Monday, September 11, 2017

Custom Made 49ers Helmet History Folk Art Display

Custom Folk Art 49ers Helmet Display (w/o SF Logo on Gray Helmet)
49ers Helmet Display with 1960's Gray Helmet and newly added SF Logo
I've always loved the look of all the different 49er helmets through the history of the team.  Those who aren't familiar with the 49ers uniform changes since their inception...well, they'll be getting a slight 49er helmet history lesson when they look at a few of the helmets I made into a custom built 49ers Helmet History folk art hanging piece.

This display idea came from a piece of art that used to hang in a Sports Media production house in LA.  As I was walking down the stairs to a production mixing room, I overheard management discussing taking down and trashing of a custom art display of 5 yellow painted helmets halves with matching yellow lineman face guards that was mounted on the stairs landing.  The helmets were hung on a 15"x 7' piece of matte black painted wood and hung in the stairwell.  I mentioned that if they were thinking of getting rid of the art, I would gladly take it off their hands and gave them my number to contact me.  2 weeks later, I was asked to pickup the Helmet display.  Doesn't hurt to ask.

The art display sat in my garage for 2-3 years, but this past spring I found all the helmets and the board that they were initially mounted on and I began my little project of making an abbreviated helmet history of the 49ers.

First, I took all the hardware off and painted each with a primmer coat and then 2 coats of Gloss Black.  I read that gloss black would bring out the vibrancy of metallic colors like the Silver and Gold helmets. The solid colored White and Red helmets were my first.
Red Painted Helmet
 First 2 coats of Red and a Gloss Black helmet waiting to be painted white.
2 coats of White
Once those helmets were drying, I painted the remaining 4 helmets in high gloss black for my metallic Silver and Gold helmets. The original art display had 5 helmets on it, but I had an older helmet from the 50's and I felt it would be worth my while to add it to the collection, even though it has a slight squareness to the top of the helmet, but it was authentic to the 50's.
4 Helmets - 2 coats of High Gloss Black
I loved the all Black helmets but, they needed to be painted with the Gold and Silver and the brilliance was stunning with just the first coat.

After the 2nd or 3rd coat on each helmet, I began mounting recently received single and double bar face masks. Unfortunately, I realized after mounting a single bar on the Red helmet, that back in early 50's they only had chin straps (to be added later).
Mounted face mask
Mounting face masks
3 various mounted face masks
Then I had to cut each face mask in half to fit onto the display.

Dates and Styles
The specific dates and styles of helmets that I was going to recreate was carefully decided as I went through the entire history of the 49ers uniforms and helmets.  I didn't go with years that they were wearing leather helmets, but I wanted helmets that added to the color and flair of the periods they represented. So, with over 12 helmet changes throughout the 49ers 70 years as a team, I decided on six specific helmet styles.

1960-62 Without SF Logo
NEW - 1962-1963 With SF Logo


Before they were mounted and final stripe tape was added to a few,  I shot a distant picture of what they would look like with little metal plates that I had made with the dates and details.

Now, the completed 7 foot display in it's near complete state, hangs in my family room, thanks to an understanding wife.  I'm waiting for the Non-Outlined SF Logo for the silver 1960-63 Helmet which was the first time the SF Logo was used on the teams helmets.  Oddly enough the White and Silver colors were used several times in the 49ers uniform history.  In the leather helmet days, both White and Silver were worn. Then the first hard shell helmets were painted Silver in 1950-53 seasons.  I'm a big fan of the Gold primarily because I first watched when they were wearing the Gold with the SF non-outlined logo style helmets in 1968, similar to the 62-63 Gray helmet with the non-outlined logo style helmet.
Closeup of 1st group of 3 Helmets on Display
Closeup of 2nd group of 3 Helmets on Display
This project is about 98% complete, and will be a work in progress for a while, halved chin straps, small NFL labels on the newer styled helmets, etc.  But, I'm so proud of finally finishing a majority of this 49ers history project.  Enjoy, like I'm enjoying every time I look over my TV.

Go Niners ! ! !

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


As my collection is out there for most collectors or 49er fans to see, I've noticed that there are 3 specific types of 49er pennants that would help me to finalize my 49ers pennant collection (at least get it really, really close to being complete).

Here are the 3 outstanding 49er pennants that I'm still looking for.

#1 - 1960's Scripted-San Francisco Pennant

This circa 1960's single bar 49ers helmet pennant is something that I took for granted that I had.  I have so many variants of this pennant, but realized that I don't have the non-variant...the original scripted "San Francisco".  So if someone sees one available for sale, please email me.

