St. Louis University Pinback Button

St. Louis University Pinback Button

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This collegiate support button has a blue background and "St. Louis U" printed in white at the center of the button. The St. Louis Billikens have a long history of athletic success, most notably in the sports of men’s basketball and men’s soccer. However, the school used to be a power in collegiate football at the beginning of the twentieth century. The football team was fielded from 1899 to 1949, going undefeated in 1901, 1904 and 1906.
The 1906 team coached by Eddie Cochems would make college football history by being the first team to throw a legal forward pass. The pass was thrown by Bradbury "Brad" Robinson to Jack Schneider on September 5, 1906 vs. Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The first pass was an incompletion which at the time resulted in a turnover, however, on the next possession St. Louis would execute the same play resulting in a 20 yard touchdown completion.
Using the forward pass St. Louis would outscore their opponents 407-11 on the way to an 11-0 record in 1906. Perhaps the most interesting of these games was the Thanksgiving Day game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. In front of 12,000 people at Sportsman's Park, St. Louis would cruise to a 39-0 victory after having lost 31-0 just the year before.
St. Louis is also credited with winning the 1904 "Olympic gold medal in American football." The 1904 Olympics and World's Fair were both held in St. Louis that year and as part of the Olympic attractions, college football games were played in front of exposition crowds. St. Louis went 11-0 in these games including victories over Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas.
Currently not on view
Object Name
button, collegiate
date made
ca 1899 - 1949
Saint Louis University
St. Louis Button Co.
place made
United States: Missouri, Saint Louis
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 2 in; x 5.08 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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