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History Nights highlight Packers HOF collections
GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers uniforms were not always green and gold. Or blue and gold. Or even gold.
The evolution of uniforms will be the topic of the first Packers Hall of Fame History Night, a new, ongoing feature at Lambeau Field that will tap into the collections and expertise of the team-operated hall.
Presentations will be at 6 p.m. in the Hall of Fame auditorium, which can accommodate about 50 people. The cost of admission is a Hall of Fame ticket. Tickets are limited by the size of the auditorium. They can be purchased online at pckrs.com/history-nights.
The Packers intend it to be a regular offering, though they will take a break over the summer, Hall of Fame Curator Brent Hensel said.
"There's like 80,000 items in our collection," he said. "This is a great way of showcasing some we can't always put on display."
Guest speakers and experts will be in attendance for many of the presentations.
The first four history nights are:
» History of the Uniform, Tuesday: The Packers have had a lot of uniforms in their nearly 100 years, some beloved, some reviled and some forgotten. Hensel, Tim Marsho of Ripon Athletic, which helped develop the Hall of Fame's much-photographed uniform display, and Packers equipment manager Red Batty will make presentations and answer questions.
"One year, in the 1930s, they wore a uniform that was so close to the color of Pittsburgh they ended up wearing an alternate jersey for that game so they could tell the teams apart," Hensel said, offering a peek at Tuesday's program.
Gold is almost always involved with Packers uniforms, whether matched with blue or green, but not always. During all or part of two years the Packers wore green and white, reminiscent of the New York Jets, Hensel said.
» Tom Pigeon Collection, March 28: "He is one of our Lambeau Field tour guides and has an amazing collection of photographs and newspapers, and he's built models of some of the Packers' old stadiums," Hensel said.
Pigeon's father attended games at the very beginning, in 1919.
"He will tell some of the great stories he has," Hensel said. "He has a great story about where his father almost ran into Curly Lambeau. I won't give it away."
» Evolution of the Helmet, April 25: Hensel said they will have helmets dating to the leatherhead types of the early days of football and experts to speak on the development of protective headgear.
» Unique Artifacts in the Hall of Fame's Collection, May 30: Not everything in the Hall of Fame's possession ends up on display. The hall rotates some exhibits to give more artifacts time in the public eye, but with a collection of 80,000 items, a lot doesn't get seen often. That includes as a glass eye with the Packers' "G" painted on it donated by a fan.
"That's probably the oddest thing we have," Hensel said.
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