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CATCHER'S MASK
DATING GUIDE

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Reference

1959 Catcher's Mask
1959 Catchers Mask Ad 
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 
1950-1959 CATCHER'S MASK DATING GUIDE
   The one piece two-bar style catchers masks dominate the new designs showing up in the market. Unlike the previous models of the 1930's and 1940's where lacing was used, Snap on buttons are used to secure the padding to the frame. This style makes it into the 1960's but become more streamlined.  
Visual Glossary
1953 Willson A3040 Catchers Mask  1950's Catchers Mask Visual Glossary A3052 / 620 Clear Vision 1957 Catchers Mask 
1953 Willson A3040
Catchers Mask
1950's One Piece Cast Magnesium
 catchers mask with Snap-On Padding
A3052 / 620 Clear Vision
1957 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 1950s begin with a lot of the models from the 1940s, and carry overs from the late 1930's. World War II slowed the development of new designs. One piece cast magnesium constructed frames, a style that was patented in 1935, dominates the new designs. The decade starts off with padding being laced to the frame, made popular in the 1940's but by later half, "Snap-On" buttons are used.  
1950's Wilson A9906 Catchers Mask  1930's Triple wire Two Bar Catcher's Mask 1950's Catchers Nask 
1950's Wilson A9906
Catchers Mask
Triple Wire Two Bar construction with ear protection.
A popular mask design from the 1930s -1950's
One piece cast magnesium frame with Snap on padding
     Truss construction masks are still being used and Both the heavy wire, and one piece cast frames, feature two eye bars for "Open or Clear Vision." A single bar going across the face, and the other at the forehead. By the end of the decade, and into the '60's, the One piece cast frames become more streamlined.

Basically the main features with masks dated to the 1950-1959 manufacturing period are; Open Vision, two bar face protection, one piece cast magnesium frames with bulky chin protection, and although the decade starts off with padding being laced to he frames, Snap on button padding is the new design feature of the 1950's.

 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
1950-1959 Catchers Mask Catalog Samples & Ads
 
1951 MacGregor Catcher's Masks  1951 1955 D&M Belknap Wilson Catchers Masks  1953 Wilson Catchers Mask Ad  1957 Rawlings 1959 Nokona Catchers Masks 
1951 MacGregor 
Catchers Masks
1951 D&M 1955 Wilson
 Catchers Masks
1953 Wilson Advertising
Catchers Masks
1957 Rawlings 1959 Nokona
Catchers Mask advertising
1950 Goldsmith Catchers Mask Peatent  1957 Catchers Masks  1953 Catcher's Mask Patent  1958 Catchers Mask Patent 
1950 Goldsmith
Catchers Mask Patent
1957 Advertising
Catchers Masks
1953 Catchers Mask Patent
Top of head protection
1958
Catchers Mask Patent
 
 
 
 
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