Traditions  Invention of the Helmet -- George Barclay, Class of 1898


  Invention of the Helmet

George "The Rose" Barclay from the class of 1898 was one of Lafayette's all-time great runners, helping lead the Leopards to the 1896 National Championship. His place in football history will forever be known as the inventor of the helmet.

As documented in The Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin, Barclay invented the first football helmet when the "threat of cultivating cauliflower ears" led him to have an Easton saddlemaker piece together three thick leather straps around his head for the Leopards' 1896 game vs. Penn.

  We Are Lafayette

Lafayette College is home to an incredibly storied and tradition-rich intercollegiate athletics program. In addition to boasting four national championships and 45 Patriot League regular season and tournament championships, the Leopards have shaped the game of college football with the invention of the helmet, the invention of the huddle and the game's most played rivalry.

The Leopards' success extends well beyond the competitive venues, annually ranking among the nation's leaders in student-athlete graduation success rate and individual scholar-athlete honors.


Mission Statement
Patriot League
Director of Athletics
Facilities Home

Invention of the Helmet
Invention of the Huddle
1949 Sun Bowl

Easton History
Lafayette History
Leopard Pride Pep Band
Dance Team


Lafayette Athletics, as a partner in the mission of the College, provides an incredibly effective learning experience for student-athletes through competitive NCAA Division I athletics. Lafayette sponsors 23 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes.

Mission Statement | Leopard Tradition | Staff Directory | Feedback | Ask the AD

The Lafayette Sports Network (LSN) handles all multimedia elements and advertising sales for athletics at Lafayette College. LSN is the Patriot League leader in delivering high-quality programming worldwide via television, radio, streaming video and satellite.

Advertising and Sponsorships | Digital Media | LSN TV & Radio Affiliates