Some Penn students show their school spirit by leading a cheering crowd at football games at Franklin Field, or by throwing toast during the singing of “Drink a Highball.” Other Penn fanatics use red and blue paint to spell out “P-E-N-N” on their bodies.
Clothing bearing a variety of designs, fonts, and University nicknames, spelling out “Pennsylvania” or “U of P” and in recent years, “Penn,” has always been a popular way to show Penn pride, but many other items have also offered students a chance to say, “Hurrah for the Red and Blue.”
The University Archives and Records Center houses more than 1,500 pieces of three-dimensional memorabilia in its collections that enhance and complete the historical text of Penn’s history.
Memorabilia can serve as a historical record in instances where no known documentation exists, and can provide color and texture to the University’s rich history.
In one instance, a set of Wedgewood porcelain china featuring images of College Hall and other iconic campus buildings was created to mark the University’s bicentennial in 1940.
In other cases, the items even provided physical comfort and warmth.
A dark blue wool blanket from 1950, (pictured) with a red “P” and the image of the University Arms, kept fans warm and stylish while cheering on the Quakers at football games. The blanket was likely sold along with items such as hats, T-shirts, and pennants at the Houston Hall Store, located on the building’s ground floor.
The store had several branches conveniently located across campus, including inside Bennett Hall, Hutchinson Gym, the Medical School building, and the School of Fine Arts.
For more information about this and other historical events and records at Penn, visit the University Archives and Records Center online.
Originally published on June 5, 2014