1907 wooden lacrosse stick
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Traditional Thursday: 1907 Wooden Lacrosse Stick

The 1907 Wooden Lacrosse Stick is something extremely special. It’s incredibly rare, important to the history of the game as far as patents go, and it’s a serious piece of art work! Welcome to Traditional Thursday!

At the end of July, I wrote a post about patents in lacrosse, specifically on how patents could change the waxed mesh industry, and how they had impacted the offset head industry. Part of this post hit on the long history of patents in lacrosse, and one that was mentioned was a 1907 stick patent.

Click on image to enlarge
Click on image to enlarge

Within a couple days of the post going up, the one and only Brad Fitzpatrick hit me up via twitter and told me he actually owned that 1907 wooden lacrosse stick, and would send me photos. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see one that wasn’t just a drawing. This was real lacrosse stick, well over 100 years old, and it was one of the original patented products in lacrosse!

1907 wooden lacrosse stick

1907 wooden lacrosse stick

1907 wooden lacrosse stick

1907 wooden lacrosse stick

1907 wooden lacrosse stick

1907 wooden lacrosse stick

Here is a little more info on this stick, directly from Fitzie:

This 1907 wooden lacrosse stick, and another like it, were bought at a local yard sale by my Father-in-law, long before I came into the picture. He took them to our local wood stick guru (who I’ve mentioned before) to have them redone. This stick had a 100% raw hide pocket and gut wall so, that’s what he put back in. The entire string job, minus the small guard across the bottom of the pocket, is one piece of rawhide… all of it. He certainly knows what he is doing as it is no easy task to do that with one continuous piece. The guru kept the other stick as payment for the string job on both. I saw it still hanging on the wall at his place just a couple of days ago.

Just when I thought this story couldn’t get any cooler, it did. Families handing down sticks to one another, legendary wooden stick gurus, payment via trade instead of cash, and a whole lot of history. What’s not to love?

If you’re REALLY into patent law, check out the text from the full 1907 patent below. It’s definitely eye opening if you consider yourself a stringer!

1907 Wooden Lacrosse Stick Patent

No. 891,813. PATENTED JUNE 30, 1908. D. CEEL.

LACROSSE STICK.

APPLICATION FILED J LY 5,1907.

2 SHEETS-SHEET 1.

5 ‘L/ I v THE NORRIS PETERS ca, WASHINGTON, u. c

No. 891,813. PATENTED JUNEBO, 1908.

D. OEEL.

LACROSSE STICK. APPLICATION FILED JULY 5, 1907.

2 SHEETS-SHEET 2.

THE NvhRls PETERS 90., wnsumcmu, D. c.

DEOAIRE OEEL, OF CAUGHNAWAGA, QUEBEC, CANADA.

LACROSSE-STICK.

Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented June 30, 1908.

Application filed July 5, 1907. Serial No. 382,179.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, DECAIRE GEEL, of Caughnawaga, in the county of Laprairie, in the Province of Quebec, Canada, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Lacrosse-Sticks, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates to improvements in lacrosse sticks, and the objects of my invention are: firstly, to improve the construction of the wooden frame by strengthening it and lightening it at certain points; secondly, to improve the construction of the wooden frame so as to maintain the guard in such position that it will not be materially displaced; thirdly, to lock the upright supports for the guard members to the top -guard member in such a manner as to maintain the said guard-members always in proper position; fourthly, to so lace the guard as to prevent the’ guard from material displacement, and fifthly, to improve the construction of the wooden-frame so as to form a positive pocket in the head of the lacrosse stick so that the ball may be positively caught therein.

The construction of my lacrosse stick will be hereinafter fully set forth.

Figures 1 and 2 are perspective views of my lacrosse stick. Fig. 3, is a front side elevation of same. Fig. 1, is a detail view of portion of the wooden frame. Figs. 5 and 6 are rear and front perspective views of two uprights for supporting the guard-members Figs. 7, 8 and 9 are respectively cross-sections on the lines ab, c-d, and e f, Fig. 1. Fig. 10, is a perspective view of my lacrosse stick showing an alternative form of means for tightening the members of the guard. Fig. 11, is a view of a portion of a lacrosse stick showing my improved construction of frame for forming a positive-pocket in the lower portion of the head of the lacrosse stick, and Fig. 12 is an enlarged perspective view of an improved method of lacing the cross members of the netting to the longitudinal members.

In the drawings like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in each figure.

It is well known that in connection with lacrosse sticks, players often find that the guard-members are not thoroughly reliable and thus are apt to be displaced and not hold the ball securely in place; now I construct the lacrosse stick so that it may be light and strong and yet at the same time maintain the guard-members in such position that they cannot be materially displaced.

