Camping Out

Jim Laughead J. R. Smith

Jim and Brad did it.  Yes, they shot J. R.—Smith, not Ewing.  Bart Starr and Paul Hornung, too.  Fran Tarkenton, Don Meredith.  Well...I think they shot all 200.  Starting in training camp, here’s how and when they did it….

1961 Training Camp Start Dates
Team   Start date Site Photo day (info from newspaper)
Vikings July 7 Bemidji, MN July 20
Cowboys July 9 Northfield, MN July 17
Eagles July 11 Hershey, PA Prior to July 19
Packers July 16 Green Bay, WI  July 23
Cardinals July 16 Lake Forest, IL  
Colts July 17 Westminster, MD July 19
Bears July 17 Rensselaer, IN  
Rams July 17 Redlands, CA July 20
Giants July 17 Fairfield, CT  
Steelers July 17 Slippery Rock, PA July 25
Redskins July 18 Los Angeles, CA  
Browns July 23 Hiram, OH July 24
Lions July 25 Bloomfield, MI July 26
49ers July 26 Moraga, CA July 26 – August 2

Post cereal card photos that were taken exclusively at training camp:  Packers, Bears, Rams, Steelers, Browns, Lions, 49ers.  All of the Packers, Browns, Steelers and Lions Post cereal photos were taken on the date listed above at the site. Most of the Vikings and about half of the Cowboys photos were taken on the date at the site above. Rams and 49ers photos, although shot exclusively at training camp, were taken after the first photo date.

Cowboys photos were taken at St. Olaf (Northfield, Minnesota training camp), Burnett Field (Dallas, Texas practice facility) and Dal-Hi Stadium (Dallas, Texas—Bob Lilly only). 

Vikings photos were shot at Bemidji State College (Bemidji, Minnesota training camp) and Midway Stadium (St. Paul, Minnesota practice facility). 

Cardinals photos were made at training camp in Lake Forest, Illinois and at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. 

The four eastern teams were all shot after September 24, 1961.  The Redskins were photographed at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., Colts at Baltimore Memorial Stadium, Eagles at Franklin Field in Philadelphia and the Giants at New York’s Yankee Stadium.

The Minnesota Vikings were an expansion team in 1961 and so NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle allowed them to open training camp before any of the other teams, followed by the Cowboys two days later.  The Cowboys were permitted to open early because they would be playing the Vikings in the first exhibition game of the season between two NFL teams on August 5th in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The program for that game featured pictures of Tommy Mason, Ed Sharockman and Rip Hawkins although those photos were taken by someone other than Laughead Photographers, possibly John Croft.  Mason and Hawkins were rookies who would be playing in the College All-Star game in Chicago on August 4th.  They were in training camp from July 7-14 and reported to Chicago on July 15th.  Other photos in the program included Laughead shots of Fran Tarkenton, Bill Bishop, Frank Youso, Don Joyce, Hugh McElhenny, George Shaw, Mel Triplett, Charlie Sumner, Mike Mercer, Bill Lapham, Karl Rubke and Bob Schnelker.  Nine of the Laughead photos of players in the program were also included in the Post cereal set.  A reprint of the program is currently listed on eBay if you would like to see the photos. Searching on eBay for Reprinted Minnesota Vikings 1961 will find the program for as long as the seller is listing it.

The July 20th Fergus Falls (Minnesota) Journal, in a story about newcomer Hugh McElhenny, mentioned that pictures had been taken that morning.  This was the day when Laughead Photographers shot the Post photos of the nine listed above plus Grady Alderman and Dick Pesonen. 

Mason and Hawkins, too, were included in the Post set, but their pictures were made later on during the season at Midway Stadium in St. Paul where the Vikings practiced, along with Dave Middleton who was late reporting to training camp, as he was—during early training camp—in school studying to be a doctor.  Also photographed by Laughead at Midway were Jerry Reichow who was acquired from the Eagles on September 11th and Bob Schnelker who was cut by the Vikings on October 25th.  Thus, there exists today Laughead back stamped photos of Reichow and Schnelker showing that the Post photos of Mason, Middleton and Hawkins were taken between September 12th and October 25th.

The Dallas Cowboys were beginning their second NFL training camp on July 9, 1961 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.  The Huron (South Dakota) Daily Plainsman reported on Sunday July 16, 1961 that the Cowboys picture session would be the next morning.  Cowboys photos were taken on the practice field with Rolvaag Memorial Library looming on the hill behind them.  Six of 13 Cowboys featured by Post cereal were shot at St. Olaf including Mike Connelly, L. G. Dupre, Bob Fry, Dick Moegle, Don Perkins and Jerry Tubbs.  Black and white Laughead photos at St. Olaf have been found of Gene Babb, Connelly, Ken Frost, Jimmy Harris, John Houser, Bill Howton, Coach Tom Landry, Eddie LeBaron, Warren Livingston, Amos Marsh, Meredith, Perkins and Tubbs. 

