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Today's Tidbit... The Evolution of Shoulder Pads, Part III
One of last week’s tidbits covered a step in the evolution of shoulder pads that came via Spalding’s Model D shown in the image below. Click here to review the full story.
Another step came with Spalding’s 1910 introduction of its Model YF which combined molded leather cups with a felt pad for collar bone protection. The Spalding ad below shows the Model YF and Y, along with the Model D, as well as the external shoulder pads shown in the first story in this series.
The illustration of the player in the upper right corner of the ad shows him wearing the YF atop the jersey. However, I have yet to see a Model YF in a period photograph, likely because they wore them under their jerseys.
The images below show the Model YF along with a close-up of the shoulder cup.
The shoulder pads in previous posts were constructed solely of soft pads, while the molded leather cups of the Model YF and Y (no felt pad) were stiff, offering mechanical protection to the wearer. Pads like these were among the earliest to ignore football’s rules prohibiting pads made of stiff substances. Likewise, the YF’s felt pad was among the first to cover the upper chest and back.
Both changes seen in the YF remain key features of part of present-day shoulder.
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