Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back to School with NFL and AFL Book Covers from the 1960s

Fall means its time for football and time to head back to school.  As we gear up for another NFL season while the kids are heading back to class, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at something that combines both of these Fall activities by reviewing NFL book covers from the 1960s.

In 1965, kids could buy book covers for their favorite NFL team, such as this cover for the Baltimore Colts:

Here is a closer look at the front (note the $.10 price in the upper right corner):

and here is a closer look at the back showing helmets for all the NFL teams (note at this time helmets were shown with chin straps): 

Here are the other teams I have been able to find pictures for with this design:

Chicago Bears:

Cleveland Browns:

New York Giants:

Detroit Lions:

Washington Redskins:

There was also a cover showing all 14 NFL Helmets and Team Logos:

Here is a closer look at the team logos:

 The book covers could be purchased in a group of 5 for $.49:

These were also apparently available via a offer on the wrapper of 1965 Philadelphia Football Cards where you could buy all 15 covers (the 14 teams plus the cover with all the team helmets) for $1.50:

In 1966, the design changed as seen on this Green Bay Packers book cover:

and there were now 15 teams with the addition of the Atlanta Falcons:

which is also reflected on the back of each book cover with the team logos:

Here are the other teams I have been able to find with this design:

Chicago Bears:

Dallas Cowboys:

Detroit Lions:

Los Angeles Rams:

Minnesota Vikings:

New York Giants:

Philadelphia Eagles:

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Saint Louis Cardinals:

San Francisco 49ers:

Once again, the book covers were available through an offer on 1966 Philadelphia Football Card Wrappers, but the offer now includes 16 covers for $1.60:

The same design was used in 1967 as there is also a book cover of the expansion New Orleans Saints, but note that the back cover still only shows the 15 teams that were in the league in 1966:

It appears they used the same design in 1967 (which is why these are sometimes identified as being from 1967), but didn't bother to update the back to include the Saints.

The book covers were again available through an offer on the 1967 Philadelphia Football Card Wrappers:

 There were also AFL book covers with a similar design

but the backs had the team logos in a shield:


It looks like these were available in 1964 given the copyright:

To wrap up, here is another item which would have been great to have heading back to school back in the day - an NFL Folder:

This folder has a 1967 NFL Properties copyright:


Albert said...

Great post, Jon--Interesting to see these.

Freyguy said...

I had the entire afl/nfl book cover set including the saints. I moved out of the house at age 18 in 1978 content in knowing this set was safe in the den room in an old oak desk. I came home sometime in the next school year looking for them to be sure they were safe but nowhere to be found. I asked my mom about them and she said oh, do you mean the ones on your brothers text books? Damn that pissed me off. Still does to this day somewhat. I never was a collector so this was it. Do you have any idea of the value of such a set. I’ve been watching for years for these to show up. Only in the last several years have I seen them again. They are a beautiful work of Americana

Unknown said...

I loved this segment of the blog. I too had these when I was very young. Loved the graphics and the logos. I recall giving a few to friends. Did not know the AFL book covers were made and would love to see some of these at a card show.

Unknown said...

What a great site for Fleer reference material.

I especially enjoyed the this article as I had the NFL covers in 3rd or 4th grade, if I knew of the AFL covers, I would have asked for those also. In 1967 I collected Philly Football cards and would ask my mom to buy a pack or 2 when checking out at Winn Dixie or Grand Union, this is how I first became aware of the book covers. When they arrived, I recall the brilliant colors and seemingly high quality paper stock.

Thanks for the memories, I will keep looking for them at card shows.