This post was written by Rebecca Durgin and Shayla Wheat, graduate students in the Smithsonian-Mason History of Decorative Arts Masters Program. Rebecca and Shayla were also Graduate Research Assistants in 2015-2016 at the National Museum of American History Library.
Play ball! With baseball season underway across the United States, let’s take a look at early baseball equipment featured in a catalog from the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library. The spring and summer 1916 A. G. Spalding & Bros. catalog, Spalding, A Safe Decision Catalogue No. 1610, features a wide variety of baseball equipment that includes balls, bats, gloves and mitts, and bases for marking the diamond. Uniforms for players as well as team captains and managers were produced in multiple colors to match the different teams’ logos and colors.