Talking Uniforms with 95-Year-Old Designer Elaine Goldsmith

For all photos, click to enlarge

Today we have something very special. Give me a minute to set it up and provide some context.

So: Three years ago, I ran a blog post about a 1965 catalog that had been loaned to me by Uni Watch reader Tom Jacobsen. The catalog was from a New York company called Saxony, which made uniforms for stadium workers. Their big claim to fame at the time was that they had designed the inaugural uniforms for the workers at Shea Stadium, which had opened in 1964:

The Saxony catalog included copies of newspaper clippings about the Shea uniforms, one of which said that the Saxony designer who worked on the Shea project was named Elaine Goldsmith. I doubted she was still alive, plus her name was fairly common, plus-plus Saxony had long since gone out of business, so I didn’t spend any time trying to track her down. Just seeing the catalog and getting to write about it was exciting enough for me. (If you haven’t already read that blog post about the Saxony catalog, or if you just want to refresh your memory, I suggest that you check it out here before reading further.)

Fast forward to last month: I received an email from USA Today/For the Win sportswriter Charles Curtis, as follows:

Hi Paul!

Charles Curtis from USA Today’s For the Win here — been a fan for a long time! Hope you’re doing well.

I’m reaching out because of a post you wrote in 2018. You got your hands on a 1965 Saxony Uniforms catalog that had the designs for many of the uniforms worn by employees at Shea Stadium. In there, you’ll see a clip from The Long Island Daily Press citing the work of Elaine Goldsmith.

Elaine is my great-aunt, and my family and I were recently doing a Zoom call with her for her 95th birthday. For years, she had spoken about designing those Shea Stadium uniforms, and her daughter pulled one of those blue and orange striped jackets out of her closet, which was incredible.

We then googled to see if we could find any information about her and the uniforms and stumbled on your post. It was INCREDIBLE for her and us to see that catalog and her name in it.

So thank you for bringing some joy and memories to a 95-year-old!

Best,
Charles

As you can imagine, that made my day! How nice of Charles to share that with me, right?

But as a reporter, I couldn’t resist the opportunity that seemed to be presenting itself. So after thanking Charles for getting in touch, I asked if it might be possible for me to see some photos of the old Shea jacket that Elaine had saved — and if Elaine herself might be interested in being interviewed.

Inquiries were made, arrangements were arranged, and a few weeks later I had the privilege of interviewing Elaine Goldsmith via Zoom. She was speaking to me from her apartment in Manhattan. Her granddaughter, Dana Bontemps, was there to help out, and Charles was also on the call, from his own Manhattan home. Here’s a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity:

Uni Watch: Elaine, could you tell me when you started working for Saxony? And what sort of design background or education did you have that led you to work for them?

Elaine Goldsmith [shown at right]: It was 1963. I was living in Queens at the time, and I was looking for a job as a designer. So every morning I got up, took my portfolio, and took the bus from Queens into New York to look for work in the Garment Center [the part of Manhattan with lots of apparel manufacturing — PL]. And everyone turned me down, because I had no experience and they never hired women who had children.

And one day, I’m waiting for the bus. And along comes a car with a very nice-looking man. He lived in the same neighborhood, and he said, “Where are you going?” I told him I was going into the city, and he said, “You want a lift?”

UW: Who was that? Who was that person, that driver?

EG: That was Arthur Rubin, and he owned Saxony. We talked about the usual things — how long are you living in this neighborhood, how old are your children. And by the time we got to New York, I said, “Would you like to see some nice sketches?” He said sure. He wasn’t sure what this babbling chick was going to pull out of her pocket.

And that’s how I got the job. He said he manufactured uniforms. I went to his office, which was on Canal Street. He took me in to meet his brother, Mike, who was his partner, and he said, “Look what I picked up in the rain.”

UW: And these sketches you had — had you gone to design school, like the School of Visual Arts or anything like that?

EG: I was a fine arts major at Syracuse. Anyway, they had this dirty loft on Canal Street. He said, “Find a place to sit down.” So I was placed in the back, in a bathroom that wasn’t being used. “Here, you can have this bathroom to be your office.”

UW: At that time, were you a sports fan? Did you know anything about sports and stadiums and that type of thing?

EG: It’s an interesting story. Arthur said to me, “They’re building a stadium out at Flushing, called Shea. You said you’re a designer, so call them on the phone and make a date to meet with” — sorry, my memory’s not great, I can’t remember his name. Maybe Jim Thomson — I don’t know. Anyway, I made an appointment to meet him, Jim Thomson.

Their offices were at — where were they playing then, Yankee Stadium?

UW: At that time, they were playing at the Polo Grounds.

EG: Yes, the Polo Grounds. So I had an appointment with Jim Thomson, to discuss how they would dress the ushers, the ticket takers, and the stadium vendors. And I’d never been in a stadium in my life, and I’d never designed a uniform either. How did they have the nerve to trust me with this? I decided that I needed something to talk about when I got to meet Jim Thomson. So the Mets had a booth in Grand Central Station, where they sold a book with all the players’ names.

UW: A yearbook?

EG: A yearbook. So I went home and I studied all the people’s names. So I could discuss, I don’t know, Marv Throneberry, all of them.

UW: You studied for the test!

