Helmets were not required in college football until the 1939 season. A NFL player, Chicago bears tight end Dick Plasman, played without a helmet in the 1940 NFL title game.
First introduced in 1896, helmets appear to have been standard among Georgetown teams dating to the early 1900's.
Created to head injuries from kicks to the head following tackles, the days of leather helmets seem altogether distant compared to today's high-impact helmets, but remain an essential part of the evolution of the sport at all levels. Here is a sample of helmets worn at Georgetown through the years.
Early 1910's and 1920's
The early leather helmets adopted a soft, "flat top" design seen in this photo of quarterback Johnny McQuade circa 1919. There were no distinguishing features among helmets between teams of different schools.
During the early 1930's teams began to paint along the seams of leather helmets to distinguish the teams--a help to spectators and to players, as the often muddy conditions tended to obscure the jerseys beyond recognition.
The photo above shows an 1931 style by center Charles McManus.
In the early 1930's Spalding redesigned the helmet to allow for more padding. This design is the origin for the famous "winged helmet" popularized by Princeton, and later, Michigan. When Georgetown first adopted the style, it added a "G" logo at the front of the helmet. Dartmouth is the only Division I school still using a front-of-helmet logo like this. This photo is of Ray Fusco, a halfback from 1934.
Photos from the 1937 and 1938 seasons show Georgetown players wearing a revised version of the winged helmet. This photo is of halfback Tom Keating, from 1937.
Helmets were expanded in the late 1930's to add even more padding, and began to be offered by manufacturers in different colors.
In this 1939 photo, kicker Augie Lio wears an all-silver helmet with the front-facing "G" logo.
From 1940 through 1942, the gray helmet was modified to use the winged design. Above, a 1941 photo of halfback Bill McLaughlin.
Also from this era, a rare photo of a Georgetown player in what appears to be a face mask, a feature which was not generally introduced into football until later in the 1940's. In this 1941 photo, defensive halfback Lou Falcone is seen wearing one of these early devices.
After World War II, helmets made the leap from leather to plastic. Georgetown teams of the late 1940's were outfitted in the latest style, with a single-bar face mask and a blue shell with white striping. (The 1946-50 teams are the only era when Georgetown has worn a blue helmet color).The photo above is running back Jack Kivus, circa 1947.
Georgetown utilized its 1940's era helmets throughout the intramural era (1951-63) but new helmets were due for the start of club football. The photo above features running back Bob Francis in an all-gray helmet used in the 1964 and 1965 seasons.
The only apparent helmet change in the club football era was the addition of a blue stripe across the top of the helmet after 1966. The photo features receiver John Sutton, in 1968.
Georgetown teams in the Division II/III era utilized a familiar logo style used by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and Grambling State University, among others. Georgetown's version of this helmet featured a blue "G" and a blue/white/blue striping across a gray helmet shell. This photo, circa 1991, is of wide receiver Chris Murphy.
From 1994 through 2000, Georgetown teams returned to an all-gray helmet style. This 1996 photo features quarterback Bill Ward.
In 2000, Georgetown added its contemporary "G" logo to the helmet shell, which has remained the style since. The photo above from the 2007 season, is of fullback/receiver Kyle Van Fleet.
Special Helmet Designs
Georgetown is one of the few Division I schools which has not strayed into multiple helmet designs or designs for special purposes.