to make the world’s first “football helmet” This small spark of genius altered the whole trajectory of the game of football.

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Joseph Mason Reeves

In 1893, Admiral Joseph Mason Reevewent to his shoemaker and had him fashion a Moleskin Hat with Earfla. This hat becomes the first football helmet in history.

Football Helmets are a requirement in any way levels of professional football, including non-tackle variations like flag football. Even though they are defensive, players still suffer head injuries, such as concussions.

Joseph M Reeves after a brutal season Reeves’s physician told him that one tougher hit to the mind could result in what he called instant insanity or even death determined to play within the conventional rivalry match against military briefs went into some local shoemaker and had him fashion a moleskin hat with earflaps and that is what would eventually become the first helmet at football history.

It wasn’t much, but it was revolutionary for its time so revolutionary that Reeves took the design back with him to the Navy after graduating in for him comparable helmets worn by pilots and paratroopers in World War I.

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George Oliver Barclay

George”Rose” Barclay is also credited with devising the football helmet in either 1894 or 1896, based on the origin. Barclay played football for Lafayette College from 1894 to 1896 and led the Leopards into an undefeated season and a share of a national championship (Princeton) in 1896.

Lafayette outscored their opponents 242-10-1896. According to Lafayette College’s official athletic website: George Oliver BarclayBarclay invented the first football helmet if the”danger of cultivating cauliflower ears” led him to have an Easton saddlemaker piece together three thick leather straps around his head during the 1894 football season.

Contrary to the past two contenders, an intriguing part of this Barclay claim is that his invention initially conceived for the security of an injury, caught on with his uninjured teammates. Could it be the genesis of headgear as a typical object of football gear?

A problem using Barclay’s claim is the description of his exploit is remarkably similar to headgear already in commercial production in 1894. The No. 25 consisted of 3 strips of leather attached to two oversized earpads and was the primary head harness to be marketed by any of the major sporting goods suppliers in the U.S. Spalding explained the Head Harness as”Especially for security to ears.”

The fact that the No. 25 was designed chiefly to protect damaged ears is supported by the fact that a variation of this No. 25, the No. 15, came with just 1 earpad. In case the No. 25 was available for purchase prior to the 1894 season, production would probably have started in late 1893 or ancient 1894, well before the unveiling of Barclay’s invention.

The No. 25, which provided ear padding but virtually no security to the head, was marketed by Spalding from 1894 until 1896. Designed mainly as an “ear protector,” the No. 25, and likewise, Barclay’s similarly constructed contraption, cannot be regarded as the very first football” helmet”.

who invented the football helmet

Mask On

Exposed faces were getting kicked and cut throughout games which led to the development of facemasks. Facemasks brought about a massive modification into the football helmet industry. Vern McMillan, a sports salesman, attracted the initial facemask to the planet in the kind of rubber-covered wire in 1935.

The very first facemask consisted of a single pub that ran down the course of a player’s face protecting his nose. When looking at the facemask designs available today, such as the Prime or even XRS-21s, it is difficult to imagine only having a single pub.

It wasn’t till 1939 that the NCAA faked all players wearing football helmets in games. That exact same year, a business in Chicago started producing plastic helmets. Vinyl helmets were manufactured with facemasks, and chinstraps, and had enhanced strength as compared to their predecessors. Throughout the ’40s, plastic helmets became the standard for protection.

In 1943, the NFL also announced that all players must wear football helmets, which ignited the introduction of logos on helmets. The Los Angeles Rams initiated this initiative when they inserted the iconic horns for their helmets. The addition of team logos into helmets brought a brand new identity to the game.

Helmets were no longer a protective solid colored thing; they became an indication of unity, spirit, and pride for groups. Logos and stickers added swagger and style to a player’s picture that had not previously existed causing drastic changes to team looks.


Hopefully, you can gather useful information after reading our article here. Besides, we have a lot more to share on this blog, please refer to it.

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