1953 Detrit Lions Gold Helmet

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1953 Detrit Lions Gold Helmet

Post  Chuck Anderson on Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:04 pm

This site is great! I wanted to share the following e-mail I received 3 years ago from the Detroit Lions web site. I wrote them asking if and why the lions would wear a gold helmet in the early 1950. Your site, like so many others, shows the gold helmet with a white or green stripe (1953). The helmet was also listed at Helmet Hut (www.helmethut.com) site a few years ago but has since been removed. I believe they said the gold helmet with a green stripe was on display at the NFL Hall of Fame as part of their championships display.

The interesting part is the Lions said the gold helmet is a result of a natural color change over the years. They indicate there actually was never a gold helmet in the 50's. Their explanation is in the following e-mail reply. Can any members provide additional information?

Here's the e-mail from the Lions:

--- On Mon, 1/12/09, FanMail <FanMail@lions.nfl.net> wrote:
From: FanMail <FanMail@lions.nfl.net>
Subject: RE: Lions Helmets
To: chuckxxxxxxx@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, January 12, 2009, 12:26 PM
Again, we’re sorry for the delay!
Here is the answer:
During the 1950s, the Lions’ helmets were sliver with a blue stripe (no logo). For night games, they had to paint their helmets blue because the they too closely resembled the white ball under the lights.
There was never a gold helmet. The helmets in the 50’s were made of a clear plastic and the silver and the blue stripe were painted from the inside. Over the years, because of the oxidation, the plastic for those helmets developed a yellowish tint which is why the silver appears to be gold and the blue stripe appears to be green. If you ever get your hands on one of those helmets and you look at the inside of it, you’ll see the silver paint.

Chuck Anderson

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Re: 1953 Detrit Lions Gold Helmet

Post  Bill Schaefer on Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:44 pm

Here are a couple of photos we've accumulated from over the years...

This photo, from 1951 as evidenced by the "City of Detroit" patch, shows no blue stripe on Detroit's helmet.

Also this photo, taken on 12/19/54, one week before the NFL Championship Game between the same 2 teams (Detroit and Cleveland) shows no blue stripe as mentioned in the email from the Lions above.

Additionally, here is a photo from 11/1/59, showing Detroit at San Francisco, again with no blue stripe on their helmets.

I think the truly worthy piece of the email you received is the mention of the oxidation causing the yellowing. This means there was never an INTENTION to go to gold helmets.
Thanks for the info!
Bill Schaefer

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