EG: Yes, I studied for the test. So now when I met Jim Thomson, I had something to talk about, and we became good friends over a glass of Scotch, I think it was. Anyway, I went back to my office in the bathroom on Canal Street. So now I’m starting with a blank piece of paper in the bathroom, and I’m thinking, “What symbolizes New York? A derby hat.” The blue derby symbolized New York, and this is a New York team. So derby hats and striped jackets. A turn-of-the-century look.

And my biggest memory of all this is that on a Sunday morning my daughter came running in and said, “Mommy, your sketch is on the front page of the New York Times sports section!” And that’s when I became a designer.

UW: So you felt official at that point? Now you were a real, official designer?

EG: Yes.

UW: Do you recall where these Shea Stadium uniforms were manufactured?

EG: It was a Chinese place that had a manufacturing thing upstairs in this loft on Canal Street.

UW: Oh, so right there in the same building?

EG: Yeah. But first I had to get the striped fabric. I sketched it when I went the second time to meet Jim Thomson — I sketched a blazer that was striped, and they bought it. So I said to Arthur [Rubin, the Saxony owner], “Where are we going to get this striped fabric? Who’s gonna make that?” He says, “I don’t know — you drew it, now you make it!” I wanted woven wool. In those days, you could look in the Red Pages for a manufacturer of fabric. And I knew nothing about fabrics, but I found a little weaver someplace. I found all kinds of interesting stuff.

UW: And then you brought the fabric to the place upstairs, the Chinese manufacturer?

EG: Yes.

UW: When the baseball season started and Shea Stadium opened in April of 1964, did you go and see the staff wearing your uniforms?

EG: Oh, sure.

UW: And how did that make you feel, to see these the staff wearing these designs that you created?

EG: I loved it. And after doing Shea Stadium, I said, well, this is easy. So I called Horace Stoneham.

UW: Of the San Francisco Giants?

EG: Yes. So they met me when they came to New York. They invited me out for dinner, and we went out to eat, so I could show them my designs. The sports people were different than the Garment Center people — they were more fun. So, Horace Stoneham brought me to the Plaza Hotel for a few drinks after I made the sale, and we had a lot to drink. And he put me in a cab to send me home. And he called me up the next day said, “I love the uniforms. But which one goes on the girl and which one goes on the boy?”

[At this point we looked through the sketches from the 1965 catalog that I had previously written about. It turns out that Elaine created almost all of the sketches in that catalog, including the designs for the Jets, Yankees, and several others.]

UW: So this catalog, it’s called the Saxony catalog, but in a lot of ways it was the Elaine Goldsmith catalog.

EG: I hope you noticed my name isn’t mentioned in there.

UW: Well, unfortunately, that was very common, for designers not to get credit for their work. Which is not right, obviously. That’s why it’s always so exciting for me to help tell a designer’s story, like yours. How long did you keep working for Saxony?

EG: Until 1987. And they did some nice things for me. One time they said, “Come on down, we want to show you something.” I was out of the toilet now, I had a real office. I said, “I’m busy, I have to finish these sketches today.” No, they said, come on down. And there was a nice — now, what was the name of the car? It was a hot little car, that they gave me. It used to fly. A hot little car.

UW: So they gave that to you as a bonus?

EG: Yes, they gave me a present. Because I kept Burger King. The whole country was bidding on the Burger King uniform contract, And we were at the food and hospitality industry convention, and it came out that Elaine Goldsmith got the Burger King contract. By then, I was known among the uniform manufacturers.

UW: With all these uniforms you designed, did you ever have occasion to wear a uniform yourself?

EG: No, I never did.

———

So that was our discussion of Elaine’s time at Saxony. (We also talked about her time as an oat-bran muffin pioneer and her founding of a library for underprivileged children. She’s had a very interesting life!) When we were done, Elaine’s granddaughter, Dana, modeled the Shea jacket that Elaine had saved for all these years, complete with the striped fabric that was made specifically for that design:

Afterward, Dana took some better photos of the jacket, including a shot of the interior tagging:

Interestingly, the jacket doesn’t include the Mets logo chest patch that the actual Shea employees wore:

So that was the famous jacket. But there was a lot more — Elaine saved samples of her designs from a bunch of different projects, mostly for restaurant chains. Here, for example, are two aprons and a hat that she created for that coveted Burger King contract:

You can see more of Elaine’s uniform samples, including designs she created for Dairy Queen, Nathan’s, Orange Julius, and Ponderosa Steakhouse, here.

And there’s still more! By the mid-1970s, Saxony had changed its name to Career Uniform Consulting. Elaine has a CUC catalog from this period, featuring designs for a variety of restaurant chains, many of which she created. You can see the entire catalog here.

What an amazing encounter, and what a great addition to the annals of uniform history. I feel very privileged to be able to tell Elaine’s story.

It’s worth pointing out that there’s a tremendous spirit of generosity running throughout this storyline. First, Tom Jacobsen was nice enough to loan the Saxony catalog to me. Then Charles Curtis got in touch to let me know how much his family enjoyed my write-up of that catalog. Then Charles and his cousin Dana Bontemps arranged for me to speak with Elaine. Then Dana took follow-up photos of Elaine’s samples and also loaned the CUC catalog to me. And of course Elaine was nice enough to share her recollections with me.

That’s a huge amount of goodwill, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have been the beneficiary of it. Please join me in thanking all of these great people for making today’s entry possible.

