Basketball - The origins and innovations of the game - Art Source - Patents As Art

Basketball - The origins and innovations of the game

March 17, 2022

Basketball - The origins and innovations of the game

When James Naismith, an instructor at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield Massachusetts realized that students were not exercising because it was too cold outside and offered them a way to stay warm while engaging in physical activity. He invented what is now known as basketball on January 18th of 1891 with peach baskets placed alongside each other below eye level near three foot high railings which had been used for fencing off gardens from chickens during summertime.  From these humble beginnings many technological improvements have followed, making today's basketball the exciting game it is now.  

The first refinement to the game was cutting out a bottom from the peach basket so that someone doesn't have to climb up on their ladder and retrieve it after every made basket!. 

The next major innovation took place when Naismith asked A.G. Spalding, the co-founder of A.G. Spalding sporting goods company, to design the first basketball. This design replaced the previously used soccer ball in Naismith’s games.  The original Salding design was derived from the existing American football, which  were made from panels of leather that tapered at its poles where they would be laced together.  George L. Pierce was the first person to create a ball specifically for “basketball” as it then existed, and his patent overcame many issues with the earlier slightly oblong balls that were hard to dribble.

Innovations in basketball continued and by the early 20th century, basketball’s popularity was on an upswing and innovations like metal hoops helped make it more popular. The first basketball goal was invented by Alvie E. Sandeberg of University City, Missouri in 1936. His invention changed the game forever because before then nets had been tied or laced onto hoops but thanks to him all you needed were some ropes which could be easily replaced if they got worn out.  His design patent is still in use today!

Enjoy our celebration of the game with our Basketball patent and arena tracking maps for the basketball lover in your life.

Link: Our Basketball Collection

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