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Nicknamed “The Rose” for his concern with his looks and his eye for the ladies, George Barclay 1898 devised the first-ever helmet to prevent cauliflower ears. His “head harness,” constructed by an Easton saddle-maker with strips of leather harness padding, gained notoriety in the historic upset victory at Pennsylvania Oct. 24, 1896. That win kept Lafayette’s undefeated season intact en route to the 1896 national championship.

The NCAA and the NFL made helmets mandatory in 1939 and in 1941, respectively.


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