Back in 1849, there was a New York City baseball team called the Knickerbockers. During their games, they wore straw caps to protect themselves from the sun. This was the first version of the billed cap we know as a baseball cap.
Players experimented with various versions of the cap – tighter or looser fit, different materials, stiff seamed or smaller floppier bills, pillbox vice beanie headcap. The design settled down in the mid-1950s.
Around 1903, teams added the team logo. Now – as the caps in the JHS library exhibit for March show – the logo can advertise any activity, event, team, or company.
Above left: Cap commemorating the reunion of the students of Jamestown’s Carr School, the grammar school until 1955, and the Thomas H. Clarke School, the middle school from 1921 to 1955. Above right: Fools’ Rules Regatta. The annual race of craft constructed on the beach without any nautical materials in the hours before the race is sponsored by the Jamestown Yacht Club.
Jamestown Classic 31. Cap from the 2006 Around the Island bicycle race sponsored by the Jamestown Rotary
Some other caps on view in the exhibit:
Conanicut Battery cap. The logo is the shape of the Revolutionary War earthwork fortifications in the park. The cap is available from the Jamestown Historical Society with profits benefiting the Conanicut Battery Historic Park maintenance fund Jamestown Historical Society with profits benefiting the Conanicut Battery Historic Park maintenance fund.
Jamestown Fire Department Memorial Museum. The museum, renamed the Valmont “Bucky” Caswell Museum in 2015, is at the corner of Narragansett Avenue and Coronado Street. The museum opened in 1959 and was expanded in 1994.
Jamestown Bridge Construction Crew. The current Jamestown Bridge took almost seven years to build. It opened October 17, 1992.