First Recorded Use of a Football Helmet
by Vic Winnek
I ran across this fact thought I'd share: As football began to evolve in the latter part of the 19th century, the absence of protective gear and the lack of well-defined rules resulted in an alarming number of gruesome injuries and even fatalities.
In 1893, just before the annual Army-Navy contest, a doctor informed Navy Cadet Joseph Mason Reeves that another direct blow to the skull might cause death or "instant insanity." Determined to take the field against his team's arch-rival, Reeves had an Annapolis shoemaker construct a sturdy leather cap to shield his head during the game.
Cadet Reeves thus became the first player in history to don a "football helmet"