The central image is a map of the United States, upon which illustrator F. E. Cheeseman has overlaid hundreds of images including football players in action as well as the seals, banners, mascots and stadiums of major football schools. Large red stars indicate the names, schools and positions of 1940 All-Americans; while blue stars list conference champions. Insets around the main map include a small map locating the collegiate football conferences; images of hand signals used by football officials; and vignettes of “traditional trophies.” Professional football is mentioned, but only inconspicuously, an indicator of its subordinate status to the college game in the pre-war years.
The map was published as a promotional by Albert Richard Co., a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of men’s outerwear. It was probably touted in periodicals such as Boys’ Life magazine, whose readers were invited to order a copy gratis. Here for example is an advert for an early football map issued by the firm, the Pigskin Panorama.
“It’s entirely new and more colorful than ever before . . . a real Pigskin Panorama! The 1938 Albert Richard Football Map shows locations, official colors and nicknames of 236 leading colleges. Also major “Pro” teams. Identifies conference members and 1938 champions. A real man-size [!!!] (26 x 19 inches) decorative work of art! Lists Albert Richard 1938 All-American Teams and invites you to help pick this year’s outstanding eleven. You’ll want to hang it in your room for all your friends to admire. Be the first of your “gang” to have this handsomely illustrated Football map! Mail coupon below NOW for your FREE copy.
“You’ll prefer ALBERT RICHARD leather coats and mackinaws. They’re the choice of All-Americans.” (Boys’ Life, vol. XXIX, no. 9 (Sept. 1939), p. 41)
Albert Richard had previously issued football maps in 1938, 1939 and 1940, all drawn by F. E. Cheeseman. Following the outbreak of the Second World War the firm and Cheeseman turned to more appropriate patriotic themes, such as the Patriotic Panorama of the United States (1942) and Aviation Cavalcade (1944). The football theme reappeared at least once, in 1950. This was the work of a new artist, G.E. Smith, who eschewed Cheeseman’s bold Art Deco style for a softer, mid-century look.
Rumsey #11884. Virga and Brinkely, Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States, pp. 300-301 (illus.)