Gopher Uniform History 1951-53
Please click the photos to enlarge.
The 1951-53 era represpents the Gophers first team use of the hard shell plastic helmet. These were Riddell RT2 model helmets were actually painted from the inside of the shell out. The coats of paint were done from the inside so the paint would last longer and not get scuffed up on the exterior, making these the first clear shell model helmets in use. These are a beautiful gold helmet with one maroon stripe featuring a 6 point suspension system. The first appearance we could find of this helmet was actually in 1948 used by only a very few members of the squad, but they came into team use in 1951. There a few instances of facemasks being used on this model helmet, although this was the exception, not the rule. One primative model can be seen below and the other we are aware of is a "lucite" or clear hard plastic curved facemask. Our own example is pictured below and we know of 3 others to exist. There may be others we are unaware of, but being these helmets were only worn for 3 seasons, they are a true rarity in the helmet world.
These beautiful jerseys are some of our favorite examples ever worn by the Gophers. This style was actually worn starting in 1949, and continued to 1953, but they'll forever be famous for their connection to the Minnesota legend that wore them, Paul Giel. These jerseys were made of durene cotton and had numbers sewn on back and front. The maroon jersey had a gold center arm stripe bordered by two thin white stripesl. The away white jersey had a thicker maroon center stripe bordered by two thinner maroon stripes. The pants were gold with a thin maroon stripe running down each leg. The shoes were black with maroon socks with stripes to match the maroon jersey arms stripes, which were had the pants tucked into them. Many times a pair of white socks were worn over these. There is not a great deal of consistency with the socks as seen in the photos below, and we have also seen a few examples of white shoes being worn. Our home jersey example below has a buttoned up crotch piece, which was common especially for lineman. These jerseys were produced by MacGregor.