Today the word "football" summons forth images of gigantic, vigorous and fully televised athletes sporting protective padding while surrounded by enthusiastic fans and well-compensated cheerleaders; yet, one hundred years ago, that same word made one think of embalmers, tombstones and weeping mothers. Footballers continued to keep American undertakers and other assorted members of the grief industry fully employed up to the year 1910, when helmets and padding were introduced.
The attached article is from an 1897 issue of THE LITERARY DIGEST and it reported on a strong civic movement to banish football from the land.
Click here if you would like to see three editorial cartoons denouncing football from 1897.
Click here to read a 1940 magazine article about women's football.
Click here to read more articles from the
20s and 30s about football.
Thanksgiving football: a pairing that was enjoyed by Americans in 1918 France, click here to read about it.