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! New podcast on the way: For a while now, I’ve been pondering the idea of doing a podcast. But whenever I thought about it, I’d end up having a conversation with myself that went something like this:

“I like podcasts, I like talking about what’s on my mind, and people tell me I have a decent voice, so it seems like a good fit.”

“Yeah, but talking about aesthetics and design — you know, visual stuff — is a tricky proposition in an audio format. Sure, 99% Invisible is good at it, but it would still be a tough challenge.”

“Okay, so how about a podcast where I have guests, and I interview them or talk with them? I’m more comfortable doing dialogue instead of monologue anyway, and there are all sorts of designers, equipment managers, and industry people I could have on the show. That way, the episodes would be more about the discussion and the guests’ experiences, so that would get around the visual/audio problem, at least somewhat.”

“Yeah, but then I’d end up spending a shitload of time chasing down potential guests, trying to match my available time slots with the guests’ time slots, dealing with cancellations and reschedulings, and the whole thing would become a big hassle. Fuck it, I don’t want that.”

But then, last month, I had another thought: Instead having conversations with lots of different guests, what if I had a regular co-host and had a series of conversations with that person?

I liked that idea, and I knew just who I wanted to do it with: Chris Creamer, the founder of SportsLogos.net. He and I are good friends, and we’ve wanted to do some sort of collaborative project for a while now. We get along well, our conversations tend to flow freely and easily, we have a lot of things in common, and we also have some interesting differences between us, all of which I thought would make for an interesting show — not just for our audience, but also for us.

So I pitched the idea to Chris, we kicked it around a bit, and now I’m happy to report that the first episode of our podcast has been recorded and should be available for your consideration sometime next week. Here’s what I can tell you about it so far (although most of this is subject to change as the project develops and evolves):

• The podcast will be called Unified (or maybe Uni-fied — we’re still debating the hyphen). Aside from the obvious uni-related pun, the name also reflects the solidarity between Uni Watch and SportsLogos.net, between Chris and myself, and even between our respective nationalities (he’s Canadian, I’m American).

• Episodes will generally be between 40 and 60 minutes.

• We’re hoping to have a new episode every week. But we both have busy, complicated lives, so we’ll have to see if a weekly schedule turns out to be realistic.

• We’ll talk about new uniforms and other news around the uni-verse. But we’ll also talk about our work, our websites, and other topics, some of which may not necessarily be uni-related but will usually be at least uni-adjacent. (Example: We will almost certainly do an episode about collecting — something we’ve both done a lot of. That episode will no doubt include some discussion about baseball cards and other sports memorabilia, but we’ll also talk about the general urge or impulse to collect, the difference between collecting and hoarding, and so on.)

• We’ll likely have guests on the show now and then, but for now we want to get comfortable doing the show on our own.

• We’re recording the episodes via Zoom. You’ll have the choice of listening to just the audio (which should be available through all of the usual podcast streaming services) or watching the Zoom video on the SportsLogos.net YouTube channel. The video will show our talking heads — exciting, right? — but will also be intercut with occasional photos or other visuals that show what we’re talking about. (Or at least that’s the current plan. Chris is doing all the video editing, and I don’t want him to be overextended, so we’ll see how many bells and whistles he actually has time to include.)

• Feel free to follow the podcast on Twitter at @unifiedcast.

• The podcast does not yet have its own website — but we’re working on that.

• The podcast does not yet have its own logo — but we’re working on that.

———

I think that’s about all the info I have for you at the moment. I’ll let you know when the first episode is ready to go.

(Special thanks to Ken Weimer. He knows why.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

History mystery: The photos shown above are from a 76ers/Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. Depending on which maddeningly imprecise Getty Images caption you choose to believe, the game was either “circa 1975” or “circa 1976.” Either way, I’ve never seen that Sixers jersey before.

This discovery was first made yesterday by Pete Stein (he found the photo at lower-left) and was then expanded upon by Jerry Wolper (he found the other photos). Based on the career spans of the players shown, Jerry theorizes that this may have been a preseason game and that the red-lettered Sixers design was an experiment that never made it to the regular season.

A subject for further research!

• • • • •

• • • • •

Screen shots by Cork Gaines; click to enlarge

Passing grad(i)e(ent): Remember our recent discussion of the Heat’s ViceVersa court design? I was lamenting that they didn’t use a proper gradient in the lane — but now they’ve updated it! Nice job, Miami — better late than never!

(Thanks to Cork Gaines for spotting the change and taking those screen shots.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! Teespring sale: Teespring is running one of its periodic site-wide sales. From now through midnight on Monday, you can get 10% off of anything in the Uni Watch, Naming Wrongs, and Uni Rock shops by using the checkout code BYEBLUES (sorry, I don’t pick these code names). The 10% discount will come out of Teespring’s end, so you’ll save a bit of coin and Uni Watch will still make its full profit — a win-win!

The timing is really good, too, because the Uni Watch Pin Club’s new design for February will launch on Monday, and the discount code will still be active that day. So if you’re a Pin Clubber, you can save on the new pin, whoop-whoop!

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Pro Bowl update: The Pro Bowl will take place this Sunday. As you are probably aware, it will be taking place virtually, due to the pandemic — except at longtime reader/pal Jim Vilk’s house, where Jim Vilk plans to play a very real, non-virtual Pro Bowl.

