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CATCHER'S MASK
DATING GUIDE

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Reference

1945 Wilson Advertising
1945 Wilson Advertising  
 

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 
1940-1949 CATCHER'S MASK DATING GUIDE
  Double and triple carbon steel wire, Truss construction masks continue to be developed, and are being made with a broader design. Face padding is commonly laced to the frame using leather tabs. The one piece double bar masks are becoming more common than the previous two decades.  
Visual Glossary
1942 Professional Spitter model catcher's mask Parts of a Catchers Mask 1949 Reach Catchers Mask
1942 Professional Spitter Model
Catchers Mask
1930-1940s 5/8" Two Bar
 catchers mask with Round Spitter
1949 Reach
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. The 1940's carry on with the mask designs from the 1930's with Double and triple carbon steel wire, Truss construction frames, but made broader. World War II slows the development of new designs. One piece double bar masks are becoming more common after the war and into the 1950's. Lacing used to secure the padding to the frames is more evident.  
1940's JC Higgins 1705 Catchers Mask  1930's Triple wire Two Bar Catcher's Mask 1949  Kenwel Catchers Mask 
1940's JC Higgins
1705 Catchers Mask
Triple Wire Two Bar construction with ear protection.
Common style from 1930's through 1950's
 1930's/40's Kenwel One Piece Cast Magnesium Catchers Mask
    Post war mask development takes the direction of the one piece cast constructed frames. This design with the padding lace to the frame, will carry over into the 1950's until manufactures start to use snap on pads. The triple Wire, two bar constructed frames that started out in the 1930's is also made throughout the 1940's and into the 1950's. The 1950's models can be identified by the snap on pads but distinguishing the '40's models from masks made in the 1930's is so slight you need to identify them in trade catalog and ads.

 Basically the main features with masks dated to the 1940-1949 manufacturing period are; bulky or broader frames with laced padding. A common feature being used more often are the leather tabs or flaps, that extend from the pads that wrap around the frame and secured by lace. Most models can be easily confused with 1930's or 1950's styles.

 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
1940-1949 Catchers Mask Catalog Samples & Ads
 
1940 Goldsmith D&M Belknap Catchers Masks  1941 Ken-Wel Catcher's Masks  1942 Shapleigh Catalog Catchers Masks  1943 Rawlings Catchers Mask ad 
1940 Goldsmith D&M
Belknap Catchers Masks
1941 Ken-Wel
 Catchers Masks
1942 Shapleigh Catalog Catchers Maskss 1943 Rawlings
Catchers Mask advertising
1943 Rawlings Catchers Mask  1948 Rawlings Catchers Mask ad  1948 Rawlings Catchers Mask ad  1948 Macgregor Goldsmith Catchers Mask 
1943 Rawlings
Catchers Masks
1948 Rawlings
Catchers Mask
1948 Rawlings
Catchers Masks
1948 MacGregor Goldsmith
Catchers Mask advertising
1948 Reach - Right & Ditson Catchers Mask ad  1949 Reach Catchers Mask  1951 MacGregor Catcher's Masks  1950 Catchers Mask Patent
1948 Rawlings
Catchers Masks
1948 Reach
Catchers Mask
1951 MacGregor 
Catchers Masks
1950 Goldsmith
Catchers Mask Patent
 
 
 
 
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