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The Unknown Scrummers: 1920

The Unknown Scrummers: 1920

Washington, D.C., or vicinity circa 1920. The caption just says "football." Who can identify the venue? Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Perhaps Georgetown?

Georgia Tech isn't listed as an opponent, but Georgetown is. And Georgetown wore uniforms similar to those shown in this photo. Examples here and here.

BTW, I love this site and have been working my way forward from the original photo of Shorpy Higgnbotham. I can't seem to get enough!

1922, Georgia Tech

Mike, thanks for determining the opponent! You made my day!


Based on a comparison to pictures in the Naval Academy's 1923 yearbook, this would appear to be Navy vs. Georgia Tech, 10/21/1922.

Note #27 in both pictures.

Narrowing it down

Navy played six home games in 1920, compared to just one road game (a 14-0 loss at Princeton) and their traditional neutral-site game against Army at the Polo Grounds in New York (a 7-0 victory.) These six home games were:

October 2: 14-7 loss to North Carolina State
October 9: 12-7 defeat of Lafayette
October 16: 7-2 defeat of Bucknell
October 30: 47-0 defeat of Western Reserve
November 6: 21-6 defeat of Georgetown
November 13: 63-0 defeat of South Carolina

[This could have been taken anytime from 1910 to the early 1920s. - Dave]

Back in the day

People talk about how violent the sport is today, but the 1909 football season saw 26 deaths on both college and professional teams during the regular season. This was more than double that of the 1908 season.


The wonderful depth of field, the slightly skewed horizon and the players frozen in various athletic postures make this a superb action shot. A great sports picture!

Navigation, please!!

The photo is of Bancroft Hall at Annapolis but it's taken from due south of the campus. The corner of Dahlgren Hall is just showing to the far left and the sixth wing of Bancroft Hall is in the immediate background. The fifth wing is in the far background. The photo is taken from near what is today the site of Lejeune Hall.

Beat Army!

Swein is close, but I think you're on the wrong side of Bancroft. This shot is at Thompson Field, where Navy played their football games before the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium was built in 1959. It was situated where LeJeune Hall (the pool) and the 8th Wing of Bancroft stand today. The buildings seen in this picture are, I believe, the 6th Wing of Bancroft and, to the left, just the corner of Dahlgren Hall.

Love the stitched-on number patches. Would be interesting if anyone could figure out which game this was. The helmet "technology" seems to place it somewhere in the teens or '20s.

Go Navy!

It's Bancroft, indeed.

The shot is taken from the football field (now basically just a track), looking back at the "T" section of the rear wing of the dorm in the upper-left (which now has a 2-story walkway connecting it to the main building).

Next to Bancroft

On the left it's either the Seamanship Building or the Armory on the Naval Academy campus. As this 1919 panorama shows, they were already bookends of Bancroft Hall and its yards. They're now known as MacDonough and Dahlgren Halls.

Mother B

Isn't that Bancroft Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis?

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