“If I can get someone to play, I’ll have a paper football game,” says Jim. “If not, I’ll be both sides in a field goal contest.”

Jim says he was inspired by Kevin Cearfoss’s team-logo paper footballs, which were featured on Uni Watch back in August. How great is that? Plus it’ll probably be more interesting than the real Pro Bowl!

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Arkansas has new uniforms (from Timmy Donahue). … You want a McDonald’s softball uniform? Of course you do. … The City of St. Petersburg, Fla., has unveiled a handful of different proposals to redesign the Rays’ stadium (from Kary Klismet and Mike Chamernik).

Football News: Here’s a look at the Super Bowl end zones. … ESPN has a really cool piece on each and every Super Bowl ring. … Check out this Toledo-area high school ref wearing a striped mask to match his jersey. Once you see it, it seems so obvious — why hasn’t this become a standard thing? (From Clint Richardson.)

Hockey News: The Golden Knights’ new AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights, will have metallic-sheen helmets (from multiple readers). … The Stars debuted their black-and-neon alternates alternates last night. Lots of game photos here (thanks, Brinke). … The Capitals now have the National Zoo’s pandas as cardboard spectator cutouts (thanks, Jamie). … The Blue Jackets’ fan of the day was, literally, a fan — an oscillating fan. … The Bruins hung the jersey of Massachusetts high school hockey player AJ Quetta behind their bench last night. Quetta suffered a serious spinal injury during a game earlier this week. … Longtime reader John Muir has opened up a new front in the remove-ment by removing the annoying Reebok front-shirttail tags from a bunch of his hockey jerseys.

NBA News: An NBA historian is ranking the best jersey matchups of 1990s Eastern Conference Finals (from Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike: The NBA saw some Kobe Bryant tributes around the one-year anniversary of his death.

College/High School Hoops News: Odd social justice patch placement for Rutgers (from @JTWLPLL). … Southern Miss has nameplates, rarely seen on basketball jerseys. … The Ogden (Utah) High girls’ basketball team has unveiled uniforms honoring former coach Phil Russell, who passed away last year (from Kary Klismet).

Soccer News: Bundesliga team VfB Stuttgart will wear rainbow-themed versions of their primary kit for today’s match against Mainz (from Daniel Weimann). … Tennis player Naomi Osaka has become part-owner of the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage, so they gave her a No. 97 shirt — the year of her birth (from James Gilbert and our own Jamie Rathjen). … French street artist Jean René has painted a mural of a giant eyeball in the stands of Estádio do Pacaembu, a renowned art deco stadium in São Paulo (from Kary Klismet). … Hard to tell who’s who in this white-vs-pink Copa del Rey match between Rayo Vallecano and Barcelona (from @StupidTweetman). … Interesting piece about how the lack of crowds, due to the pandemic, has apparently resulted in fewer emotional outbursts by players.

Grab Bag: The New York Times has a fascinating article on the Taliban’s white high-top sneakers (from Sharon Lin). … Here’s an interesting story about how pandemic-related capacity restrictions have impacted the costumed mascot industry (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: There’s a new book out about Wisconsin’s high school mascots. … Still more from Kary: The artist behind the Paper Stadiums account has finished his latest work: Madison Square Garden. … A Nashville City Council member thinks it’s time for a new city flag (from Kenneth Traisman). … The graphic design firm that worked on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign was inspired by, among other things, Yoko Ono and Spider-Man.

• • • • •

• • • • •

• • • • •

That’s a wrap for this week. Stay safe, mask up, enjoy Phil’s weekend content, and I’ll see you back here on Monday morning. Peace. — Paul

90 comments to Talking Uniforms with 95-Year-Old Designer Elaine Goldsmith

  • Wade Heidt | January 29, 2021 at 8:26 am |

    Great news about the podcast Paul! I’m sure this will be excellent with you and Chris working together on it. Will look forward to listening. The uniform mega powers unified!

    • Jim Vilk | January 29, 2021 at 10:03 am |

      Or uni-fied!

      Keep the hyphen in there. Looking forward to it!

      • Chance Michaels | January 29, 2021 at 1:32 pm |

        Yeah, gotta use the hyphen.

        • RS Rogers | January 29, 2021 at 4:16 pm |

          The irony of using the hyphen after struggling for years to persuade the world to eschew the hyphen in “Uni Watch” is just too delicious. I second Jim & Chance on the point.

  • Dave | January 29, 2021 at 8:30 am |

    That was a wonderful interview with Elaine Goldsmith!

    • walter | January 29, 2021 at 12:48 pm |

      The details of her workspace were hilarious! I’d sure like to know what kind of car they gave her.

  • Scott302 | January 29, 2021 at 8:30 am |

    Wow, what a story! Very fun and interesting to read. Thank you Paul and thank you Elaine.

    Podcast sounds great, will be a must listen/watch for sure.

  • Zach | January 29, 2021 at 8:32 am |

    Great interview! As far as removing the jock tag on replica hockey jerseys, I’ve found success with Reebok, Fanatics, and also removing that weird “button” that existed on Adidas Authentics sold in 2018

  • James Gilbert | January 29, 2021 at 8:47 am |

    Just thinking how some of these great interviews could be part of the podcast, and whoo-boy that’d be a tall task. But, what if…

    Great interview and good luck with the podcast.

