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Q: ice hockey equipment, 1910 ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: ice hockey equipment, 1910
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: dickon-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 28 Dec 2003 21:01 PST
Expires: 27 Jan 2004 21:01 PST
Question ID: 291019
ice hockey gaoltender leg protectors (called "pads") were converted
crickett pads, and were, by 1910, uased almost universally in
prefessional ice hockey. I have seen photos of these pads, on and off
of goalies, but do not know exactly what they were made of. They
appear to be leather, perhaps stuffed with cloth (perhaps not)--I'd
like a real description of them--nobody has been able to give me one.
Subject: Re: ice hockey equipment, 1910
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 28 Dec 2003 22:32 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
History of Hockey Equipment

Goalie Pads

?The first goalie pads were actually cricket pads. These pads were
gradually changed to be suitable for hockey. Eventually the pads
became the specialized goalie pads that we know today. In 1917, Emile
(Pops) Kenesky from Hamilton, Ontario began to make goalie pads to
sell. Kenesky's company became the best-known manufacturer of hockey
equipment in Canada.?

National Library of Canada


Goaltender's Equipment 

Goalie Pads

?The first goalie pads, similar to those used in bandy and cricket,
appeared at the turn of the century. As protection became more
important, these were replaced by Bigger, stronger pads.?

?Initially, these were made of leather or horsehide filled with felt,
deer hair or sponge. But these materials would soak up the water from
the ice and become heavy. By the late 1980's synthetic materials
became popular adding more protection and becoming much lighter to
allow for greater mobility.?

Source: Virtual Museum Canada

Image: Evolution of the goalie pad.

Image: Percy LeSueur with goaltenders-cricket pads.


A brief excerpt from the article Hockey Equipment by Kelly Reynolds:

?The first goalie pads worn by a goaltender were modeled after pads
donned by early cricket players and did not provide much in the way of
protection. As goalie pads became an integral part of goaltender
hockey equipment they were made out of leather and stuffed with felt,
deer hair, or sponge. Because these materials would become saturated
with water from the ice and thus became extremely heavy, goalie pads
were replaced with synthetic materials in the late 1980?s.?


How Stuff Works: Hockey Gear

?Like other aspects of the game, the equipment worn by hockey players
has evolved over the decades. At first, the only "equipment" worn was
a turtleneck wool sweater and a pair of leather boots with blades
strapped to them. Sticks were carved out of heavy pieces of wood.?


?Goalies were the first to adopt padding, since they were the ones
throwing themselves in front of the puck. At first, goalies were not
allowed to fall to the ice when making a save. To protect their legs,
they wore leather or horsehide pads stuffed with sponge or deer hair.
When they soaked up water, the pads became very heavy.?

How Stuff Works: Hockey Gear


?In Winnipeg, there was a goalie who is said to be the first to wear
crickett pads in 1891.?

?In 1896, George Merritt of the Winnipeg Victoria?s was the first
goalie to sport crickett pads during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Soon
after, crickett pads were popular everywhere.?

?Around this time, standard goalie equipment consisted of a fur cap in
the front of the pants, ordinary gloves, and a stick the same as the
rest of the teams.?


?In 1924, Emil "Pop" Kenesky was credited with the invention of new
and better goalie leg pads. His new pads were crickett pads, modified,
and widened to approximately 12 inches. The new pads caught on
extremely quickly, and this style of pad was used by a majority of
goaltenders right on to the 1970's.?


Evolution of Hockey Gear:
In 1893 cricket pads began to be used by goal tenders

Here is a very clear picture of an 1890?s Goalie with Cricket Pads.

In 1912 Goal Tender's Leg Pads were available at Eaton's. They
replaced Cricket Pads.

Here is the description:

Goal Keepers "Leg Guards"

?Goal Keepers "Leg Guards" with extra rib down both sides; good flat
front surface: leather covered; strong white duck lined; length 28
inches. Leather straps and buckle fasteners.?

You may view the original add here:


?The first shin pads and kneepads had originally been designed for
cricket and did little to soften the blows. Players were known to slip
newspapers or magazines behind their pads for added protection. Later
protective equipment was often made from vulcanized fiber and leather
and was hard and heavy.?

