#ArmyNavy - Inventor of the Football Helmet was a USNA Midshipman

  "Bull" Reeves (center), as a Rear Admiral, circa 1921
As the Army-Navy Game approaches you may find interesting this bit of football history...

Joseph Mason "Bull" Reeves (1872 – 1948) was known as the "Father of Carrier Aviation" for his role in integrating aircraft carriers into the Fleet as a major part of the Navy's attack capabilities.  Reeves retired in December 1946 with the rank of admiral.

Reeves was born on November 20, 1872 in Tampico, Illinois.  He received an appointment in 1890 to attend the Naval Academy, where he became a football hero.  In addition to his on-field heroics, he is credited with the invention of the modern football helmet, which he had a shoemaker create for him after he was told by a Navy doctor that a kick to his head could result in "instant insanity" or death.  Reeves graduated from the Academy in 1894.

After the start of the 20th Century, Reeves served in the battleships USS Wisconsin (BB-9) and USS Ohio (BB-12) in addition to tours ashore at Newport, RI and Annapolis, where he was an instructor in the Naval Academy's Department of Physics and Chemistry, 1906–08. He served as the Academy's Head Football Coach in 1907, guiding the team to a 9-2-1 record and a 6–0 victory over Army.


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