  • Rich P | January 29, 2021 at 8:55 am |

    What a great Friday post, Paul & co. I love how happy Elaine looks when her granddaughter is modeling her jacket design. I miss having grandparents around.

    I think that podcast will be a great listen, very excited any time I can find a new one that is in my sphere of interests.

    The end zone designs look fantastic for the Supe. Really love the use of yellow for the Chiefs.

    • Jim Vilk | January 29, 2021 at 10:14 am |

      Agreed with all of this.

      I’m shocked they put the midfield logos upside down though…

      • Rich P | January 29, 2021 at 11:33 am |

        I am wondering why the walls in the background have a Dolphins logo on it.

  • Rick | January 29, 2021 at 8:57 am |

    If Jimmer is anywhere near or in Western PA, I’ll play him..

    • Jim Vilk | January 29, 2021 at 10:12 am |

      A couple of hours away, but thanks for the offer. My son most likely will play. He’s looking forward to repeating his dominant performance in the Candy Bowl 28 days ago.

  • Memal | January 29, 2021 at 8:59 am |

    What a great story! I’m sure Elaine was ecstatic to share her experiences with such an interested audience! And the whole part of just getting picked up off the street and that’s how she started with the company is something I could never imagine happening today. Thank you Paul for sharing and a big thanks to Charles for reaching out and helping make this interview happen.

    I’ll be listening to whatever you and Chris bring to a podcast!

  • TIm | January 29, 2021 at 9:16 am |

    That interview with Elaine Goldsmith is one of the best things I’ve read on the site, Paul. What a great (and comically unbelievable series of events) story, beginning to now. I laughed out loud at “I was out of the toilet now, I had a real office.” Elaine sounds like quite the character! Thanks so much to you and, as you said, to everyone who made it happen!

  • Dave L | January 29, 2021 at 9:17 am |

    What a post today. I had to fly past the The Ticker to get to the comments.
    Great interview – so glad that so many came together for this story. Elaine is quite the innovator!
    And now Paul (and Chris) in my ear-holes! Very excited by that prospect. Can’t wait to hear what you build in the podcast space.

  • Anthony Verna | January 29, 2021 at 9:19 am |

    In my 16 years in living in the NYC area, I’ve only been to one company actually manufacturing clothing in NYC. My last NYC fashion client shut down last year – and that company only had a showroom, the actual manufacturing was done in China.

    So it was good to read about when clothing was made in NYC.

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2021 at 9:25 am |

      A few years ago I got to visit a factory in Queens that made neckties for Brooks Brothers! But they recently shut down. Sigh.

    • Bobby Mickhenderson | January 29, 2021 at 10:33 am |

      It is a shame we lost all of the Chinese manufacturers in the Garment Center!

  • Andrew Ross | January 29, 2021 at 9:20 am |

    I’ve been disappointed with the Super Bowl end zone designs the last few years. They’re clearly following a template — team logo on the left, team wordmark on the right, in team colors. I’d like to at least see the “A” and “N” on there, and/or an attempt to recreate the team’s end zone design at their home stadium.

    • Greg | January 29, 2021 at 9:30 am |

      Came here to make the same comment. The format of the last few years is bland. Also wondering if the Chiefs has been rendered in yellow simply to contrast since they’ve played red teams both years who’s secondary color (gold or gray) wouldn’t really work in the endzone.
      I was always a fan of the team logo, wordmark, then conference logo format.

      • Sinuhé | January 29, 2021 at 4:26 pm |

        I feel the same. The NFL has done this format of the endozones since SB 50 and, in some level (for me, anyways), it has substract some value from the whole game. The Super Bowl is suppossed to be between two (conference) champions. The lack of the conferences logos made it feel like that doesn’t matter and the teams aren’t representing something.

        Regarding the color of the Chiefs endzone, I wondered the same, but actually, yellow has been the color for their endzones in all of the 4 SBs they’ve participated (SB I: Yellow vs Yellow, SB IV: Yellow vs Purple, SB LIV and LV: Yellow vs Red).

  • Johnny O | January 29, 2021 at 9:25 am |

    What an absolute treat it was for Elaine to share her story with you. This was such a fascinating post! It put a big smile on my face to start the day.

  • John G. Livewell | January 29, 2021 at 9:30 am |

    Fascinating SIXERS find for the Uniform mystery. This was definitely 1974-1975 season:

    1.#34 in picture is Clyde Lee, playing only two seasons with 76ers, 74-75 and 75-76.
    2.The gentleman who is blocked in the far right of the pictures (number ends in “0”) is Don Smith #10…he only played 74-75.

  • Dave L | January 29, 2021 at 9:32 am |

    The woman featured in the NYT photo, Sydneyanne Zatzkin appeared on an episode of the TV show To Tell the Truth on April 19, 1964. Go to the 11:34 mark to see the start of her appearance. (although, no image of uniform…)
    https://bgpost.info/post/s8StzHa2qamcr2Q/what-s-my-line-edie-adams-buddy-hackett-panel-apr-19-1964

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2021 at 9:43 am |

      Not ‘To Tell the Truth’ — it’s ‘What’s My Line’!

      But yes, that’s the same woman from the NYT photo — amazing!!

