Good morning! We have a loooong lede today, beginning with our latest look at the merch catalog collection of former Cubs executive E.R. “Salty” Saltwell, which was shared with me by Cubs historian and Uni Watch reader Ed Hartig. Last time around we looked at a 1960 NFL merch catalog; this time we’re skipping ahead four years to 1964.
The catalog’s cover, shown above, is notable for several reasons:
- They really soft-pedaled the typography.
- So much white space!
- They went with the now-familiar helmet icons to represent the teams. There was nothing like that in the 1960 catalog — not as part of the catalog itself and not on any of the merch items. I’d be interested in checking out the 1961, ’62, and ’63 catalogs just to see when they started doing that, because it really changed the course of sports marketing.
Here’s the inside front cover (I really like the photo they chose) and the first page, which features a note from then-commish Pete Rozelle:
The next several pages are basically about the NFL tooting its own horn about having emerged as a national powerhouse, beginning with this note from the head of NFL Properties:
Next, in the same vein, is a section called “Behind the NFL Sports Boom,” which is more horn-tooting and a preview of the merch lines featured in the catalog:
Next is a two-page spread promoting Punt, Pass and Kick — something that wasn’t mentioned at all in the 1960 catalog (according to Wikipedia, PP&K debuted in 1961):
Then comes a spread about the league’s publishing partnerships. For the page on the left, note all the different facemask styles that they showed, instead of making them all the same. They even showed the white plastic Rawlings mask that the Bears favored at the time:
Next: The Lombardi Trophy is famously made by Tiffany’s, but in 1964 the league’s “official trophy maker” was Josten’s:
Now, finally, we get to the “Merchandising Section,” which begins with a hilarious page brought to us by Du Pont — “Better things for better living … through chemistry”:
Check out the teeny-tiny chest logos on these polo shirts:
On this next page, check out the “Official Slack Fabric” tag in the lower-left corner — never seen that “NFL” lettering before:
Speaking of “NFL” lettering, check out this next page, which shows the league’s familiar stylized lettering without the usual surrounding shield:
Update: Reader/commenter Randy Daviston points out that the company name, which is presumably Kayser-Roth Hosiery, is misspelled as Hoisery.
Next comes a bunch of apparel options — all presented with illustrations instead of photos:
Here’s something I’ve never seen before: NFL playing cards! Sign me up:
You want uniforms? They’ve got uniforms (well, at least for kids):
Did you know you could achieve physical fitness simply by using some gimmicky contraption for 60 seconds a day while wearing an NFL shirt? Sounds plausible to me:
Here’s a bunch of assorted stuff that mostly seems to speak for itself, so I won’t waste your time with any additional commentary:
I’m not sure when the first NFL lunchboxes started appearing, but they had some doozies in 1964 (and check out the ref’s signals on the Thermos!):
I didn’t know that bobbleheads were once made by a company called Bobbie Enterprises, which makes any other bobblehead maker’s name sound insufficient by comparison:
I’ve seen transistor radios before, but I’m not sure I’ve seen a transistorized radio until now:
Check out these team flags, made by, of course, the “official flag maker to the NFL”:
Here are the inside back cover and the back cover:
Finally, this catalog also includes a separate brochure with all the product pricing:
And that’s a wrap! We’ll have more content from the Saltwell files soon.
(My continued thanks to reader Ed Hartig for sharing this archival content with Uni Watch.)