Auburn University vs. University of Georgia (1895)
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Fred L. Howe
A sepia photograph shows two football teams on a field, with a referee nearby in the foreground and spectators in the background. Most of the players seem to be struggling for the ball while about a third of them stand back and watch with eager body language. The players are wearing street clothes and high socks with no helmets or other protective gear. The referee wears a black suit jacket.
Photo: November 1895
This photograph is a snapshot of late-19th-century intercollegiate football, in a period during which football in America was not yet completely unified or codified. It was during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that these different branches of football practiced by different schools were pushed together into one unified sport. This photo also displays the absence of helmets characteristic of this period, as they wouldn’t be introduced to the sport for about 20 more years.
Rowley, C. (2015). The shared origins of football, rugby, and soccer. Rowman & Littlefield.