The top edge A of the back B of the lacrosse stick is extended beyond the point as shown at C where the upper guard-member D rests upon said top edge A, and far enough so as to prevent said upper guard-member D, from displacement suflicient to destroy the efiiciency of the guard E which is composed of said upper guard-member together with the lower guard-member F and the intermediate guard-member Gr. Of course the upper guard member D is passed through any suitable hole H formed in the handle I and in such position that when the upper guard-member D is passed therethrough and made taut, it will always rest upon the top edge A of the back B in the position shown in Figs. 1, 2, and 3. The intermediate guard-member G is passed through a hole 3 made in the lacrosse stick some distance from the hole H so that the said intermediate guard-member will occu y a position extending outward beyond t e guard-members D and F, thereby giving the guard the inward-set position shown particularly in Figs. 1 and 11, thus making the guard-members D and G overhang the netting forming the lacrosse-head. In place of using the hole 3, I may attach the intermediate guard-member G to the lacrosse stick by means of any suitable loop 4 which passes through a loop 5 formed in the end of the guard-member G: this construction just described is a very convenient one for tightening the guard-members when they become loose.

The toe J of the lacrosse stick is shaped substantially as shown in the drawings, and upon referring to Fig. 3 particularly, it will be seen that said toe extends above the netting, thus placing its corner 7′ in such position in relation to the point C on the top edge Aof the back B (that is to say, the point or position on said top edge A against which the upper guard-member D rests) that the upper guard-member D (which passes through the hole K in said toe) will be held by said toe so that the upper guard-member D will always be maintained in such position that it cannot ordinarily be moved thereoutof, and thus maintain the proper position of the guard E. The upper guardmember D is preferably passed over the corner 3′ of the toe J Upon referring to Fig.

4 it will be seen that the bend of the toe J (when the back B is in the position shown in this figure) will be preferably within the portion L of said toe which is really the point where it extends from the bend or elbow M of the lip N which in turn extends from the back B through the bend or elbow O of said back. Therefore, it will be understood that the toe J besides extending above the netting .also preferably extends towards the back B. I am aware that lacrosse sticks now made are provided with these toes, but same are not given the same shape and position as mine so that. it will cooperate with a certain point on the top edge A of the back B so as to maintain the guard E in such position that it cannot be materially displaced. Lacrosse players find it very exasperating when they cannot depend upon the permanency of the guard. Now by means of the construction shown and described in the drawings, it will be understood that the guard-member D will be positively supported at both ends by the frame of the lacrosse stick in addition to thefact that it is anchored thereto by the holes K and H. Supporting the upper guard-member D as described will insure the other members F and G being held in proper position.

In order to prevent the lacrosse stick from breaking where the back B extends from the handle I, I make it stout or thick at the portion a and so place the hole H therein that it will not materially weaken thestick at this point. For the same purpose I increase the thickness of the wood at the bends or elbows M and O as shown at b and 0 (Figs. 7 and 9) forming the lip N between these bends or elbows shallower as shown at d (Fig. 8), thus so distributing the weight and thickness of the wood as to strengthen the stick at the points required and lighten it at other points. When the guard E is tightened up it will be understood that the lipN will’more or less bend, causing increased force to act upon the bends or elbows M and O, and by so strengthening same as before described and not unduly weakening the lip N by reducing the thickness of wood as before described, I prevent the breaking of the lacrosse stick at these. particular points under ordinary usage. By giving the toe J the pronounced bend as before described, I prevent same from being appreciably moved out of these positions when the guard E is tightened up.

The netting passed through the different holes 46 is made of the ordinary gut or thongs,

woven or held in relation to each other after any suitable manner. I may use any suit able intermediate guard-supports in connection with the guard E, but I prefer touse the guard-supports I am about to describe, as I find that the peculiar way in which they are locked to the upper guard-member D of the ports Z are constructed preferably of onestrand n of gut or any other suitable material which is twisted around itself as shown in the drawings, and as is usual in connection with lacrosse manufacture, so that the intermediate guard-member G and lower guardmember F may be supported thereby, as shown at 2 and 3 (Fig. 5). The strand n is further coiled or looped around the longitudinal member m of the netting which is laced to the lacrosse stick afterany suitable man ner. This strand n is also passed around the upper guard-member D so as to provide two loops p and g and a third loop 1′ which passes between the twisted parts of said strand n after the manner shown at s in Fig. 6, so that when the strand n is drawn tightly in position the loop r will force the loops p and g tightly around the upper guard-member D and thus effectually lock the intermediate guard-supports Z from lateral displacement. In Fig. 12 I show a form that I may use, if desired, in lacing the cross-members of the netting to the longitudinal-members. In place of merely twisting the crossmembers around the longitudinal-members, I may twist the cross-members around each other as shown at 4 and then loop them around the longitudinal-members 5: This construction shortens the cross-members of the netting preventing them from being unduly shifted longitudinally of the longitudinal members 5, thereby preventing unduly large holes being formed in the netting through which the ball would be likely to pass.

Upon referring to Fig. 11 it will be seen that the back B is provided with a sharp bend 6 which is a short distance beyond the handle I: by constructing this bend in the back B and constructing the guard E so as to obtain the 1proper set of same, I provide a positive poc ret in the lower portion of the head of the lacrosse stick wherebythe ball can be always caught by the player.