      Dave, how did you know that? Are you related to her?

      • Dave L | January 29, 2021 at 2:04 pm |

        Yes – of course. Buddy Hackett never appeared on To Tell The Truth! lol

    • Alan Tompas | January 29, 2021 at 12:04 pm |

      Wow..her photo does not do her justice..she was a stunner! Bennett Cerf wasted no time in identifying her too.

  • Joshua Saltzman | January 29, 2021 at 9:34 am |

    Congratulations on a wonderful interview and post! That brightened my day. And good luck with the podcast, looking forward to listening.

  • Bud | January 29, 2021 at 9:47 am |

    I’ve been removing the front tags off my Reebok hockey jerseys like John for a few years, too! Should’ve shared it! I completely agree with him…the authentic/on-ice Reebok jerseys don’t have that tag anyway, getting rid of it actually improves the jersey’s authenticity haha.

  • Johnny Utah | January 29, 2021 at 9:50 am |

    Paul, I enjoyed the story about Elaine Goldsmith – and the serendipitously charitable process of how it came together – as much as any you’ve shared! It was a great way to start my day. Thank you!

  • Wafflebored | January 29, 2021 at 10:01 am |

    What a day on Uni Watch. Great interview, and looking forward to the podcast.

  • Nick | January 29, 2021 at 10:03 am |

    Such a great interview and wonderful to acknowledge Elaine Goldsmith’s talent and role in the uni-verse.

  • Mike Guterman | January 29, 2021 at 10:03 am |

    Amazing article today!
    Just took a look at the Super Bowl End Zone photos and why do they have sideline walls / padding with the Dolphins logo in the pic. When you zoom in, you can clearly see a Fins logo and even the #Finsup thing on some of the padding. Why would they need extra and have to borrow from down state??? Also, I’m not a fan of the Bucs end zone, it looks much better without the red background paint and just grass with the logo and the wordmark. I’m a Bucs fan so it could just be my preference for the regular end zone look but that’s my two sense. I also miss having the NFC and AFC logos in each end zone.

  • Tony C. | January 29, 2021 at 10:06 am |

    the Browns released their 75th anniversary logo today on their site

    https://www.clevelandbrowns.com/news/2020-defined-the-tenets-of-the-browns

    • Rich P | January 29, 2021 at 11:40 am |

      It’s a gorgeous logo, love the old time facemask bar. As a Browns fan I would LOVE if they adopted a roundel type logo like this as opposed to just the helmet as the primary.

  • Drew | January 29, 2021 at 10:12 am |

    Good luck on the podcast, Paul! I co-host one myself and just having that regularly scheduled time to have fun conversations with my friends and people of interest is a real source of happiness for me. I hope you find it to be equally satisfying.

    And if you ever want to discuss the finer points of the Sabres “Fix The Logo” campaign in 2007, I’d be willing to chat. ;)

  • Mike | January 29, 2021 at 10:17 am |

    Great story Paul. One thing that came across to me was how “New York” that story was. Every paragraph was more and more New York. So fun.

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2021 at 10:22 am |

      Yes, for sure. I very much enjoyed that aspect of it myself!

    • Tony C | January 29, 2021 at 10:32 am |

      it had a very “Mad Men” vibe to it

      we had a meeting… and then some drinks… then we had a meeting…and some more drinks lol

  • JohnMark | January 29, 2021 at 10:18 am |

    LOVE Elaine’s Nathan’s apron. Great interview today and I’m looking forward to the podcast!

  • J | January 29, 2021 at 10:19 am |

    Some of those Rays field designs are so boring. Might make sense with such a boring brand, generally.

    • Tony C | January 29, 2021 at 10:37 am |

      true but still better than the Costco warehouse they currently play in

      • walter | January 29, 2021 at 12:57 pm |

        Am I the only one who finds it a fool’s errand for the Rays to entertain playing in a stadium with no roof?

  • d. | January 29, 2021 at 10:27 am |

    the CUC logo at the end of the catalog has a very clippers’ box logo vibe going on

  • (No, not that) Paul Ryan | January 29, 2021 at 10:27 am |

    I had to add my love for the article on Ms Goldsmith…an especially nice story.

  • H.H. Jones | January 29, 2021 at 10:32 am |

    Elaine’s designs are terrific stuff – some of the fast food uniforms are practically pop art!

    • Jim Vilk | January 29, 2021 at 11:07 am |

      I used to work at Ponderosa, so now I know the origin of my shirt!

      If I still had it, I’d wear that.

  • Bobby Mickhenderson | January 29, 2021 at 10:36 am |

    Thank you for the great article today! One of the best things I have ever seen here. Brings back so many memories of the good old days.

  • Julia | January 29, 2021 at 10:39 am |

    Have to add my thanks to you, Elaine and all the people in between who helped you connect for today’s lede. That was just a fantastic story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every bit of it. In addition to providing an entertaining history lesson for all of us, you’ve done a valuable service to bring one more formerly unheralded designer out of the shadows and into the spotlight where they belonged all along. Kudos!

  • jacket18 | January 29, 2021 at 10:41 am |

    Debugging: The link to SportsLogos.net in the podcast section is broken (missing the “http” from the tag in the code). Also, the second reference to the site is not a link at all, though that may be intentional.

    Loved the interview with Elaine Goldsmith today! Also, very much looking forward to the podcast!

