When you first looked at the image above, my guess is that you had no idea what it could possibly be. This was my first impression.
(Source: "Football Protection," Oregonian, Sep 22 1937 pictures sec., pp. 1-2.)
It's an old-school football face mask, of all things.
The two-page spread includes the following text:
- "With the football season come the perennial protests against possibility of serious physical harm to players in high school and university.
- "Sports equipment manufacturers, in recent years, have heeded mounting grid casualty lists, as well as the growing complaints of the tender-hearted and have provided numerous safeguards which have become standard equipment for school and professional teams throughout the nation.
- "Here is the 'anti-knock' gear which will be worn by Portland high school players this year . . ."
- "Eyes and noses peep out from behind such protectors as this. Although they are not standard football wear, such guards as this pictured above are worn by many players to prevent broken noses or spectacles. Other footballers prefer the old-style nose guard pictured on the cover page."
You've come a long way, football player dudes!