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Sunday, May 22, 2005

I've had a fondness for the Bentley Historical Library ever since someone employed by it emailed the Every Three Weekly to request a copy of an issue they had somehow missed. We had never informed the Bentley of our existence, but that did not deter them from finding and salting away copies of our ridiculous little magazine for posterity's sake. I envisioned that millenia from now, after the inevitable nuclear holocaust caused by an Ohio State grad pushing a button he shouldn't and saying "duh-uh-uh want a cookie," the Bentley Library would stand alone in the post-apocalyptic horror show with things like "70 Laser Wielding Robots Not Loose On North Campus" encased safely behind plexiglass. I immediatey put the sword to about six "Bentley Library Found Useful By Useless Persons" articles, as it never pays to offend anybody with the good sense to archive your writings.

I had forgotten about my love for the Bentley until recently. I was searching for images of Desmond Howard to splice into the logo you see above and encountered a weird black and white headshot that I followed to the Bentley Image Bank, which I soon discovered was fantastic. You can see Fielding Yost buy a Liberty Bond, Tom Harmon doing his best Zoltan the Inconceivable impression, a panoramic view of the 1902 Rose Bowl (which was about as well attended as an MSU hockey game), or Michigan Stadium's first ever OSU game (note all the people wearing hats).

You can check out hockey captains from 1922's Kynle MacDuff to Jed Ortmeyer, but my favorite is a guy who hasn't changed his hair since at least 1962:

Red looks a little less cranky than usual.

But, even though that stuff all rocks, the best part is the organized online exhibits the Bentley has on the winged helmet and football program cover art, the latter especially.

This cover wins the prize for most inexplicable:

Why is a giant chicken skateboarding on the edge of the stadium? It is the mystery.

Giant Skateboarding Chicken excepted, I prefer the idiosyncratic drawings from the early years of Michigan football:

My favorite part of this one is the Michigan State players fleeing in terror. Second favorite is the World War I soldiers on the bottom with the silly hats and socks. Trench warfare is horrific, but that's no excuse to be badly dressed, gentlemen.

This man is definitely saying "I'm a plane! A great big plane with wings!" to himself.

Several of the covers during the 20s gloried in the art of the punt... no doubt something that warms the cockles of Carr's heart.

What's that? You're complaining about another image-heavy, content-light post? Fair enough, but that was a chicken on a skateboard on the cover of a Michigan football program. You should need a lie-down and perhaps some smelling salts.

Update: Commenters point out that the Chicken is the "San Diego Chicken," who was brought in to boost attendance for the Wayne State-Slippery Rock Band day, and that the Michigan Stadium picture pointed out isn't the first game but rather the dedication game during the stadium's first year.