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2021 at 10:45 am |

      Link fixed. Thanks!

  • fiesta | January 29, 2021 at 10:51 am |

    Paul, I’ve enjoyed so many of your pieces, and enjoyed even more when you can report how well received they were. I’d say that Elaine Goldsmith is in that high strata of Uni Watch interviews. Kudos to you, her family, and of course, Elaine!

  • John H. | January 29, 2021 at 10:55 am |

    The conversation with Elaine was great. What a small world we now live in that we can make contact with almost anyone and everyone.

    Looking forward to the podcast. Good luck to you and Chris!

  • BvK | January 29, 2021 at 11:08 am |

    I can’t say enough how much I love today’s Uni Watch entry! First off, the interview with Elaine Goldsmith is the epitome of everything that’s good and right about Uni Watch! What a lovely human being Elaine is! And what an endearing story. Amazing work on this, Paul! Thanks for bringing it to us.

    And the podcast news is the best news I’ve heard in quite some time! I believe I’m on record as being a fan of the idea of you starting a podcast. You’ve been great as a guest on podcasts and radio shows (among various other forms of media) in the past, and the timbre of your voice is imminently listenable. And teaming up with Chris Creamer is a brilliant idea. As an avid consumer of podcasts, Uni-fied (that’s the spelling I’m pulling for) will automatically go to the top of my subscription list!

  • quiet seattle | January 29, 2021 at 11:08 am |

    Another Uni-Watch classic. What a treat.

    Great post, Paul!

  • Mic | January 29, 2021 at 11:25 am |

    Fantastic post today. The interview with Elaine was fascinating!
    All of her designs & sketches were great. The food service stuff was cool, period specific, should be in a museum or time capsule. I thought the more formal stadium attire examples were incredible! I know her designs were before my time but it did remind me when I was a kid in the 80s attending games @ Fenway & the Garden all the security, ushers, etc still wore sports coats.

  • Drew B. | January 29, 2021 at 11:48 am |

    I love these kind of behind the scenes stories. Not that anyone cares, but I “discovered” Uni-Watch when I lived in mainland China. I was aware of the pieces on ESPN, but never really read the blog until I lived in China. I like to read these stories that are not dependent upon the pictures. Why? In China, all the graphics for this website are blocked/banned, but the text was not. (Of course, I could use a VPN to try and get the pictures to load.)

    Also, I hope there will be blurbs or bullet points that highlight podcast episode topics.

    Again, thanks for these types of stories.

  • Kevin Corcoran | January 29, 2021 at 11:56 am |

    THIS is why I love Uni-Watch! Where else could I read this wonderful story about Elaine? Growing up in NY, I can certainly see her working on Canal Street with an unused bathroom for her office. And I love that her bosses appreciated her work enough to buy her a sports car as a thank you gift for landing the BK account.

    She just sounds like a hoot to talk with, and Paul did a great job of bringing her voice to the story. And there are so many untold stories to muse about (bran muffin pioneer??). What a great way to end the week!

    Only on Uni-Watch!

  • Daniel E | January 29, 2021 at 11:58 am |

    I don’t know if I’d be able to find proof at this point, but I’m pretty sure the Dallas Stars started the oscillating-fan-in-the-stands joke during a game last season.

  • Matt S | January 29, 2021 at 12:20 pm |

    In a local Cleveland radio interview this morning, Browns executive VP J.W. Johnson said there would be an alternate uniform in 2021 to coincide with the team’s 75th anniversary.

    • Block "O Canada" | January 29, 2021 at 12:57 pm |

      I have always wanted to see the Browns wear their original white helmets for a throwback uniform game. Love seeing Otto Graham and Marion Motley sporting them in old footage. If the NFL ditches the one shell rule, maybe that will finally happen.

  • Julie | January 29, 2021 at 12:28 pm |

    Loved today’s lead. Thanks to Elaine Goldsmith for sharing her story with you and her family for making the connection. Well done.

  • Jeremiah | January 29, 2021 at 12:39 pm |

    What an amazing piece of uni history! Thank you to Paul, Elaine, and her family for putting all of that together. It was a fascinating read.

    I’m looking forward to the Uni-fied podcast. Keep the hyphen.

  • Rick M | January 29, 2021 at 1:06 pm |

    The interview with Elaine Goldsmith was wonderful. So much great history out there that you bring to us, that a lot of us don’t think about that often. Thank you so much for that! I’m excited to listen to your new podcast venture with Chris, looking forward to it!

  • RobYaz | January 29, 2021 at 1:32 pm |

    Great interview with Elaine Goldsmith, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed hearing how she got her job and the uniform contracts.

  • Rusty Hudson | January 29, 2021 at 1:32 pm |

    Today is my birthday and what a present today’s post has been to receive from Paul. The interview with Elaine Goldsmith was so refreshing, full of humor, and an overall fantastic read. Then to read on about the future podcasts with Chris Creamer. Wow! (My vote is for keeping the hyphen, as well.)

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2021 at 1:46 pm |

      Happy birthday, Rusty!

  • Jerg | January 29, 2021 at 2:19 pm |

    Awesome post today! No doubt that the goodwill needed for the main story was sown from the years of goodwill provided by Paul from Uni-Watch itself.

