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CATCHER'S MASK
DATING GUIDE

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Reference

1922 Goldsmith light metal
one piece Catcher's Mask
1922 Goldsmith Catchers Mask Patent  
Google Patents

1935 Spalding Two Piece eye Bars Catchers Mask Patent
1935 Spalding Two Piece Eye Bars Catchers Mask Patent 
Google Patents

Vintage Catchers Mask Dating Guide 
1930-1939 CATCHER'S MASK DATING GUIDE
  Heavy Carbon steel wire is now being used.  Ridged  5/8" round bars are replacing the "wire mesh" masks. Double and triple wiring with Truss construction is becoming more common as well as, padding laced to to the frames. Padded chin rests are replacing the leather chin pads.  
Visual Glossary
1930s Catchers Mask with Spitter  Parts of a Catchers Mask  1930s triple wire construction 
1930 Spalding HDB-1
Catchers Mask
1930-1939s 5/8" Two Bar
 catchers mask with Round Spitter
1937 Triple Wire Two Bar
Constructed Catchers Mask

  The Dating of a catcher's mask could prove to be a difficult task. Construction styles, models, or features could have been used for many years after they were introduced. In some cases you could positively date a mask to after a feature was first introduced but you might have to settle on generalizing the dating to a longer era of use. Most of the model introduced in the late 1920s, carry over into the 1930's and some are developed with only the slightest changes by the end of the decade. The thick 5'8" heavy wire two Bar mask are becoming a favorite design which allows for better vision for the catcher. Frames with two, "eye space bars" each made with Triple wire, is being introduced in 1930 and is developed throughout the decade. Truss construction frames with spitters dominate the market. Extended wire ear protections is also becoming more common.  
1930's Extra reinforced cathers Mask 1930's Triple wire Two Bar Catcher's Mask 1930's Extra reinforced Safety First Catchers Mask
Extra Reinforced
"Safety First" Model
1930's -1940's Triple Wire Two Bar construction
with ear protection.
"Safety First" model with extra reinforced wire large Chin Pad
    A few loop & clip construction masks are still being sold but most of them are youth models. The development of the one piece "Light Metal" catchers masks introduced in 1921 seems to come to a halt with one basic model being sold by all the major manufactures. Instead the design is taken in the direction of a one piece molded frame with two eye space bars affixed to it. The majority of masks have Chin padding but like the loop and Clip frames, some models still use the simple chin rests. Again mostly with youth models. The use of lacing to secure the face padding to the frame is more evident.

 Basically the main features with masks dated to the 1930-1939 manufacturing period are; Wide Sight truss construction, triple wire electric weld frames, heavy 5/8" two bars eye space, extended wire ear protection, and chin padding. You will also notice more lacing being used to secure the face pads to the frame.

 Because it is easier to date a mask to the era when a feature was available I have listed a timeline below. You might be able to use unique features on your mask that overlap other features to narrow down the date. I have also included catalog images so you can match styles and construction characteristics like a fingerprint.
 
Catchers Mask Timeline
  • 1911 D&M introduces Electric Welded steel wire construction.
  • 1912 Reach introduces "Wide Sight" frame construction.
  • 1914 Reach introduces "The Spitter" hole
  • 1914 The first use of chin padding that slowly replaces chin support straps.
  • 1916 Spalding starts to use Truss Support, and double wire construction.
  • 1921 Aluminum one piece frame is patented by umpire James E. Johnstone.
  • 1930 Two, "eye space bars" each constructed with three wires is patented.
  • 1935 One piece molded frame with two "eye bars" affixed to it is patented
1930-1939 Catchers Mask Catalog Samples & Ads
 
1930 Spalding 1931 Reach Catchers Masks  1930 Rawlings Wilson Reach Catchers Masks  1930 Reach Goldsmith Catchers Masks  1934 Goldsmith & Wilson Catchers Masks 
1930 Spalding - 1931 Reach
Catchers Masks
1930 Rawlings Wilson Reach
Catchers Masks
1930-1936 Reach Goldsmith
Catchers Masks
1934 Goldsmith & Wilson
Catchers Mask advertising
1935 Spalding Catchers Masks  1930 catchers Mask Patent  1937 - 1939 Wilson Catchers Masks  1939 Wilson Catchers Masks 
1935 Spalding
Catchers Masks
1930 Triple wire two Bar
Catchers Mask Patent
1937-1939 Wilson
Catchers Masks
1939 Wilson
Catalog ad
 
Safety First Model Catchers Mask
1930 Rawlings "Safety First" Catchers Mask Model No. 50
 
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