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Old UAlbany Pennant I Bought on Ebay


The_DHC
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Hey guys,

 

Check out my latest purchase from eBay. Great old vintage pennant from the New York State Normal School, which as you know, eventually became UAlbany. It's extremely rare and in excellent condition considering that it's from the late 1800s. Letters are stitched and the pennant comes in 3 separate shapes of wool/felt fabric that have been sewn together - this is a very old design technique.

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The color gold remains but the purple has faded over time, which would be expected considering that the purple dyes back then were not nearly as robust as the normal stock colors of the day and washed out easily. Poor quality of purple dyes was one of the reasons why UAlbany proposed changing the school colors back in 1921, but the motion never passed.

 

I hand washed it with Woolite and cold water to remove the century of dust and dirt embedded in it. I talked to the university archivist and he said the pennant may date from 1897 when the first sports are mentioned in The Echo, the monthly student literary magazine/newspaper/alumni magazine all rolled into one, or from 1898 when we played our first inter-collegiate baseball against Oneonta. Here it is after the clean up phase:

 

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I got this professionally framed to preserve the pennant. I went with a gold frame and purple matting to compliment the time faded purple and gold pennant. That's museum quality glass too , peasants don't know about that. ;)

 

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It sits nicely in my humble home office :D

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Thanks!

 

I highly recommend museum glass for its clarity and anti-reflective properties (also its UV protection to keep the pennant from fading even more). It'll cost more, but it's worth it if you're going to display something for life.

 

See the difference:

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JMU in VA was a State Normal School and was purple and gold as well as UA. I always wonder how they determine when things belong to which colleges when back in the day they didn't really label them that great. Does it say NY or Albany on it anywhere?

Edited by MsGDG
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JMU wasn't founded until 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. A lot of FCS and ex-FCS schools were once Normal Schools (Central Conn., Northern Iowa - another Purple & Gold, Western Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State).

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No, it doesnt say anything other than "State Normal" on the front. This pennant was hand made and the seller found it in New York (didn't say which city).

 

The university archivist said it's almost certainly a UAlbany pennant, but there's no way we can be 100% certain.

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JMU wasn't founded until 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. A lot of FCS and ex-FCS schools were once Normal Schools (Central Conn., Northern Iowa - another Purple & Gold, Western Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State).

 

Yeah, but was just curious how you'd know which school it was w/o a year, state, etc on it since people on ebay often get things incorrect about their items since they themselves are just guessing. The older general items from the university must be very hard to identify. Going by the different names of UA over the years is a good identifier of year but in this case that wouldn't have helped since many schools started off as normal schools. I heard the archivist is retiring. Will be interesting if they refill the job, hopefully they will!!

Edited by MsGDG
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