#2 - 1981/82 Superbowl XVI Champions - San Francisco Pennant

This 1981/82 Superbowl XVI is one that has eluded me for many years.  I actually had an opportunity to purchase one years ago, but chose to wait until later but, unfortunately, I haven't seen one since.  Again, if anyone knows of where I could pick one of these rare beauties up, I'd be extremely thankful for the lead.

#3 - 1953 12 - NFL Teams Pennant

I haven't seen one of these for sale, nor have I passed on one for later purchases, instead I found this rare pennant on a collector's "worth" site.  This is one of those pennants that I would like because it does reference the 49ers and 11 other teams and the cities they're from.

The pennant highlights the Eastern & Western Conference teams as listed below;
Eastern Conference
New York Giants
Washington Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles
Cleveland Browns
Chicago Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers

Western Conference
San Francisco 49'ers
Baltimore Colts
Los Angeles Rams
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers

It was easy to find the date of this pennant by the teams in the league at that time.  Plus, two Chicago teams was easy to place the date for this glorious pennant.

Again, if anyone can send me to any of these three pennants I would be greatly indebted.

Go Niners ! ! !

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Extremely Rare 1940's 49ers Pennant

My New 1940's San Francisco Forty-Niners Pennant
When I saw this extremely rare 1940's font-styled pennant I was skeptical that it was truly a vintage 49ers and someone simply designed and manufactured a classic looking pennant.  I bought the pennant for $237.50 which was a pretty penny for something that I doubted truly existed.  After it showed up today, I was entirely blown was (correction) IS real.  It's a true beauty of something I have NEVER seen and so glad I spent the money to add to my collection (17 oldies at the 49ers Museum at Levi's Stadium in San Jose).

How did I surmise that it's a 1940's pennant?
1)  The Uniform
The Typical 1940's Football Uniform
The pennant has a player wearing the leather helmet, Belt drawn pants with high & low thigh protectors and the 3/4 sleeved shirt with bold numbers and stripes around the bicep area.  It's a prototypical 1940's uniform (see photo above).

2) The Font Style
SAn fRAncisco foRty-nIneRs

I downloaded a 1940's font and typed in the wording from the pennant and I was surprised how close the font I downloaded and the font on the pennant were.  Pretty much a confirmation of a 1940's pennant.

All and all I'm very pleased with my new acquisition.  It's Awesome and will hang in my office at home until the Niner's Museum requests it.  (I like this font...pretty nostagic).
Go Niners ! ! !

Thursday, May 26, 2016

5 More Hedy Items to Get - Thanks Tom

Just when I thought I was getting some place in hunt for the classic Hedy Glassware and amassing my collection, I received a note from a devoted Green Bay Packers, Tom from Wisconsin.  We traded notes and eventually he sent me some pictures of his incredible collection.  Besides the fact that he has such an incredible collection I realized that my collection is missing quite a few items that I didn't even know existed in the entire Hedy Glassware Collection.

Hedy Cigarette Holders
Hedy Accessory #1 - Hedy Cigarette Holder
I've mentioned the cigarette holder before in a previous post but it's one that I'm looking around for.

Hedy Accessory #2 - Hedy Metal Football Swizzle Stick
I've known about this rare little beast, the Hedy Metal Football Swizzle Stick, but haven't seen anything like it in person.  Eventually, my hope is to walk around an antique shop and happen across one of these beauties.  Hey a guy can hope.
Hedy Metal Football Swizzle Stick

Hedy Accessory #3 - Hedy Metal Coffee Urn Holder/Warmer
Metal Coffee Urn Holder/Warmer
I love this Holder/Warmer, it has wood football shaped feet with a reservoir for a tea lite candle and made of a metal frame.  Definitely something new on my radar.  

Hedy Accessory #4 - Hedy Metal Ice Bucket Lid

Hedy Metal Ice Bucket Lid
When Tom sent me the pictures, I was totally shocked by a metal lid with a wood football shaped knob.  It would make sense that an ice bucket would have a lid, but every ice bucket I've ever seen, never had a lid.  Amazing and frustrating that now I have to be on the lookout for such a particular item.    

Hedy Accessory #5 - Hedy Metal Ice Bucket/Glasses Caddy

Hedy Metal Ice Bucket/Glasses Caddy
I knew a caddy would be a great idea for an ice bucket and glasses, in fact I've seen Hedy collections with a caddy, but this one takes the cake.  The theme of wood football handles and metal frame holder makes total sense to make this great collection 100% complete.  Now I really have my work cut out to make an entire collection for my 49ers Hedy Glassware collection.  Thanks Tom for helping me realize this.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Another glass piece for the Collection 1960's Hedy 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" Ashtray

1960's Hedy 3 1/2" Glass Ashtray
I'm so excited that I finally got another rare piece for my Hedy collection.  It's the cutest tiniest little plate. I haven't seen these as 49er pieces, I've only seen other teams, but not for all teams, I'm sure they do exist, but probably now part of other collections.  I saw 2 of these for sale on Ebay and had to pick one up, the other tray was bought up quickly.

