Spalding’s Athletic Library

If you are in the US, you probably recognize Spalding as the brand name of a company that makes sporting equipment.  The company has a very long history, being formed by A.G. Spalding in the 1870s.  His first product was baseballs; Spalding himself had been a pitcher for the Chicago White Stockings. Before long his business was making all kinds of sporting equipment.

Spalding got into publishing when he produced an official guide to baseball.  In 1885 he branched off into guides for other sports, and the series became known as Spalding’s Athletic Library.  Eventually the company was publishing around 300 guides.

I did not buy this book, probably from the early 1920s, as I felt like it was too pricy, but I looked on eBay and prices for these guides are all over the place. It’s interesting that women were featured as well as men in the cover art. The company was making items specifically for girls and women by this time.  I have a 1920s gymsuit in my collection.

5 Comments

Filed under Sportswear, Summer Sports

5 responses to “Spalding’s Athletic Library

  1. The Chicago White Stockings? Ah, for a more formal age….

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  2. I haven’t heard the name Spalding for a long long time….I think my tennis racket was a Spalding. It was very expensive…but I never did learn to use it.

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  3. Pingback: 1920s Spalding Ted Shirt | The Vintage Traveler

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