The Uniforms of the Pittsburgh Steelers!

 

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Titled “The Team That Defines Its City” and licensed by the National Football League, we present the uniforms history of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

Please note the print visuals shown here on our website simply cannot do justice to the meticulous detail of the actual print.  In addition, the year each uniform was first introduced is inscribed underneath.  Please also note the uniforms print you receive may have been updated with additional uniforms than what is shown on the print displayed above.

                                            

Framed Version 1

Framed with our classy multi-grooved black frame and matted in black with a white accent mat, this is one striking artpiece.  Measuring 12 ½ inches by 22 ½ inches with glass covering, it comes fully assembled and ready to hang or lean.  The cost is a welcoming $49 each and there is a one-time $6 discount shipping cost regardless of how many items you order!

 

Below is an example of the framed and matted version:

 

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Framed Version 2

Framed with a gold metal frame, this is our “thrills but no frills” version.  Measuring 5 ½ inches by 15 ½ inches with a glass covering, it comes fully assembled and ready to hang, lean or lay flat.  The cost is a welcoming $29 each and there is a one-time $6 discount shipping cost regardless of how many items you order!

 

Below is an example of the framed version with no mats, which depicts the Chicago Bears:

 

 

 

Framed Version 3

This is our Personalized version.  Framed with our multi-grooved black frame with a black mat, there is an opening in the mat to add your photo.  It measures 12 ½ inches x 27 inches with glass cover—and we make it easy to add your photo to this fully assembled, ready-to-hang-or-lean artpiece.  The cost is only $69 each and there is a one-time $6 discount shipping cost regardless of how many items you order!

 

Below is an example of the framed Personalized version, which depicts the New York Giants:

 

 

CLICK HERE for more detailed information concerning this super Personalized artpiece.

 

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Here then is the history of the Steelers’ Uniforms …

 

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#1.

1933 & 1934           Any story about the Steelers has to begin with Art Rooney.

 

Arthur J. Rooney (aka ‘The Chief”) was an adept card player, ‘horseplayer, and savvy sports promoter. He purchased an NFL franchise in 1933 – for $2,500, and converted his semi-pro team, known as the “Majestics” (for the Majestic Radios Athletic Club), into the Pirates - naming the team the same as its baseball counterparts! It wasn’t until 1940 that Rooney changed the name to the “Steelers” – suggested by the team’s ticket manager’s wife – to reflect ties to the city’s steel industry. The Steelers are steeped in tradition, and in fact are the 6th oldest  team in the NFL today.

 

As you can see from the 1933 painting, this inaugural ’33 Pittsburgh Pirates jersey had various stripes - which were actually raised felt. These felt strips allowed the ball carrier to get a better purchase on the ball and thus keep it that much more securely.

 

If you look closely at the 1933 jersey, you’ll see quite a complicated “crest”, which is actually the ‘Arms of the City of Pittsburgh’. We had quite a time researching this, and as far as we know, there are no actual 1933 jerseys still in existence, and the few photos that exist don’t show the crest in too fine a detail.

 

In researching this jersey, we relied on newspaper articles that confirmed it was the city of Pittsburgh crest, and then we found samples of the crest as it appeared in the early 30’s. We then matched the crest to the jersey photos, and came up with the likeness shown in this painting.

 

In 1994, when the NFL was commemorating its 75th anniversary, all teams wore ‘throwback’ jerseys at one time or another. The Steelers chose to honor the 1933 team and re-created the 1933 jersey. The only problem was that they ran into the same sort of roadblock we did, thus the NFL had to do a bit of guessing as to what the crest looked like.

 

Thus the ’33 jersey is truly an elusive football gem - if anybody knows anything about the existence of one of these jerseys, you should contact the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio – they would love to hear from you!

 

As for the 1933 team, they finished 3-6-2 and in 5th place in the 5 team NFL East. And things wouldn’t get much better for a while. In fact, the Pirates/Steelers wouldn’t finish above .500 until 1942 when they went 7-4.

