Changing Gears

NORWICH ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT: 100 YEARS OF TRANSFORMATION.

Martin Wasserman ’55 suffered an injury on the field and his football jersey, ripped during the play, had to be cut off him. (War Whoop photo.)

Martin Wasserman ’55 suffered an injury on the field and his football jersey, ripped during the play, had to be cut off him. (War Whoop photo.)

The evolution of athletic gear has changed the way sports are played. Forty years ago, each time Jim Segar ’76 took a slap shot with his wooden hockey stick, he risked snapping the blade off the shaft. Since then, sticks made from fiberglass, graphite, and titanium composites, reinforced with Kevlar, have made rifling slap shots such a routine hockey event that they barely raise a spectator’s eyebrow. But if Bill Cantwell ’74 tried to wear his homemade goalie mask while standing between the pipes today, his eyebrows would be the least of his worries—with contemporary puck speeds of 100 mph, his face wouldn’t stand a chance.

But hockey is only one piece of the saga, and Norwich stories of athletic-gear evolution are as varied as they are plentiful. On the following pages, we let the pictures do the talking, to give you a then-and-now glimpse of athletic uniforms and equipment from the annals of Norwich sports history.

Editor’s Note: While we typically post the text of a story into the Record web pages, we believe it best serves this story to preserve its visual impact. The story begins on page 20 of the printed magazine.

Read the story as it appears in print:



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