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Let’s Look at This Awesome Vintage New York Giants Letterhead

I received a note the other day from reader Ken Guckenberger, as follows:

My grandfather grew up in the grocery business in Jersey City, N.J. In 1952, he took a big job as advertising manager of one of the country’s largest baked goods firms – Ward Baking Company. It was announced in The New York Times and other newspapers, and he got dozens of letters of congratulations from food and beverage companies around the country, including this one from a contact he had with the New York Giants.

Oh man, what a sensational letterhead design! Interesting to see that the team was using “New York Football Giants” as its official name (something they also did on program covers around that time). They were sharing the Polo Grounds with the New York baseball Giants at the time.

The man who wrote and signed the letter was George Rohrs, who was the Giants’ GM at the time. Here’s an obituary that ran after his death in 1991:

Article from Oct 20, 1991 The Reporter Dispatch (White Plains, New York)

Big thanks to Ken for sharing this family treasure with us.

Comments (20)

    I always get a kick out of seeing pre-ZIP code addresses. Makes it seem even more ancient!

    The Giants still use this logo with the player looming over the skyline on merch and also in the stadium. I think I have seen New York Football Giants signage in MetLife Stadium on TV this season. It is a beautiful logo, by the way. And a beautiful letterhead. Plus Mr. Rohrs played for a Notre Dame team that won a title, wow!

    The Giants definitely use “New York Football Giants” prominently in Metlife, and actually have since the year it opened. (Not a great picture, but the link below is from the 2nd year they played there and you can see “FOOTBALL” on the wall behind Jacobs.)

    For better or worse, the Giants really lean into the ‘old school’ vibes and the full name is a part of it.


    Here’s a more clear look at the sign. They’ve had it there since the year the stadium opened, though I think the font has changed slightly. Interestingly enough, they don’t use it on their ‘Retro’ games.


    It’s interesting that it says Member Club of American Conference. I didn’t think the NFL had conferences back then.

    Right after the All- America Football Conference shut down and three teams moved into the NFL, the NFL switched from Eastern/Western conferences to American/National. That only lasted a couple of years before going back to Eastern/Western.

    The NFL used “National” and “American” Conferences for 1950-1952 (previously, from 1933-1949, they were known as Eastern and Western Divisions). From 1953 through 1966 they were known as the Eastern and Western Conferences. In 1967, those conferences were further divided into the Capitol and Century Divisions, (Eastern Conference) and Central and Coastal Divisions (Western Conference).

    When the NFL & AFL merged in 1970, they became the NFC and AFC, and have remained that way ever since.

    Gus is the grandfather of the reader who sent me the photo of the letter, and Ward is the company he was joining (Ward Baking Co., as stated at the start of the article).

    Interesting that the Giants referred to the club as “World’s Champions” instead of “World Champions.”

    Paul, is “World” or “World’s” more common in sports parlance, and which one is more grammatically correct?

    The Giants are a singular entity. Would it be more appropriate to say the organization was the “World’s Champion” for a given year/season?

    I’m stuck on the comment, “I just never thought you would do it.” I understand that it refers to how large the achievement is and that this is an amazing result, but it feels so backhanded. I can’t decide whether “could” instead of “would” would make the comment better or worse sounding.

    “Could” would make it sound much more backhanded. “Would” sounds like it was Gus’s choice. “Could” sounds like, despite his best abilities, Gus couldn’t get a job at Ward.

    Wild to see the Giants office was at Bryant Park. Strange to think of them as a team operating from the heart of NYC when they have been in Jersey for so long now.
    Great stuff!

    I assume the Ward Baking Company referred to by Mr. Guckenberger is the same Ward as the owner of Tip-Top Bread and the Brooklyn Tip-Tops baseball club of the Federal League. Tip-Top Bread was the first bread company to expand beyond a small local territory.

    Yes Ward Baking was the Tip Top Bread Baker. It was an age of consolidation in the food business— Gus ultimately went on to National Biscuit Co (Nabisco) and then Madison Avenue. Paul: Thanks for the connection to the Giants GM, very cool.

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