HOF Artifact of the Week


This is an Ironton (OH) Tanks jersey from the 1920s. Notice the striping or strips on the sleeves and chest. These strips were made of canvas and were designed to help ball carriers secure the ball while running. Many early photos of the Chicago Bears show their players wearing jerseys with these types of strips.

The Ironton Tanks were organized in 1919 and although they never joined the NFL, they became an independent professional football powerhouse. In 1930 they defeated the Chicago Bears and New York Giants in exhibition games. However, at the time the franchise was losing money and folded after the 1931 season.

Our weekly artifacts and other unique items are featured daily in our docent presentations for visitors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Plan your visit to the Hall to learn more about the collection in our archives.