Historic Hood River
Our museum collection includes some great “incidental” photographs which aren’t directly related to Hood River, but came to us through some accident of history. In this case, this photo of the 1909 Vancouver (WA) football team is part of a wonderful collection whoch was donated to us because of the fine images of scenes and commerce on the Columbia River. Many of the photos focus on the lower Columbia, including great images of Vancouver.
I try to digitally repatriate such images, when possible. Sometimes we would give the prints or negatives to a local institution, but in this case I think there is value to keeping the collection together, even though it covers different locales along the river. We’ve benefited many times from folks sending us images which they’ve found which they think might be of more interest to us.
The early 20th century was a time of rapid innovation in football. This was just three years after the forward pass was added to the game, in part as an effort to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in high school and college football. You can see the start of padded uniforms, the fading out of the turtleneck sweater, and even one player with one of those odd nose guards which I suspect caused more fractures than they prevented.