Baseball catchers breast protector designed between 1888 and 1910. This leather breast protector was originally worn under the catchers uniform. It was hand made with tough leather, it was created , crafted and sold by a company in Montreal. Quebec, Canada called Duckett and the patented date stamped on the buckle is 1888. It is one of the oldest known artifacts from a by-gone era in baseball. The only one in existence today.
This artifact was found in 1996 inside a locker of an old building in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Attached to the chest protector was a tag: CHEST PROTECTOR WORN UNDER THE UNIFORM. This item was a custom-made prototype by the DUCKETT company in Montreal in the beginning era of baseball in Montreal.
It never made it big in the market but they produced one beautiful prototype. We even found the buckle company The west Haven buckle company. with the buckle dated 1888.
the company has been in business for over 150 years.they were amazed and glad to see their buckle still operational after 150 years.
Detailed description of this amazing artifact:
FRONT: Rigid leather protector with 26 air breathing holes along the front with 2 copper rods stitched inside down the middle for protection. The neck protector is sewn on with 5 air holes. On the protector, there are 3 and 2 tooth buckle rivets riveted onto the leather at 4 spaces. These holes were used to make the catcher more comfortable when perspiring.
BACKSIDE: There is green oxidized powder showing that the catcher perspired from the protector. The shoulder straps are rounded in soft leather for comfort around the shoulders. The neck part and back side are much darker from the catcher sweating. There is heavy duty leather stitching with copper rods inside riveted to the leather. The copper oxidized into green powder around the rivets which helped to preserve the original craftsmanship.
Label: The name Ducket Montreal is shown in red letters within a white elongated rectangle with red borders. It is placed within a dark blue semi circle. The name wich is located below the company logo is of the same white background in red letters as well.
BUCKLE: Stamped on the buckle is the patented date of 1888. There are 3 tooth rivets on the bottom tie-up, and 2 tooth rivets around the mid-body tie-up.
This is the same way that modern catchers’ chest protectors are made
THROAT PROTECTOR: The neck is larger because the catcher stood up and the ball tended to bounce off his upper body as the catcher approached closer to the batter.
CHEST DIMENSIONS:The chest protector is smaller in the middle vs todays protector because the catcher had to swing at bat and couldn’t readily take it off. it was worn under the uniform.
Artifact is now preserved in a glass showcase.
Rachael Goldman, MA Ph.D. Senior Certified Member Appraisers Association of America Authenticity: The expert, Rachael Goldman, is of the opinion that this item IS authentic. Reason: This is certainly authentic baseball paraphanelia. It's awesome to see that the catcher's chest protector is in such excellent condition. I'm pleased to see that it exists as many if them functioned purely for utilitarian purpose and ranged in size depending on who the catcher was. The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame “States That it is a Great artifact” Hall of Fame at Cooperstown calls it mysterious.
Owner of the chest protector