 

The 1934 jersey was also highly unique – note the horizontal striping across the entire jersey, including the sleeves, and the stylized numbers on the front – something not seen on any other Pirates/Steelers jersey or any other NFL team for that matter. Note also the hip-height, kidney-protecting pants. Also of note, look at the unique striping pattern on the ’34 helmet.

 

The 1934 Pirates/Steelers finished 2-10, once again in 5th in the NFL East.

Just four years later, in 1938, Rooney made Colorado All-America Byron "Whizzer" White the NFL's first "big money" player with a $15,800 contract (this is the same Whizzer White who would go on to become a member of the supreme court).

 

 

#2.

1943  World War II is in full force. To help maintain high morale throughout the country, the NFL, like Major League Baseball, decides to carry on at the advice of none other than President of the United States. Briefly summarized, he said that the games of baseball and football were too important to the people. Carrying on with the games would boost the morale of the entire Country, and get their minds off of the war effort for a short time.

 

Fielding players and trying to survive the financial effects of the war – proves to be an enormous challenge. The end result, in 1943, was that the state of Pennsylvania sees its two NFL franchises (the Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles) merge – unofficially being dubbed the ‘Steagles’, and donning the ‘Eagle’ green & white. In 1944, the Steelers would merge again, this time with the Chicago Cardinals – forming the Card-Pitts.

 

The 1943 Steagles play their games both in Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia, and finish the season 5-4-1, only their second winning season since the team began in 1933 (1942 was the first winning season).

 

Of note: It wasn’t until 1940 that owner Art Rooney changed the name to the ‘Steelers’ – suggested by the team’s ticket manager’s wife – to reflect ties to the city’s steel industry.

 

 

#3.

1954  The evolution to the ‘modern’ and recognizable look of NFL jerseys and helmets can be seen in this ’54 uniform. The jersey has the more ‘traditional’ horizontal striping on the sleeves, while the helmet is no longer leather but instead it’s a hard plastic shell. Note the lack of a face mask on the helmet, somewhat remarkable given the fact that players in the 50’s were increasingly large. The question of whether or not to use a face mask was up to the individual player, and I can think of at least one, Bobby Layne, who didn’t wear a face mask as late as the 1960 season.

 

As proud and successful as the Steelers of the 70’s were, we can’t say the same for their ancestors. In the 30’s they didn’t have a single season over .500; in the 40’s they had 4 winning seasons; in the 50’s they only had 2 seasons over .500; and in the 60’s they only had 2 wining seasons as well – for a total of 8 winning seasons in 37 years. Thus when we report that the 1954 Steelers went 5-7good for 4th in the 6 team NFL East, we shouldn’t be overly surprised. Please bring on the 70’s!!!

 

 

#4.

1960  The 1960 Steelers were led by 34 year old veteran Bobby Layne, one of the brighter lights to don a Steelers jersey in this era. Layne was a slightly pudgy, lovable but tough quarterback who had been through the wars with the Bears, the New York Bulldogs and for 8 years the Detroit Lions.

 

After leading the Steelers to consecutive winning seasons in 1958 (7-4-1) and 1959 (6-5-1), Layne can’t do it all and the Steelers fall to 5-6-1 in 1960. And thus the Steelers’ woes continue – from 1933 to 1971 the Steelers make the playoffs a grand total of one time – in 1947. Yikes…

 

A few points of interest about the 1960 jersey: note the unique color of the Steelers’ pants, as well as the black-yellow-black stripes on the side of the pants. Note also the fact that the helmet depicted now has a  face mask, even though quarterback Bobby Layne still went without one in the 1960 season. Also note that the 1960 helmet did not have a logo on it – this began in 1962, and even then only on the right side of the helmet. Finally, note how relatively tight the jersey was in 1960.

 

From 1957 to 1963 the Steelers were led by quarterback Bobby Layne, defensive tackle Ernie Stautner and running back John Henry Johnson, and they considered themselves  legitimate division contenders. But the "dynasty years," which coincided with the team's move to the AFC at the time of AFL-NFL merger, were still a decade away.

 

 

#5.

