Rams  1949
(Authentic Reproduction)




While studying the team's plain brown leather helmets prior to the 1948 season Ram's halfback and part time artist, Fred Gehrke contemplated a dramatic change. As an experiment he took a helmet home and painted it blue and added yellow/gold horns. The Ram's owner Dan Reeves loved the concept and commissioned Fred to similarly customize the remainder of the team's helmets paying him one dollar for each completed helmet. The stylized helmets were the talk of the league during the 1948 season.
After the 1948 season ended the NFL ended a one year ban on plastic shell helmets. In 1949 the Rams retired their leather helmets and ordered Riddell "RT" plastic shell helmets complete with factory painted team logos. The horn pattern used by Riddell was based on the helmet company's own design. The "Riddell" version of the horn curved above the helmet's ear hole as opposed to the original "Gehrke" design which curved below the ear hole. The "Riddell" version of the horn also had knobby edges unlike the original smooth edged horn. The team wore these helmets all the way to the 1949 NFL Championship Game where, unfortunately, they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In 1950 the Rams scrapped the "Riddell" horn design and requested that the company use the original "Gehrke" inspired design that featured smooth edged horns that curved below the ear hole of the helmet. Aside from some minor variations in the width and contour of the horn the original "Gehrke" design has remained in use for over 50 straight years including the 2003 team. The color of the horn was changed to white from 1964 through 1972, back to the original yellow/gold from 1973 through 1999 and finally to metallic gold in 2000 and remains that color in 2003. The horns were painted on the helmet until 1972 when the team began using vinyl decals which is the method that has been used since that time.
The pictured 1949 Los Angeles Rams authentic reproduction by Helmet Hut is strikingly handsome in its full appointment of 1950s era leather trim. The rarity of any "one year only" helmet style is highly coveted by helmet aficionados and the unique 1949 style is no exception. True to every detail including painted on, exact 1949 style horns this wonderful helmet proudly reflects its rich heritage. The Ram's were the first team to use team logos on their helmets and are directly responsible for giving the football helmet its individual style and character that makes it so desirable to dedicated football historians like Helmet Hut and its loyal readers.