Photo: Football, Minnesota vs. Michigan (1902)

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Michigan Wolverines (1902)

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Michigan Wolverines (1902)

license: public domain
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Benham and Allen

A sepia photograph shows a group of men playing American football. They appear to be skirmishing for the ball, with the majority of them clashing in the center of the photo. Several lines of texts have been written on different parts of the photograph. One such line reads “PHOTO BY BENHAM AND ALLEN 1902.”


Photo: 1902


This photograph gives an example of an early 20th century American football game, before the introduction of helmets and protective padding. It was during this period that the many disparate versions of college football began to converge into one codified sport.

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Rowley, C. (2015). The shared origins of football, rugby, and soccer. Rowman & Littlefield.

Guttmann, A. (2007). Sports: The first five millennia. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.