1963  What a unique, artistic and elegant-looking jersey! Notice the yellow/gold diamonds (and overlaid numbers) on the upper sleeve. The Hall of Fame has a version of this jersey, and it’s interesting to see that the yellow diamond has virtually faded away over the course of time, to the point that you don’t even notice it unless you’re looking for it! Note also the small black collar and sleeve cuffs.

 

If you look closely at the helmet, you’ll notice numbers on the front, sandwiching the yellow/gold stripe that runs from front to back of the helmet. Of special note, if you could see the right side of the helmet, you’d see the traditional 3-point Steelers logo – a marking that has graced the right side of Steelers helmets to this day! The 3 points not only represent ‘three rivers’, but are also the US Steel logo. Die-hard Steelers fans know that this logo is only on the right side of the helmet. The story goes that when the logo was proposed in 1962, owner Art Rooney wasn’t 100% sure if he liked the logo – so he had it placed on the right side only! The tradition has been upheld ever since.

 

And the Steelers record in 1963? A terrific 7-4-3 – one of only 8 winning seasons between 1933 (when the team was founded) and 1971. But as good a record as 7-4-3 seems, the Steelers finished in 4th in the NFL East, a long way away from a playoff berth – for many years the only playoff action came when the NFL Eastern and NFL Western champions met for the NFL Championship, meaning there was but one playoff game each year.

 

As proud and successful as the Steelers of the 70’s were, we can’t say the same for their ancestors. In the 30’s they didn’t have a single season over .500; in the 40’s they had 4 winning seasons; in the 50’s they only had 2 seasons over .500; and in the 60’s they only had 2 wining seasons as well – for a total of 8 winning seasons in 37 years. They can’t bring on the 70’s soon enough!!!

 

 

#6.

1967  Much like the 1963 jersey, the 1967 black HOME jersey is very simple in design, but it works. Featuring a yellow/gold, diamond shaped ‘yoke’ on the shoulders and neck of this year’s sweater, this jersey is one of our favorites.

 

Though a few NFL teams have adopted the ‘yoke’ look over the course of team history, no team but the Steelers have used it in a diamond shape!

 

Note: This is the first time we have shown the Steelers now famous Steel logo. This traditional 3-point Steelers logo – a marking that has graced the right side of Steelers helmets to this day!

 

As much as we love this jersey, the team does no better than a 4-9-1 record. And 1968 was worse – the Steelers would go 2-11-1, and then in 1969 they hit rock bottom as they went 1-13-0. Thank goodness the 70’s are now knocking on the door.

 

 

#7.

1974  Nirvana!

 

Where do we begin to tell the story? We’ll let the scores do most of the talking…

 

9/15/74        Colts   0          Steelers 30

9/22/74        Steelers 35   Broncos         35* (Overtime)

9/29/74        Raiders          17       Steelers 0

10/06/74      Steelers 13   Oilers 7

10/13/74      Steelers 34   Chiefs 24

10/20/74      Browns          16       Steelers 20

10/28/74      Falcons          17       Steelers 24

11/03/74      Eagles            0          Steelers 27

11/10/74      Steelers 10   Bengals         17

11/17/74      Steelers 26   Browns          16

11/25/74      Steelers 28   Saints             7

12/01/74      Oilers             13       Steelers 10

12/08/74      Steelers 21   Patriots 17

12/14/74      Bengals         3          Steelers 27

 

Playoffs:

12/22/74      Bills     14       Steelers 32

12/29/74      Steelers 24   Raiders          13

1/12/75        Steelers 16   Vikings           6

 

January 12, 1975 – Chuck Noll’s 10-3-1 Steelers conclude a cinderella season by defeating Minnesota 16-6 in front of 80,997 fans in Tulane Stadium to capture Super Bowl IX, thus ending 42 years of futility.

 

This ROAD white jersey is synonymous with names such as Bradshaw, Lambert, Ham, Greene, Swann, Super Bowl IX MVP Franco Harris and many more. This remarkable group of talent would help the Steelers garner an astounding 4 Super Bowl victories in the 70’s – 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979. Note that the uniform numbers on the sleeves have made their way higher on the jersey sleeve. Note also the multiple sleeve stripes.

