Gridiron's Early Helmets Were Super Effective Against Head Kicks And Brick Walls

Because nothing sells a new helmet design like blunt force trauma, this wild-haired inventor demonstrates the helmet's protection against blows to the head the old fashioned way -- getting bludgeoned by a local football club and running headlong into walls.

Modern football helmet development began in the 1920s with padded leather skull caps, however, these quickly proved too thin and ineffective against hard hits. Hard helmets tested and developed slowly throughout the 1930s, such as this one in 1932, until the Riddell Company debuted the hard plastic helmet in 1938.

Face masks were later added during the 1950s to reduce the number of broken noses and teeth. By the 1990s, hard plastic had been replaced by polycarbonate and more recent designs have been adapted to provide enhanced concussion protection. [British Pathe, Wikipedia]