Published on Nov 29, 2012
A collection of film and photographs illustrating the evolution of gridiron football in Green Bay, Wisconsin and the formative years of the Packers.
Music composed by David Robidoux
The Green Bay Packers can trace their lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. In 1919 and 1920 the Packers competed as a semi-professional football team against clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest. The Packers are the last vestige of "small town teams" that were once common in the NFL during the 1920s and 1930s. They joined the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1921, the forerunner to what is known today as the National Football League (NFL).
The Packers were founded on August 11, 1919 by former high-school football rivals Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $500 for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. Today "Green Bay Packers" is the oldest team-name still in use in the NFL, both by its nickname and by virtue of remaining in its original city. On August 27, 1921, the Packers were granted a franchise in the new national pro football league that had been formed the previous year. Financial troubles plagued the team and the franchise was forfeited within the year, before Lambeau found new financial backers and regained the franchise the next year.
In 1920, the Indian Packing Company was purchased by the Acme Packing Company. Acme continued its support of Lambeau's team, and in its first season in the NFL the team wore jerseys with the words "ACME PACKERS" emblazoned on the chest.
Lambeau, who had attended the University of Notre Dame, borrowed the team's colors of navy blue and gold from the Irish, and like the Irish in the 1930s and 1940s, the Packers sometimes used green and gold before returning to the traditional blue and gold. In the early days, the Packers were often referred to as the "Bays" or the "Blues" (and even occasionally as "the Big Bay Blues"). These never were official nicknames, although Lambeau did consider replacing "Packers" with "Blues" in the 1920s.
After a near-miss in 1927, Lambeau's squad claimed the Packers' first NFL title in 1929 with an undefeated 12--0--1 campaign, behind a stifling defense which registered eight shutouts. Green Bay would repeat as league champions in 1930 and 1931, bettering teams from New York, Chicago and throughout the league, with all-time greats and future Hall of Famers Mike Michalske, Johnny (Blood) McNally, Cal Hubbard and Green Bay native Arnie Herber.
Among the many impressive accomplishments of these years was the Packers' streak of 30 consecutive home games without defeat, an NFL record which still stands.
Clarke Hinkle played tailback and linebacker for the Packers from 1932 to 1941. At the time of his retirement, he was the NFL's all time leading rusher. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of fame in 1964 and the Packer Hall of fame in 1972. Hinkle is a member of the 1930s all decade team. In 1997, the Packers' west practice field across Oneida Street from Lambeau Field was dedicated "Clarke Hinkle Field".
Don Hutson gave Lambeau and the Packers the most-feared and dynamic offensive weapon in the game. Credited with inventing pass patterns, Hutson would lead the league in receptions eight seasons and spur the Packers to NFL championships in 1936,1939 and 1944. An iron man, Hutson also led the league in interceptions in 1940. Hutson claimed 18 NFL records when he retired in 1945, many of which still stand. In 1994 the Packers named their new state-of-the-art indoor practice facility across the street from Lambeau Field the "Don Hutson Center".
The "Gray Ghost of Gonzaga" Tony Canadeo was selected by the Packers in the ninth round (77th overall) of the 1941 NFL Draft. He was the first Packer to rush for 1000 yards in a season and the third player ever in the NFL to accomplish this feat. Canadeo rushed for 1052 yards in 1949. In addition to his accomplishments as a running back, Canadeo also recorded nine career interceptions on defense and served as the team's punter. Canadeo's number (3) was retired by the Packers in 1952 and is one of only five Green Bay Packers to have his number retired by the team. Tony Canadeo was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
I DO NOT OWN THE FILM OR MUSIC USED IN THIS VIDEO.
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.
FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.