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    Description

    1907-22 Columbus Panhandles (Original NFL Franchise) Panoramic Photograph from The Joe Carr Find.
    Joe Carr has been called "the father of professional football" and "the man who built the National Football League." A machinist and colleague of Prescott Bush (President George HW Bush's great-grandfather) in the Pennsylvania Railroad Stations Shops at the turn of the century, Carr took over the reins of the Columbus Panhandles which would go on to become one of the original franchises of the National Football League in 1919. Later, Carr would serve as the NFL Commissioner from 1921-39.

    On offer here is a one of the few known images of this important, early football franchise and the only known example of this particular panorama. The toughest team of their time, the Panhandles were built around the seven Nesser brothers, hulking and talented athletes who were heralded as "the equal of the best football players turned out by the biggest universities in the country." In fact, Knute Rockne once said that "getting hit by a Nesser is like falling off a moving train."

    The image, which pictures nineteen footballs clad in the heavy sweaters and padded pants of the day, exhibits heavy wear with some tears, creases, tape, and missing lower left corner. Still, these defects can be overlooked due to the age, scarcity, and historical significance of the piece. Also, it should be duly noted that the tears only affect two of nineteen players but none of their faces. Measures 26.5x7.25".

    The Joe Carr Find

    Though his name may be unfamiliar to all but the true football historians, arguably no figure was more essential in raising the National Football League from its vulnerable infancy to commercial viability than the man whose personal collection is listed on the following pages. At a time when the college game was the only game that mattered, Joe Carr fought and won a seemingly unwinnable war to legitimize the pay-for-play gridiron. Though Jim Thorpe owns the distinction of the first president of the National Football League, the iconic Hall of Famer was little more than a figurehead. It was Carr whose generalship moved the needle from amateur to professional dominance.

    Remarkably, this special archive narrowly averted oblivion less than a year ago when our consignor spotted a large quantity of documents being loaded into a dumpster. We can see, in the lots that follow, what a great loss that would have been to the physical history of the early professional game. This offering represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the cultured football collector.



    View all of [The Joe Carr Find ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2016
    17th-19th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 419

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