Today's Tidbit... Transitioning from Leather to Plastic
Riddell invented plastic helmets and offered them first to Northwestern, who wore them for their season opener versus Syracuse in 1940. Other schools wanted to use plastic helmets for the 1941 season, but by then, plastics had been declared a wartime material as the U.S. geared up for war. Schools quickly switched to plastic helmets when they became available after the war, though some players opted to stick with leather.
The image above shows six players involved in the action. Five wear plastic helmets, while Iacule, #69 of Brown, opted for leather. He and #55, Regine, both wear face masks nonetheless.
For more on the history of early plastic helmets including their use by WWII paratroopers, see below:
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