Some Cowboys photos were taken at Dal-Hi Stadium in Dallas by Laughead photographers between September 5 and September 26, 1961.  Included in this group was L. G. Dupre, Bill Howton and Andy Cvercko who had been acquired by the Cowboys on September 5th.  It is unclear why Dupre and Howton were in this group that day as pictures at St. Olaf were available.

Many images of Laughead Cowboys photos listed above can be found at The Cowboys Guide website.

Bob Lilly’s Post cereal photo was also made at Dal-Hi, presumably at the same session as the three above.  Lilly had been at the College All-Star game, thus missing the photo session at St. Olaf.  There are at least two color photos along with his Post cereal proof photo that exist today.  The color photos look to have been produced from negatives.  Who owns the negatives today or produced the photos is not known.  It does show, however, that negatives rather than prints were likely used to produce the Post cereal proof photos used on the paste up boards for camera ready art used to print a cereal box back using the rotogravure process.

The remaining six players pictured in the Post set are Glynn Gregory, Frank Clarke, Allen Green, Bill Howton, Don Meredith and J. W. Lockett.  Gregory played in the College All-Star game and missed the photo session at training camp.  Lockett was traded to the Cowboys on September 26th, so these photos taken at Burnett Field in Dallas where the Cowboys practiced were not taken until that date or after.  A black and white Laughead photo of Lockett is available at The Cowboys Guide page.   The date for the photo on The Cowboys Guide shows 1962 but very likely it is from 1961. It is also notable that Howton’s photo was taken in all three locations.

Green Bay Packers photos were taken on Sunday, July 23, 1961 at the practice field east of City Stadium as verified by an Associated Press story in The Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Press on July 13, 1961.  There were several photographers present that day including Hank Lefebvre who took the photograph for the postcard pictured below.  Packers photographer Vernon Biever was also shooting pictures.  A Green Bay Press-Gazette photographer who may have been Russ Kriwanek took many photos that were posted on the Press-Gazette website in recent years.  Those photos are similar to Laughead photos from the day, yet no one could match the inimitable Laughead style.  As seen in the postcard, Mr. Laughead is taking a photo of Paul Hornung with a young boy dressed in a Packers uniform.  Hornung is kneeling and in the same position as his Post cereal photograph.  Subsequent black and white photos show Hornung with dirt on the knee where he had previously been kneeling.

One important thing in this photo is that Laughead is shooting Hornung's photo at the proper angle. It shows that he did not always shoot from his trademark spot with the camera on the ground. This sticking point in showing that Laughead Photographers were the Post cereal photographers had been removed.

As with all Laughead photography sessions, the shooting area is laid out with flags and chalk.  Jim Laughead is front and center and there is absolutely no question who was running picture day.

There are several known photos of Paul Hornung with the young boy from various angles.  It seems that most all the photographers in the postcard picture recognized Hornung and the boy as a good photo. The Post cereal proof of Hornung shows him kneeling on his right knee.  The Laughead black and white stock photo below of Hornung was used in a newspaper story in 2009 and shows dirt on Hornung’s right knee. It was sent to me by Brad Bradley. 

Green Bay Picture Day 1961
1961 Green Bay picture day Paul Hornung Laughead Photographers

There is a connection between Post cereal photos and photos used for the 1962 Salada Tea-Junket Deserts coins.  Left is Henry Jordan’s Post cereal photo, center is the photo used for his Salada coin and right is part of the Sports Collectors Digest article from 1991 that stated that Jim Laughead provided the photographs for the Salada Tea-Junket Deserts coins distributed in 1962.

Henry Jordan Salada Connection
Henry Jordan Post cereal Henry Jordan Salada coin Salada coin photos Jim Laughead

These three 1961 Packers photos were used in the 1964 Philadelphia Gum card set.  The same three photos were also used in the 1962 Salada Tea-Junket Deserts coin set.

Packers Philadelphia Gum - Salada Coin Connection
Philadelphia Gum Paul Hornung Salada Tea - Junket Deserts Paul Hornung Philadelphia Gum Jerry Kramer Salada Tea - Junket Deserts Jerry Kramer Philadelphia Gum Jim Ringo Salada Tea - Junket Deserts Jim Ringo

Herb Adderley PackersHerb Adderley didn't get shot at Green Bay picture day in 1961. He was at the College All-Star game and Laughead photographers didn't make a return trip back through northeast Wisconsin. Packers game day programs feature a shot of Adderley in his Michigan State uniform from the season before.