The size of this tray was always stated to be 4"x4", but (as you can see from the picture) it's the slightly larger than a standard credit card and up along a ruler, it actually measures 3 1/2"x 3 1/2".  I moved the tray slightly before I shot the above picture, thus it's not entirely accurately on the ruler. 

When the Hedy collection was originally sold, this tiny little tray came with a metal dual football shaped cigarette holder.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen any of those holders being sold with the trays or even alone.  
Hedy Ashtray Football Cigarette Holder
One day, I will have a complete set and will able to share with the entire 49ers fan base, ultimately, with hopes to add to the Levi's Stadium Museum if/and when they decided to change a few displays up.

Again,  anyone who knows where I can pick up some of the dual trays, 6"x6" trays, metal cigarette holder or the metal football shaped swizzle stirrer would be greatly appreciated.  Go Niners ! ! !

Friday, November 6, 2015

The TRUTH be told... The 1961 Sears All-Star Football Catalog

49er's Sears 1961 All star Catalog
Ok, this is pretty cool.  I don't own this (I saw this too late on Ebay, but wouldn't have bought it for the price it sold for) but, it's content is what the "Cool" part is.  I love finding out about the history of a 49er item (memorabilia) that I've bought.  Some of the important things I like to figure out about each item is;
  1. The Date.
  2. The Manufacture.
  3. Was it sold as part of a set? 
  4. What did it first sell for?
  5. And, any additional detail.
So, when I saw this little catalog, I felt I uncovered the Holy Grail of information about a few of the collector pieces I have in my collection.  

The football Uniform

Inside the 49ers 1961 Sears All Star Catalog - Pages 1-4
As a kid growing up, as soon as I was hooked watching the 49ers every Sunday morning, I wanted to be like my football heroes; John Brodie, Gene Washington, Dave Wilcox, etc..., and I wanted a full uniform like they had.  Every Christmas a 49ers Uniform was on my Christmas list.  I wanted the entire set, the Helmet with the SF logo, the shoulder pads, pants and shoes and of course a Jersey with the number 12.  

I never received a uniform because my mom was the sole provider for 7 kids, but as an adult I now have a full uniform set just like in the ads above, I'll share that in future posts.  But, it's so great to see the uniforms and other clothing from that era.  

I LOVE the sweatshirt shown on the 2nd page in the center section. I especially love the classic "Shootin' 49er" logo they used on those sweatshirts.  I want one of those.

I would also go for the jacket on page 3.  That kid looks like a lineman from the 60's too. 

The 49er Bobber & The Roko Doll

49er's Sears 1961 All star Catalog - Bobbleheads & Roko Doll
I have several Bobblehead figures, but I love how the bobble on the left side sold for what looks to be $1.99, oh bring back those days. 

In seeing this catalog I was shocked to see a few items that they sold at Sears, like the doll on the right side, known as a Roko Doll by Columbia Toy Products. 
1961 Roko (Gund) Doll from Columbia Toy Products

Close Up of the 1961 Roko (Gund) Doll 49ers emblem
First I was shocked by the $3.95 price..."OH I WISH", these dolls in the pristine shape of my guy go into the hundreds.  I have 3 of these, but only this one is in the great shape and with the 49ers "Shootin' 49er" logo like the rest of the 1961 catalog items.  Also, the back of his neck has the date stamp so I knew he was a product from 1961 before I looked at the catalog.

The Fred Kail Statues

49er's Sears 1961 All star Catalog - Fred Kail Statues
One of those items I was shocked to see in the catalog was the Fred Kail statues.  If you're a sports collector you know the story and cost of these statues.  Look at the price these originally sold for...WOW!  Plus, I didn't know they had cutesy names like "Big Joe Jolter" and "Big Bruce Bruiser" for the 10" high figures and "Little" in the name for the 5" high figures.  Pretty cool.  Boy, if I knew back then what I know now, I would have bought Kail Statues as an investment.

I would love to find the original Thermos picnic kit on the left side and the binocular set.  How cool that would be, but I haven't seen anything like it before.

The Weico & Hedy Glassware

49er's Sears 1961 All star Catalog - Weico & Hedy Glassware
The part I was most intrigued with was this page from the catalog.  I have both of these items in my collection.  The Weico 49ers ceramic stadium ashtray is a standard collector piece (I think I have two) and again I love the original price, $3.98

But the true kicker was to see the "Ashtray" and a "Martini Set" for sale in a boys catalog, REALLY!... Classic!  

