The Legendary Taylor Trunks Rule Women’s Amateur Basketball in Chicago, Breaking Boundaries on Women Athletic Achievement; Essay by Robert Pruter

To lillustrate concept in text

Taylor Trunks, 1927

The Taylor Trunks, the top women’s basketball team in Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s, exemplified the most modern and advanced approach in women’s basketball while negotiating with retrograde societal elements that fought female progress in sports.

 

 

 

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Ethel Lackie: Surprise Olympic Swimming Champion; Essay by Robert Pruter

Ethel Lackie, as winner in swimming of numerous national and world record-setting races and a two-time gold medal winner in the 1924 Olympics she ranks as one of the top  Chicago women athletes between the wars.

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Elizabeth Falbisaner: The Face of Modern Athletic Women’s Basketball in the 1920s; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustrate concept in text

Elizabeth Falbisaner, as captain for the famed Taylor Trunks,  represented to America, what modern athletic basketball for women could be during the Golden Age of Sports in the 1920s.

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Before Johnny Weismuller: How the Illinois Athletic Club Helped Forge the Modern Sport of Swimming and Create Olympians; Essay by Robert Pruter

Illinois Athletic Club swimming team, 1915

The Illinois Athletic Club is best known has the home for the great Johnny Weismuller, the greatest swimmer of the 1920s and later Tarzan in the movies, but the club had built a foundation the previous decade producing world record holders and Olympians and dominating American national team championships.

 

 

 

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The Birth of High School Gymnastics in Chicago; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustraate concept in text

Austin High School gymnastics team, 1928

Illinois since the 1920s has historically been among the top, if not the top, gymnastics programs in the high schools.  The sport was pioneered in the state in Chicago, where high school physical education instructors, who came out of the German Turners and Czech Sokols, pioneered and promoted gymnastics competition in the Chicago Public High School League. Continue reading

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Indoor Golf: A Golden Age of Sports Craze for Working Gentlemen, Shopping Ladies, and Well-Bred High School Boys and Girls; Essay by Robert Pruter

Indoor golf was a rage in the major urban centers for two  decades, from around 1910 to around 1930.  It was largely an urban recreational activity, engaged in by gentlemen businessmen and upper middle class women shoppers during their downtown lunch break. It was also a competitive sport involving high school players to golf professionals.

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High School Football Intersectional Contests, 1902-1914: Proxy Battles between the East and the West for College Football Supremacy; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustraate concept in text

Hyde Park High, Chicago, beat Polytechnic High, Brooklyn, 102-0, in 1902, the first intersectional football game in America.

 

American football began intersectional competition in the first decades of the twentieth century, the first of which was between the East (meaning the Northeast) and the West (meaning the Midwest).  But this competition began erratically, and because of the lack of intersectional contests among the colleges, they therefore used high schools in their respective sections as proxy competitors.  What prevailed was the Midwest showing its superiority with its fast, open game, making the most of the forward pass, as the  high schools in Chicago dominated competition over those in New York City and Massachusetts.

 

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Skating, Skiing, and Leif Ericson: Norwegians and their New Homeland in Chicago; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustrate concept in textNorwegian immigrants to Chicago played a huge role the development of winter sports in Chicago and suburbs, particularly speed skating, which became a major sport in the city during the 1920s and 1930s, and left a legacy of achievement that continued to send speed skaters to the Olympics for decades afterwards.

 

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Evelyne Ruth Hall: Up from Poverty to Olympic Glory: Essay by Robert Pruter

 

To illustrate concept in textEvelyne Hall represents the great achievement of Chicago’s parks, churches, and athletic clubs that helped lift her out of a life of desperate poverty, debilitating illness, and ill education to become healthy, educated, and one of America’s outstanding female athletes and an Olympic star.

 

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Betty Robinson: The Face of Chicago Women’s Track and Field; Essay By Robert Pruter

To illustrate concept in textBetty Robinson became one of the famous athletes, male or female, to come out of Chicago between the wars, by virtue of her becoming America’s and the world’s first Olympic female gold medal winner in track and field, cementing her legacy to this day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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