Source: American Plastics Council


The Evolution of the Game

?As the railroads spread west across Canada, so did the game of
hockey. In 1893 a team from Winnipeg traveled east for a series of
exhibition matches, bringing with them several innovations that were
soon adopted by the established eastern clubs.?

?One  was the introduction of goalie pads ? their goalie sported
cricket pads, and was quickly imitated by eastern netminders.?

Condensed and adapted from Great Book of Hockey by Stan & Shirley Fischler


Search Criteria: 

The history Hockey goalie equipment
Evolution of Hockey equipment
History of goalie pads
Goaltenders pads history
Cricket goalie pads
Cricket pads for goaltenders OR goalies

I hope you find this helpful!

Best regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by dickon-ga on 29 Dec 2003 01:40 PST
That's a lot of information to have gathered so quickly. Two points (questions?):
1) The Virtual Museum of Hockey seems to have originated the
description of early goalie pads as being of leather or horsehide,
lined with fur, felt or sponge, and growing heavy as they soaled up
water from the ice. Problem: this same author say that the present
goalie stick is curved, like the rest of the team's--that's ain't
true. Modern goalie sticks are angled between shoulder and paddle, and
the paddle rests flat on the ice. His illustrations go from right to
left, but he writes like they went from left to right!
2) As you probably noticed, we still don't know what the crickett pads
were made of that the Goalie wore till 1912. LeSueur is pictured
wearing the same pads (this was 1910--or a little earlier--the photo
was used as the basis of his 1909-1910 Imperial Tobacco [C56] trading
card) as the guy in 1893. My interest begins with the year 1910, when
crickett pads were still worn--and I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT THESE
VERSCHLUNGNER PADS WERE MADE OF! Incidentally, the crickett pads
appear to afford a fair amount of protection, but are a bit short on
both ends, and not as well anchored as hockey pads.

It's great to know what they were made of in 1912--till fairly
recently. Also, that LeSueur is wearing the same pads that were worn
in '93, which means that the guy I'm writing the article on, Vezina,
probably wore them for the first two years of his career. Still wish I
knew what the pads worn in 1910 were made of... since EVERYONE
sidesteps the issue, maybe nobody knows. perhaps the information might
be found under "crickett pads," since that's what they were.

Clarification of Answer by bobbie7-ga on 29 Dec 2003 04:46 PST
Hello Dickon,

I'll see if I can find out what the "crickett pads," were made out of.

Thank you for your patience.


Clarification of Answer by bobbie7-ga on 29 Dec 2003 08:36 PST
Dear Dickon,

Thank you for the fives stars and tip.

Here are my findings for cricket pads:

An image of Cricket Pads

Pair of Victorian Skeleton Cricket Pads. Illustrated.

Taken from:

?The curiosities that Roger Bresnahan wore 86 years ago actually were
a modified version of the leg guards worn by cricket players. Rods of
light cane encased in padded fabric covered the shins, and padding
protected the knees. Over time, padded leather covered the kneecaps,
insteps and ankles. Hard, heavy fiberboard appeared in Rawling's
guards in 1916 and during the 1920s and '30s it supplanted cane. The
hinged Shin Guard was developed by the Dodgers in the late 1950's, one
of three notable catcher inventions they created. By the 1960s, light
but tough molded plastics replaced fiber. How tough? Announcer and
former catcher Tim McCarver survived two collisions in which the
spikes of ex-Met Tommy Agee became embedded in the guards.?
You may view the images at this link:

Cricket in Groombridge by Guy Hadley
1782 - 1982
Taken from the Groombridge Cricket Club
Bicentenary Brochure & History

?No proper pads or gloves were introduced until about 1836, although
primitive leg guards made of wood had previously appeared.?
Groombridge Cricket

In the following book it states that cricket leg guards were filled with elk hair.

?Woodcock, John. Editor.: Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. 1985.
John Wisden & Co, London. 122nd Edition. 
Contains:- an assessment of George Headley, Lilley, Marsh and
Chappell, a review of equipment from elk hair filled leg guards to
date etc.?
UK Bookworld

I hope this helps!

Thanks again,

dickon-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Bobbie7 is going to try to answer my remaining questions, and gave me
a lot of references to peruse meanwhile. Thanks so much!

There are no comments at this time.

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