By one skilled in this art it will of course be understood that various changes may be made in the construction of my lacrosse-stick as shown and described, which yet will not depart from the spirit of my invention.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. A device of the class described, consisting of a wooden frame integrally formed and comprising a handle; a back; the lip, and the toe which is bent towards the back and above the upper surface of the lip; a netting laced in proper position, and a suitable guard laced in with said netting and laced through said toe and secured to said back in such position that the upper guardmember thereof will always rest upon the top edge of said back so as to positively be supported thereby at this end which, together with the support given said upper v vents the said guard from material displacement.

2. A device of the class described, consisting of a wooden frame integrally formed, and comprising a handle; a back; the lip, and the toe which is bent towards the back and above the upper surface of the lip; a netting laced in proper position, and a guard comprising the upper guard-member; the intermediate guard-member and the lower guard member; intermediate guard supports, comprising a strand of suitable material laced in with said netting and twisted around itself so as to give support to the intermediate and lower guard members which are suitably laced through said toe and secured to said back near where the handle extends therefrom, and provided with two loops which fit around the upper guard-member, and a third loop which passes between the twisted parts of said strand and underneath said upper guardmember so that when the said strand is pulled into proper position during course of manufacture, the said loops will firmly grip around said upper guard-member and prevent said intermediate guard-supports from lateral displacement; the said upper guard-member being laced through said toe and secured to said back insuch position that it will always rest upon the top edge of said back so as to be positively supported thereby at this end which, together with the support given said upper guard-member by said toe, effectually prevents the said guard from material displacement.

3. A device of the class described, consisting of a wooden frame integrallyformed comprising a handle; a back; the lip, and the toe which is bent towards the back and above the upper surface of the lip; the said lip being constructed thicker ‘so as to give additional strength, at the points where the said toe extends therefrom and where it ex tends from said back, and being made thin ner intermediate said points; the said wooden frame being made stouter or thicker at the point where said back extends from said handle; a netting laced inproper position, and a guard comprising the upper guardmember; the intermediate guard-member and the lower guard-member; intermediate guard-supports, comprising a strand of suitable material laced in with said netting and twisted around itself so as to give support to the intermediate and lower guardmembers which are suitably laced through said toe and secured to said back near where the handle extends therefrom, and provided with two loops which fit around the upper guard-member, and a third loop which passes between the twisted parts of said strand and underneath said upper guard-member so that when the said strand is pulled into proper position during course of manufacture, the said loops will firmly grip around said upper guard-member and prevent said intermediate guard-supports from lateral displacement; the said upper guard-member being laced through said toe and through said back in such position that it will always rest upon the top edge of said back so as to be positively supported thereby at this end which, together with the support given said upper guard-member by said toe, effectually prevents the said guard from material displacement.

4. The combination with a lacrosse-stick frame; a netting laced therein, and a guard; of intermediate guard-supports comprising a strand of material laced in with said netting and twisted around itself so as to give support to certain members of said guard, and provided with two loops which fit aroundthe upper guard-member, and a third loop which passes between the twisted parts of said strand and underneath said upper guard-member so that when the said strand is pulled into proper position during course of manufacture, the said loops will firmly grip around said upper guard-member and prevent said intermediate gu ard-supports from lateral displacement.

5. A lacrosse stick frame comprising a handle made stout or thick at a point from which extends the back B; the lip N elbows O. and M., and the terminal J, the stick being thickened at the elbows, and the elbow 0. being thicker than the elbow \f.

6. A device of the class described, consisting of a wooden frame integrally formed and comprising a handle, a back; and a lip, and a toe which is bent towards the back and above the upper surface of the lip; a netting laced in proper position, a guard laced in with said netting and comprising a top, a lower, and an intermediate member; the top-member being laced through said toe and secured to said back in such a position that it will always rest upon the top edge of said back so as to be positively supported thereby at this end which, together with support given said upper member by said toe, effectually prevents the material displacement of same, the said intermediate member being secured to said wooden frame at a point away from the point of attachment thereto for the upper guardmember, so as to give the proper set to the whole guard, and suitable supports for the said members.

7. A device of the classdescribed, consisting of a wooden frame integrallyformed and comprising a handle; a back extending therefrom and provided with a pronounced bend a short distance from where it extends from the said handle; the lip, and the toe; a netting laced in proper position, a guard laced in with said netting and comprising a top, a lower, and an intermediate member; the top member being laced through said’toe and secured to said back in such a position that it set to the Whole guard, and suitable supports Will always rest upon the top edge of said for the said members.

back so as to be positively supported thereby In testimony whereof I have signed my at this end Which, together with support name to this specification, in the presence of 5 given said upper member by said toe, eflectWo subscribing Witnesses.

tually prevents the material displacement of p I 4 same, the said intermediate member being DECAIR-E OEEL’ secured to said Wooden frame at a point away Witnesses: from the point of attachment thereto for the L. J. STEINHOFF,

10 upper guard-member, so as to give the proper F. McDERMoTT.