Early Football Helmet Testing

Football Helmet Testing – Please DO NOT Try This At Home!


This picture is a rather humorous look at the early days of football. As I’m sure many of you are aware, football has come under fire many times from people claiming it causes head injuries.

Of course, now we know that this is indeed the case with concussions and skull fractures from the repeated tackling that the game entails. Back in the 1920’s during the early days of the game, not much was known about head injuries and concussions hadn’t even been discovered. This made the helmet an inconsequential part of the game back then, just a light piece of leather to cushion the blow. However, they were still utilized to a degree and that meant quality had to be assured. People had to know the helmets actually did something before they bought them. This made leather companies develop their products in the most logical way possible, having people who were wearing their products smash their heads against things.

Indeed, this photograph is from an actual, official testing of a helmet designed to keep people safe. Sure it was the 1920’s and, as previously stated, not much was known about head injuries, but you’d there would’ve been at least a little but more thought put into this test than just having people hurt themselves. This man obviously went full force into that wall as his bosses are watching. No piece of leather could protect your cranium from that kind of force. Luckily, with the growth of science, we have learned an immense number of things about concussions and have upgraded our helmets to minimize brain damage. Still, it is certainly hard to believe that this was a normal occurrence about 100 years ago.