    I barely remember going there as a kid, but I miss Arthur Treacher’s (look at the catalog photos if you didn’t already).

    Can’t wait for the podcast. I often find myself listening to my current stand-bys out of obligation moreso than enjoyment and am happy to find some fresh ones.

    • Jim Vilk | January 29, 2021 at 3:49 pm |

      There’s still an Arthur Treacher’s in my hometown…one of three left, all in northeast Ohio.

      Wish I could go there more often!

      • Patrick in MI | January 29, 2021 at 6:29 pm |

        I too had a happy flashback to Arthur Treacher’s. There is an old Treacher’s restaurant in my city that must have closed decades ago. The coach light style sign out front is the only clue to its former existence. Nostalgia always tastes good.

  • Scott Steffes | January 29, 2021 at 2:36 pm |

    Paul – Miami gradient question. Do we know if they knew it was bad, still installed, and changed or did they change because of feedback? Any insight? Assuming the later but seems like someone would have mentioned it before or during install.

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2021 at 2:37 pm |

      No insight. But their original mock-up, released prior to the real court’s debut, showed the gradient, so that was definitely the original plan, even if it took a while to execute it properly.

  • JimmyDave | January 29, 2021 at 4:19 pm |

    Anybody else notice that the striping on Darryl Dawkins’s shorts (lower left Sixers photo) is different than that of the other players?

  • Sinuhé | January 29, 2021 at 4:39 pm |

    I’m don’t listen to many podcasts (I really don’t understand why) but I’m really glad to hear you and Chris are starting one, and I’m sure will change my habit and listen yours. I’m a fan of both, you and Chris, work, visit your websites almost daily and really feel better, not only because I learn about this kind of stuff, but because I feel less lonely in this obssesive passion since I discover both of you about 15 years ago.

    About the podcast, if you allow me to give you a piece of advice. I know is hard to schedule a new project and present this kind of product on weekly basis, specially if its not your regular job. So, I will go easy on the schedule and instead of having a fixated date to record and release the podcast, maybe do it when you feel it, when both of you have something to talk about, so it maintains its freshness. If it cames once-a-week or once-a-month, it’s great for me. Just my two-cents.

  • Steve D | January 29, 2021 at 5:23 pm |

    My 1968 Mets Yearbook does list James K. Thomson as Vice President. Great interview and great memory!

  • Steve D | January 29, 2021 at 5:46 pm |

    As for the Sixer mystery, it is truly amazing that I stumbled on this very uniform this week. I was researching Harthorne Wingo, former Knick who passed away last week. I remember Wingo was an unheralded walk-on who would come in to the game when the Knicks had it in hand. The Garden would chant for him and go wild. The following picture (interesting that he wore a green wristband) shows Wingo, another Knick with a name that could be Bullock or something close in that Sixer game:

    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/harthorne-wingo-of-the-new-york-knicks-grabs-a-rebound-news-photo/911222422

    I then wanted to know who the other Knick was. I checked all their rosters during Wingo’s career and found no possible match. I concluded this was a pre-season game and Bullock was cut before the season. Another photo on Getty from that game shows a Knick named Layton. That would have to be Mo Layton, who only played for the Knicks in 76-77, but Wingo did not play that year. He was waived in 1976 according to the New York Times. My conclusion is that this was a pre-season game from 1976 and Wingo was waived before the season started.

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2021 at 6:09 pm |

      Yeah, I think several people “discovered” that uniform due to pics posted in the wake of Wingo’s death. And it’s been sitting there under our noses for all these years!

    • Tjb | January 29, 2021 at 7:54 pm |

      Does anybody remember Wingo singing in a hot dog commercial? I can’t find it on YouTube but I’m sure I’m not imagining this

  • Steve Tilders | January 29, 2021 at 9:18 pm |

    I sure wish the Knicks would revert to those great looking NOBs

    • Steve D | January 29, 2021 at 9:57 pm |

      Yes…those NOBs made those uniforms elite. I believe Cosby’s sporting goods located in the Garden did those by hand. The last year they did it well was around 1984, then the guy must have retired, because they got a bit blocky. They disappeared forever a few years later. Cosby’s used to have a blue Knicks Wilt Chamberlain jersey hanging in their store and he never played for the Knicks. Here is the backstory:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/comments/l6novm/the_real_dd_on_slv_the_worlds_biggest_short/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

      “Still, Burke and General Manager Eddie Donovan got ready to fly to Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 17 for a meeting with Chamberlain, taking along a Knick uniform—complete with his old number 13—for the benefit of photographers. “We felt confident,” said Burke, “but first I wanted to talk to Wilt to see if he really wanted to play as a Knick or just to draw some big money.”

    • Steve D | January 29, 2021 at 10:00 pm |
    • walter | January 29, 2021 at 10:12 pm |

      According to Paul, standardized player names are a thing in the NBA, perhaps owing to the myriad uniforms each team uses. Not only are we denied the beautiful vertical-arch names of the Knicks and Sixers, there are no more two-color names for teams like the Lakers and Bulls. It’s as bad as not allowing teams to design their own warm-ups. A real pity.

  • Brett T | January 30, 2021 at 1:03 pm |

    I’m a day late to the party, but thank you for this post. This is up there with Hal the Hot Dog Guy as my favorite things you’ve done. I love your stories about extraordinary “normal” people.