Johm Morrow Post cereal football proof photoCleveland Browns photos were shot July 24, 1961—the day after the Packers—in  Hiram, Ohio at Hiram College.  A photo from the July 25, 1961 Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal depicts Jim Laughead shooting John Morrow in the death dive.  The man in the background has the same light colored pants as the photo of Laughead shooting John Morrow. The cameras, helmets and football on the ground are all in the same positions in both photos.  There is a man to Laughead’s left whose face is obscured by Morrow’s right hand that appears to be Brad Bradley. Morrow's Post cereal proof photo appears at left.

Pittsburgh Steelers photos occurred on two separate dates at Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.  The first was on Tuesday July 25, 1961, the day after the Browns.  The negatives shot that day were put on a plane for Dallas and some were lost en route.  The August 4th Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Mr. Laughead had “winged” his way back to Slippery Rock for a second shoot on that same day.  There is a picture in the July 29, 1965 Green Bay Press-Gazette of Johnny Clement with Mr. Laughead at the Packers photo day that year.  Clement had flown Laughead to Green Bay.  Clement played football at SMU and professionally with the Pittsburgh Steelers before becoming a Dallas based pilot.  Jim Laughead flying with Johnny Clement allows for the possibility that charter flights were also used in 1961, making it quicker to get to places do photo shoots. The west and east coasts were places Laughead Photography could have gone without much difficulty.

Nick Pietrosante LaugheadDetroit Lions photos were shot on July 26, 1961 at Cranbrook Educational Center in Bloomfield, Michigan, one day after the Steelers.  The Defiance (Ohio) Crescent-News reported that the Lions photo day would be Wednesday, July 26th.  There is a Laughead back-stamped photo of Nick Pietrosante shown at right taken on Lions photo day.  There are also known photos of Joe Schmidt which appear to be Laughead shots.

The search yielded no newspaper references to a Chicago Bears picture day.  There are Laughead back stamped pictures showing Doug Atkins and others that appear to have been taken at 1961 training camp.  In a conversation with Brad Bradley in 2009, he indicated that he did take the Bears photos at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, sometimes staying in Halas Hall.  There is no reason to think that anyone but Laughead photographers snapped the Bears photos for the Post cereal cards.

St. Louis Cardinals photos have been hard to nail down.  A Laughead back stamped photograph from 1961 hasn't yet been discovered, although there are quite a few 1961 Jay’s Photos that could be Laughead photos.  As with the Bears, Brad Bradley told me that Laughead Photographers had been to Lake Forest to shoot the Cardinals photos.

There are also four Cardinals photos included in the Post cereal set that were taken at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in 1961 that are portrait style shots.  Frank Mestnik, who played with the Cardinals that year, confirmed that the pictures were shot in St. Louis.  Post cereal cards were generally numbered alphabetically by player within the team grouping.  Three of the four players with Busch Stadium photos appeared out of sequence.  Speculation is that there was some sort of problem with film that caused a re-shoot sometime after training camp had ended.

1964 Philadelphia Charley JohnsonRalph Guglielmi Post cereal proof photoCharley Johnson’s 1964 Philadelphia Gum card appears to have been taken at the same time as those of Larry Wilson, Ralph Guglielmi, Ed Henke and Prentice Gautt.  As above with the Packers, there are other Philadelphia Gum cards which have been traced back to Laughead Photographers, making it possible that Laughead Photographers took the Post cereal photos in Busch Stadium as well as Johnson’s, probably in late September or early October 1961. Ralph Guglielmi's 1962 Post cereal football proof photo is show at left. Clicking will bring up a larger image.

Reviewing the training camp photo dates shows that Laughead Photographers had picture days in the central states as follows:

Dallas Cowboys at Northfield, Minnesota, July 17
Minnesota Vikings at Bemidji, Minnesota July 20
Green Bay Packers at Green Bay, Wisconsin July 23
Cleveland Browns at Hiram, Ohio July 24
Pittsburgh Steelers at Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania July 25
Detroit Lions at Bloomfield, Michigan July 26

That leaves open July 18, 19, 21 and 22 or after July 26 to shoot the Bears in Rensselaer, Indiana and Cardinals in Lake Forest, Illinois.  The Brazosport Facts of Freeport, Texas  on Friday July 28, 1961 reported Jim Laughead would shoot Houston Oilers publicity photos Sunday, July 30, 1961 at their Ellington Air Force Base Training Camp site near Houston at 2:30 pm.  The second trip to Slippery Rock was made on August 4th.  There is also an Associated Press photo that ran July 28th in the Monroe (Louisiana) News-Star Times that shows Jim Laughead showing Texans player Jerry Cornelison how to pose.  The Texans were training at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, so it may be possible that Jim and Brad drove home all night from Detroit and did the Texans photos the next day or that Jim flew home and Brad drove.  At any rate, the Texans photos were snapped on or before July 27th.