 

 

#8.

1975  Here we go again!

 

Hard on the heels of their 1974 success, the 1975 Steelers pick right up where they left off, going 12-2 in the regular season, then knocking off the Colts 28-10 followed by the ever present Raiders 16-10. Then, in one of the better Super Bowl games, the Steelers hold off the late charging Cowboys 21-17 in front of 80,017 fans in Super Bowl X at the Orange Bowl in Miami. This time around, Lynn Swann carried home the game MVP hardware.

 

You’ll notice a patch on this 1975 jersey. This is an American Bicentennial patch that is located on the upper left part of the chest, and it was only worn in Super Bowl X on January 18, 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial celebrations.

 

 

#9.

1978  What a ride!

 

After a two-year hiatus, the 1978 Steelers do it again.

 

After compiling a franchise best record 14-2 in the regular season, the Steelers beat Denver 33-10 and Houston 34-5 on route to Super Bowl XIII. Just like 1975, the Steelers face the Cowboys, and just like 1975, the Cowboys mount a large charge to make the game quite close, but when all was said and done the Steelers defeated the Cowboys 35-31 in Miami on January 21, 1979.

 

In fact, the Steelers of the 70’s compile a remarkable record – from 1972 to 1979 they go a combined 88-27-1 in the regular season, and another 14-4 in the playoffs for a total record of 102-31-1. The numbers speak for themselves – this was a truly awesome team.

 

The only significant difference between this HOME black uniform and the 1975 version is the fact that this uniform features a black belt and there is no longer a bicentennial patch sewn onto the jersey.

 

And even though we don’t show the jersey, we’d better tell the story of the 1979 Steelers, who complete the decade by winning their 4th Super Bowl in four tries – 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979 – all this after a grand total of just 8 winning seasons and just one playoff appearance in the 39 years from 1933 to 1971.

 

 

#10.

1988  This jersey holds a special place in the hearts of all Steelers fans. The AJR patch on the left shoulder honors the passing of Pittsburgh owner and icon Art “The Chief” Rooney. Rooney will fondly be remembered for being a smooth and unbelievably lucky gambler who invested $2,500 into an NFL franchise, and nearly 40 years later, turned it into a dynasty. A staple in the football community, it is not uncommon to mention Rooney in the same breath as Chicago Bear legend – George Halas. To this day, the Rooney family still helms the Steelers football club in the person of President Daniel M. Rooney.

 

The Steelers of the 80’s are an above .500 team – they finished .500 or above 7 times – but after the truly heady days of the 70’s, I’m not sure they could do anything for an encore. The 1988 Steelers, for instance, finished 5-11 and far out of the playoffs.



#11.

2000  Note the rounder, less ‘varsity-esque’ fashion of this jersey’s numbers – a transformation that took place back in ’97. This rounded numbering style is most often associated with the Chicago Bears, who have used it for almost 50 years. Other teams have used it from time to time, including the 1960 Raiders.

 

Note also the small NFL logo just below the neckline. If you look closely at almost all NFL uniforms worn from 1991 on, you’ll notice this same small NFL shield patch on the jersey’s neckline. Most NFL uniforms added the NFL logo patch to the neck, and to the upper left thigh of the pants, beginning in 1991. The only major exception to this practice was in 1994 when the teams wore their throwback uniforms – in these cases, the teams did not wear the NFL shield patch.

 

Did you spot the mini Steelers logo on the left shoulder? Not many teams have placed their logo on their jersey – it’s usually reserved for sides of the helmet (which, in the Steelers’ case, is only on the right side).

 

The 2000 version of the Steelers finish up a respectable 9-7, good, but not good enough to make the playoffs.

But in the 2000s the Steelers were back in business.  Super Bowl XL and XLIII Champions … making an unprecedented six trophies for the SUPER STEELERS!!!

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The Pittsburgh Steelers: “The Team That Defines Its City”

 

 


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