The following was discovered in a 1958 Utah vs. Utah State football program. The story was marked "Courtesy Los Angeles Rams," but no author was given.
At the time he designed the Rams' helmet logo, the significance of Gehrke's creation was not fully appreciated. However, in the interim every football team from the Super Bowl Champs down to junior high squads has adopted a distinctive helmet logo.
If you were to select an all-time Los Angeles Ram team, would you place at halfback the man who designed the famous Ram helmet? You might, for Fred Gehrke, creator of the distinctive design, elusively roamed NFL gridirons for six years. He indelibly stamped his name as an all-time Ram great. But a more delicate touch from the artistic side of Fred Gehrke has left his mark for all to see whenever the Rams take the field.
In 1939 Gehrke was an art major and a grid speedster at the University of Utah. He joined the Rams in 1940 and the following off-season became associated with Northrop Aircraft in Los Angeles and became an integral part of that firm's design department throughout the war.
He rejoined the Cleveland Rams for the 1945 season, playing a sparkling part in the Rams' successful quest for a world title. When the team moved to Los Angeles, Gehrke continued as a top drawer halfback through 1949.
At the close of the 1947 season, Coach Bob Snyder asked Gehrke to put his artistic talents to work in designing a new Ram uniform. Gehrke did so, and his presentation of the now famous helmet was greeted with enthusiasm by the entire organization.
Gehrke's imaginative helmet design, however, created a momentary monster. Unable to find a mass method of stenciling, Snyder delivered 70 leather helmets to him with instructions to hand paint them. Throughout the summer, Gehrke worked every available moment at night and on weekends on the project, and throughout the year, as solid blows chipped and cracked the paint, "Gehrke's helmet paint repair department" became a season- long and active part of the Ram scene.
Before the 1949 season, Coach Clark Shaughnessy introduced the Riddell plastic helmet and Gehrke envisioned the same job all over again. But the manufacturer agreed to include the design and the paint was baked on from the inside, showing through the transparent plastic. Since then, there have been changes in the design of the helmet itself, but the famous Ram horns remain a basic part of every "hat" received from the manufacturer ... the most distinctive helmet in football history.
Thank You FRED GEHRKE from all of the RAMS fans around the world.
Re: Historic Horns
thanks for the history lesson. i had no idea who really was responsible for the "awesome" horns that our team displays to this day. great piece of work OLDRAMSFAN1.