The Bryan (Texas) Daily Eagle reported on September 6, 1961 that Laughead Photographers had been shooting Texas A & M players the day before. The Tucson Daily Citizen on September 9, 1961 ran a photo of Laughead showing Arizona Wildcat tackle Carl Runk how to do the death dive. 

It is known that Laughead Photographers also did pictures for the Denver Broncos in 1961, but no date has been established.  Laughead took photos of the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960, but it is not known if Chargers pictures were also made in 1961.

Two west coast teams and four east coast teams remain unaccounted for in the newspapers as related to Laughead team photo days.  The Los Angeles Rams scheduled photo day at their Redlands, California training camp on July 20th and the San Francisco 49ers at camp in Moraga, California sometime between July 26th and August 2nd.  Y.A. Tittle was traded from the 49ers to the Giants on August 15th and Del Shofner was traded from the Rams to the Giants on August 28th.  Team photos of both the 1961 Rams and 49ers taken at their training facilities show the same background as Post photos and neither team photo shows the traded players.  The team photos appear to have been taken by the same photographer.  All this seems to show that another photo session for both teams occurred sometime after August 28th and before September 11th when training camps broke. 

Four NFL teams on the east coast had their photos made for Post after September 12th.  The Redskins, Colts, Giants and Eagles were all photographed in the stadiums in which they played. 

The Washington Redskins traded Ralph Guglielmi to the Cardinals for George Izo on September 12th.  Guglielmi’s photo is one of the group taken in Busch Stadium.  Izo does not appear in the Post cereal set, yet there is a photo of him in Griffith Stadium that is definitely Post cereal style and must have been taken at the same session as the Post pictures.  I contacted Izo by letter and he said Redskins photographer Nate Fine took that picture.  (Izo’s notation below the underline of “Nate Fine” reads “That’s correct Nate Fine took this.”) This is very possible as demonstrated by the postcard from Green Bay where several photographers were present at the same time.  It is also possible that it may actually be a Laughead photo that came back to Izo via the Redskins.

Baltimore Colts photos were taken in Baltimore Memorial Stadium sometime between October 2nd and October 28th.  Raymond Berry had knee surgery on August 5th and didn’t return until the third game of the season on October 1st.  His “action” photograph for the Post set required significant movement and wouldn’t occur until he was ready to resume game action.  The production photo used for Steve Myhra's card shows the scoreboard in the background with the team match-ups for the games of October 1st visible. The Vikings and Colts are paired at the top, followed by New York at Washington, St. Louis at Philadelphia and Pittsburgh at Los Angeles. In an anomaly of major league baseball scheduling, the Baltimore Orioles had concluded their 1961 schedule at home in Memorial Stadium the day before on Saturday, September 30th. The letters for the team names on the scoreboard were placed individually, so the football games would not have been displayed until after the last baseball game. The conclusion is that the Colts photos were taken after the Vikings game and before the next home game on the 29th. The Myhra photo further shows some of the leaves on the trees had turned while others were still green leading to the probability that the player photos were not taken before the middle of October.

The Colts team photo from 1961 is also set in Baltimore Memorial Stadium. That photo, taken in the same place as the Post cereal photos, shows that the roster was set at the time the photos were made.  It further shows that teams were willing to allow individual photos even though the season had already begun.  This was probably due to Post paying the NFL for rights to use the players images.

Del Shofner Kahn'sY. A. Tittle Kahn'sNew York Giants photos were taken in Yankee Stadium sometime after August 28th as Del Shofner is included in the Post cereal set.  More likely, the photo date was after September 10th.  There are 1961 Yankee Stadium photos of Giants players Del Shofner and Y. A. Tittle (shown here) as well as Jim Katcavage and Alex Webster that were used in the 1964 Kahn’s football card issue.  There has also been a black and white photo of Bob Gaiters found, but as much as it appears to be a Laughead photo, it has a Cleveland Plain Dealer back stamp without a visible Laughead stamp.  Could this be one of the photos Brad Bradley said was copied and distributed by another source? This photo looks to be the black and white version of the color photo used by Salada-Junket for their coins.

Philadelphia Eagles Post cereal photos were made at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.  The Eagles held a training camp photo day in Hershey, Pennsylvania  on Monday July 17th according to The Express (Lock Haven, Pennsylvania).  This was not the Post cereal photo day as it was not at Franklin Field, so a special day must have been set up for later.  Likely, the Post cereal photo session was done near the end of September or early October.  Jerry Reichow had been traded from the Eagles to the Vikings on September 12th.  A team photo made by Eagles photographer Jules Schick in Franklin Field does not include Reichow, meaning that the team picture was taken after September 12th.  There are 1960, 1962 and later Eagles photos taken by Laughead Photographers, but none from 1961 have been found.