First introduced in 1896, helmets appear to have been standard among Georgetown teams dating to the early 1900's.
Created to head injuries from kicks to the head following tackles, the days of leather helmets seem altogether distant compared to today's high-impact helmets, but remain an essential part of the evolution of the sport at all levels. Here is a sample of helmets worn at Georgetown through the years.
The early leather helmets adopted a soft, "flat top" design seen in this photos: to the left, quarterback Johnny McQuade circa 1919; next, to punter Jack Flavin circa 1922. There were no distinguishing features among helmets between teams of different schools.
During the early 1930's teams began to paint along the seams of leather helmets to distinguish the teams--a help to spectators and to players, as the often muddy conditions tended to obscure the jerseys beyond recognition. The photo above shows an 1931 style by center Charles McManus.
In later years Spalding redesigned the helmet to allow for more padding. This design is the origin for the famous "winged helmet" popularized by Princeton, and later, Michigan. When Georgetown first adopted the style, it added a "G" logo at the front of the helmet. (Dartmouth is the only Division I school still using a front-of-helmet logo like this.) This photo is of Ray Fusco, a halfback from 1934.
Photos from the 1937 and 1938 seasons show Georgetown players wearing a revised version of the winged helmet. This photo is of halfback Tom Keating, from 1937.
Helmets were expanded in the late 1930's to add even more padding, and began to be offered by manufacturers in different colors.
In this 1939 photo, kicker Augie Lio wears an all-silver helmet with the front-facing "G" logo.
From 1941 through 1942, the gray helmet was modified to use the winged design. Above, a 1941 photo of halfback Bill McLaughlin.
Also from this era, a rare photo of a Georgetown player in what appears to be a face mask, a feature which was not generally introduced into football until later in the 1940's. In this 1941 photo, defensive halfback Lou Falcone is seen wearing one of these early devices.
After World War II, helmets made the leap from leather to hard plastic. Georgetown teams of the late 1940's were outfitted in the latest style, with a single-bar face mask and a blue shell with white striping. The photo above is running back/punter Lou Surman, circa 1947.
Georgetown utilized its 1940's era helmets throughout the intramural era (1951-63) but new helmets were due for the start of club football. The photo above features running back Bob Francis in an all-gray helmet used in the 1964 and 1965 seasons. The only apparent helmet change in the club football era was the addition of a blue stripe across the top of the helmet after 1966. The photo features receiver John Sutton, in 1968.
Georgetown teams in the Scotty Glacken era utilized a familiar logo style used by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and Grambling State University, among others. Georgetown's version of this helmet featured a blue "G" and a blue/white/blue striping across a gray helmet shell. This photo, circa 1991, is of wide receiver Chris Murphy.
Georgetown's teams in the MAAC era returned to an all-gray helmet style. This 1996 photo features quarterback Bill Ward.
In 2001, Georgetown added its contemporary "G" logo to the helmet shell. The photo above, from the 2007 season, is of fullback/receiver Kyle Van Fleet.
The alternate helmet craze of recent college football made its way to the Hilltop in 2015, with Georgetown debuting an all-blue alternate helmet with the jersey number of each player. However, following the career-ending injury to LB Ty Williams in the season opener, the team voted to wear Williams' #2 on each helmet through the remainder of the season.
A revision to the alternate helmet is the only change to the current helmets, which now utilize the Riddell product style.