Northwestern Home Game Programs Gallery

Part 1: 1895 through 1925
Posted 4/22/12; Updated 8/9/20

Unfortunately, not many home football programs from 1895 through 1904 are known to have survived, and we know of no programs from before 1895, even though it is very likely that NU's home games featured programs during those early years.

There are more surviving examples of NU's home game programs after the move from Sheppard Field to Northwestern Field in 1905.  While a few programs did feature great original artwork on their covers, most from this period were very simple.

This gallery section is only 23% complete.

Click here to return to the program gallery main page.

Nov. 16, 1895
While not likely the first football program for NU, this is the earliest known, and one of the few to survive from Sheppard Field.  Most programs from this era were simply one-page cards, with songs and yells on one side and players' numbers on the other.  The song lyrics refer to NU's win vs. Chicago earlier in the season. 

Nov. 26, 1896
Programs during this time were either the simple cards like the 1895 Chicago program, or more elaborate, multi-page football-shaped books like the one above.  This program had a purple crepe paper cover, which makes the printing difficult to read.  It states:
Thanksgiving Day
Foot Ball Game
Northwestern vs. Wisconsin
Official Catalogue and Score Card
HF Olmatee & Co.
Dry Goods
Among the advertisers listed in the program was Chandler's, which would advertise in NU's programs for over 80 more years.

Nov. 13, 1897
Not the actual program from the game.  This is an advertising flyer for the NU vs. Alumni game, billed as "Capt. Van Doozer's All-Star Alumni."  Van Doozer, NU's former star, led the Alumni players.  He also happened to be NU's head coach at the time.  During the practice for this game, the varsity players kept their plays and calls a secret from their coach, knowing that they would be lining up against him during the game.

For the 1905 season, Northwestern's first season at Northwestern Field on Central Street, NU's programs all had a stiff, construction paper cover in purple, with the University seal in silver.

Oct. 14, 1905
NU's fifth game of the 1905 season was the Dedication Game for Northwestern Field, vs. Beloit.  This is the inside cover to the program.

Oct. 14, 1905
Poster for the same Beloit game.

Oct. 28, 1905
Inside cover for the Chicago game.

Oct. 28, 1905
Postcard ad for the same Chicago game.

Nov. 12, 1910
Illinois - Classic Cover

The 1910 home games featured larger programs with purple construction paper covers and hand-glued photos on each.  The program for the Illinois game is a great example, and ranks as the earliest of twenty CLASSIC NU PROGRAM COVERS.

Nov. 11, 1911
Not the actual program from the game.  This is an advertising flyer for NU vs. Chicago, which was NU's first homecoming game.

For the 1912 home games, NU returned to using the football-shaped programs.  This program was used for the entire season, and included information about all of NU's scheduled opponents.

Nov. 15, 1913
No program for this game in 1913, just a simple one-page score card.

Oct. 24, 1914
As with the prior year, the 1914 programs were simple one-page sheets.

Nov. 7, 1914

Oct. 9, 1915
By 1915 NU was using four-page, foldover programs.

Nov. 20, 1915
Ohio State
Homecoming program from 1915, notable because it mentions at the bottom, "Northwestern Push On Song, page 6."  This game featured the debut of "Rise Northwestern" (also known as "The Push On Song").

Nov. 10, 1917
Michigan State

Nov. 17, 1917


Nov. 24, 1917
A rare landscape-oriented program cover.

Oct. 18, 1919
Note the reference to Coach Driscoll in the contents.  Paddy Driscoll, NU's star player in 1916, had played in the 1919 Rose Bowl for Great Lakes.  His return to NU as an assistant coach was a big event, overshadowing NU's actual first-year head coach (Charles Bachman, not mentioned on the cover).

Nov. 8, 1919

Oct. 2, 1920

Oct. 9, 1920

Sept. 24, 1921

Oct. 7, 1922

Nov. 11, 1922

Nov. 18, 1922
Recycling the cover art from the Beloit game earlier in the season.

Oct. 27, 1923
Home game played at Wrigley Field (called Cubs Park at the time).  For the 1923 and 1924 seasons, NU's home game programs featured covers with a large "N" in purple.

Nov. 24, 1923

Oct. 4, 1924
South Dakota

Oct. 11, 1924

Oct. 18, 1924

Oct. 25, 1924
Michigan State

Nov. 1, 1924

Nov. 22, 1924
Notre Dame
Northwestern hosted its final home game of 1924 at Soldier Field.  The stadium, called Chicago Municipal Stadium or Grant Park Bowl at the time, was still under construction.  This was the first major college football game played at Soldier Field.

Oct. 3, 1925
South Dakota
While the covers resemble the programs of the early '20s, the 1925 programs were the first to be full-size, with dozens of pages of content and ads.

Oct. 10, 1925

Oct. 24, 1925
NU home game played at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field. 

Oct. 31, 1925
Final game ever played at Northwestern Field.  The program for this game features a very early version of what would become Dyche Stadium (note the archways through the towers and the triple decks on the west side)

Nov. 7, 1925
NU home game played at Soldier Field. This is among the very rarest NU home programs from 1924 - present. The game, an NU 3-2 victory, was played during a monsoon, and few programs survive intact.

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