WPI’s Curation, Preservation, and Archives staff are blogging a few of their favorite things to celebrate American Archives Month! What’s your favorite archival object? Let us know in the comments below!
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There are more than a few things that immediately jump to mind when asked to name my favorite things in the WPI Archives. But one item stands above the rest, an old WPI Baseball uniform. The item combines my love of sports, sports uniforms and history. The style of uniform was worn by the “Tech 9” from 1924 to 1948 and there are still sweat and dirt stains visible. The uniform, like other baseball uniforms of that time, was made of wool. Unlike today’s uniforms made from lightweight, high-tech materials, these uniforms are heavy and a bit stiff. I have always wondered how players were able to perform wearing such constricting jerseys and pants.
One of my favorite parts of the uniform is the word “TECH” spelled down the front. You just don’t see that in modern baseball uniforms. I also love the “W” in a diamond on the sleeve. The simplicity of both of these elements gives the jersey a timeless feel.
Our student-athletes are and always have been competitive, creating a rich sports history reaching all the way back to the 1880s. We have few uniforms or other physical items from athletic teams from the early days of the Institute, which makes this uniform even more special to have in our collection.