Artifact of the Week (3): Kneepads

The Black Fives Artifact of the Week: Claude Johnson takes you on a 2-minute video tour of the spots in Brooklyn that link to this vintage pair of 1930s basketball kneepads, with an unexpected degree of separation to one of the finest athletes in the history of the borough!

Posted by Black Fives on Tuesday, February 16, 2016


This week’s artifact is a vintage pair of circa 1930s basketball kneepads that is among the artifacts in the Black Fives Historical Archive.


This vintage pair of basketball kneepads are the same type used by Brooklyn basketball pioneer William “Dolly” King, on display in 2014 as part of the Black Fives Exhibition at the New-York Historical Society Museum. (Claude Johnson)

There were many different models and styles of basketball kneepads and almost every early team wore them, but do you know why? This set, made of leather and lined with sheepskin wool cushioning, was unique because of its color. Most old kneepads were brown or black.

Also, it was produced without any kind of manufacturers identification so we do not know the maker. The leading national sporting goods brands in those days were A.G. Spalding Bros., A.J. Reach Co., Wilson Sporting Goods, and Rawlings Manufacturing Co. There were also many regional and local suppliers.

#makehistorynow #blackfives

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