The Complex Story of the Barnstorming Chocolate Co-Eds of Chicago: Exemplification of Black Achievement or Circus Side Show?; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustrate concept in textThe Chocolate Co-Eds were a female African-American team from Chicago that barnstormed throughout the Midwestern and Western states to primarily white rural audiences as a novelty team or show team from 1934 to 1950. They played mostly boys’ and men’s teams under modified rules and added colorful antics to their game. The Chocolate Co-Eds for a couple of years in the early 1950s also toured and competed in softball against women teams, black and white.

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Spencer Coals: Chicago’s Renown Team of the 1930s that Advanced the Men’s Rule Game over the Prevailing Women’s Rules Game; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustrate concept in text

Spencer Coals 1933

The Spencer Coals women’s basketball team, which achieved national fame while competing under men’s rules in Chicago and the Midwest in the 1930s, was at the center of the conflict among women’s amateur basketball authorities over playing the moderated women’s rules or the aggressive highly athletic men’s rules.

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Top Basketball Player Hazel Kelfstrom: The Poster Child of Highly Commercialized Amateur Basketball in Chicago in the 1930s: Essay by Robert Pruter

 

To illustrate concept on text

Hazel Kelfstrom, 1932

Chicago top basketball player, Hazel Kelfstrom, who joined the semi-pro Taylor Trunks in 1930 at the tender age of 16, represented everything the physical education establishment found abhorrent about commercialized amateur basketball for women. But nonetheless she emerged as one of the stars in the working class amateur basketball world. Continue reading

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The Brownies: The Chicago Team that Pioneered Modern Basketball for Women; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustrate concept in text

Uptown Brownies, 1925

The Brownies, along with the Jewish People’s Institute Girls and the Taylor Trunks, constituted the big three of amateur women’s basketball in Chicago during the 1920s. The team was a pioneer for the modern game of women’s basketball, using men’s rules, wearing trim uniforms, playing in large arenas before crowds of thousands, and touring the United States and Canada.

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Harry Wilson and Dena Schaper: Chicago Husband and Wife Team, A Driving Force For Women’s Basketball, Women’s Softball, and other Amateur Sports, 1921-1954; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustrate concept in text

The married couple of  Harry Wilson and Dena Schaper were significant contributors to the development of amateur and women sports during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.  With Harry Wilson coaching and Dena Schaper playing, the two made the Taylor Trunks the greatest amateur team playing men’s rules basketball in the country.  Harry Wilson went on to become a huge promoter and contributor of amateur and women sports in Chicago, particularly in basketball and softball. Continue reading

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Communist Football: Essay by Gabe Logan

 

To illustrate concept in text

Carl Liebknecht Branch Youth Workers’ League soccer team

“Communist Football” tells the story of Communist, workers, and leftist soccer competition in Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s. The essay is part of Gabe Logan’s 2019 history, The Early Years of Chicago Soccer, 1887-1939, a comprehensive and deeply researched history of amateur and professional soccer in Chicago during the early days of the sport.

 

 

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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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