New Info: I didn't realize that this Hedy set from Daycor, Inc. was a Martini set.  I have a collection started and I'm missing pieces to it.  And from the ad in the catalog, now I realize I'm missing another piece, a metal football shaped swizzle stick/stirrer.
1960's Hedy Glassware collection

1960's Hedy shot glass collection sizes
So the collection of the Daycor, Inc. distributed,  Martini Set designed by Hedy should now consist of;

9 3/4" Carafe
9" Flask with plastic/metal handle
Metal football shaped swizzle stick/stirrer
5" Round Glass Ice Bucket
Large Whiskey Glass - 4"
Medium Whiskey Glass - 3.5"
Small Shot Glass - 3"
Mini Shot Glass - 2 3/8"
5.5" Drinking Glass - Tumbler
4"x4"Ashtray w/ dual football shaped metal cigarette holder
6"x6" Candy dish - Single
6"x12" Candy tray - Double
8"x8" Snack plate - Single
8"x16" Double Snack tray - Double
10 3/4" Large plate - Single
10 3/4"x21 1/4" Double Large tray - Double

Man, I hope this is it.  I'm feeling like a hamster in a spinning wheel, the closer I think I'm getting in completing this collection, the more I find I'm missing more pieces...uggghhhh!  This is a true challenge.

The Sears 1961 All Star Catalog - OPPS!

I am stunned that Sears didn't put one of it's own NFL products into the catalog though.
1961 Sears-Roebuck San Francisco Team NFL Helmet Display
Sears sold these helmet displays (in back of the bobbles, plates & balls) for each NFL team and this is dated and noted to be a Sears-Roebuck product in the back.  I'm sure they caught the problem for the 1962 catalog.   

Still it so fun looking into the past Niner collectables.  
Go Niners ! ! !

Thursday, July 30, 2015

EXTREMELY RARE: Early 1960's 49'ers rotating Falstaff Beer Advertising Sign

Back in an earlier 49ers blog post dated, July 4, 2012, I talked about several 49er lamps I had.  One of which was a rotating sign which I was sure was some type of advertising sign but wasn’t sure which product it was used for.  I figured it was from the 1950’s or 60’s.  But after further 49er helmet history research, the 49er players wore a silver helmet in 1960-62 seasons. The helmet in the ad graphic has a relatively modern early 60’s style ear protection section as opposed to the bigger 1950’s style ear protection section.  

So, I decided to place some miniature 49er pennants on the rotating staff and figured that was cool…

Over the years I continued looking for various rotating NFL teams advertising signs and had a suspicion it was a cool beer sign or something to do with cigarettes.  I never found any NFL team advertising signs that were similar. Finally, my diligence finally paid off when I came across a generic rotating Falstaff Beer sign.  The front lamp area was blank white with the light on, so I figured it had been stripped of any team logo or slogan graphics, because it had glue evidence of something that had been attached on the front display.  I bought the generic one with hopes I could piece a complete, nice looking 49’ers Logo, Falstaff Beer sign together. 

I then bought the generic sign for about $50 bucks.  I put the generic sign in storage and nearly 2 years later I took out the two signs and placed all the best pieces together and FINALLY got a completed, truly authentic and pristine early 1960’s 49’ers Falstaff Beer advertising rotating sign.
Slogan/Mascot (Back) side
Logo (Front) side

The heavy main triangular base measures 8"x 10"  with graphics saying "Go, Go, Go, 49'ers!" and a 49ers player in a silver helmet.  It has a thumb-wheel switch that turns on the light in the base and a center metal post which slowly spins around. 

The main top display was a large rotating plastic Falstaff Beer coin measuring 12” in diameter and is 1” thick, with a thin floating translucent plastic frame around the large plastic coin. The front side of the gold coin has the main Falstaff Beer Logo in black and yellow. The flip-side of the gold coin has the mascot Falstaff man, with “old Pro” below his profile, and the slogan above him that reads “That’s my Beer”.  

The graphic in front features a 49er player wearing the silver colored 1960’s style helmet, and it looks very close to one of the 49er greats, Hugh McElhenny.  It would make sense that it would be him because he was a very popular 49er player in the early 1960’s.

Ultimately, I’m so stoked I found the generic sign and got the chance to make this AWESOME piece of vintage and classic advertising and 49er memorabilia.  

 I Love it!

Rotating Sign - Notice the coin look
Notice the 1" thickness

The sign will now proudly be displayed in my home office for all to take in it’s classic timeless beauty.  Plus, I wanted to share it here as well. 

Go, Go, Go, 49’ers!