Here’s another great example of an early Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) pennant showing both the OAC letters and a beaver eating a tree. This pennant dates sometime between 1910 to 1927. We know it’s during this time as the Beaver was first referenced in association with Oregon State around 1910 (some historians say 1916), and the school changed its name from OAC to OSC (Oregon State College) in 1927. All of the early OAC pennants I have seen that have a beaver on them their full (an lifelike) bodies, as opposed to the more cartoonish Benny Beaver mascot with its smiling face that we primarily saw on pennants in the 1950’s and beyond.
These two vintage Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) pennants were found folded inside a scrapbook kept by an Oregon State student from 1908, which he put together to commemorate the 1908 Civil War football game. However, it’s unlikely the pennants are from 1908, because records in the OSU archives suggest the school was first referred to as the “Beavers” in 1910. Some historians argue the date is later, around 1916.
Since one of these pennants has a Beaver on it, it may have been from one of the student’s last years in school (estate records show he attended from 1908-1912) and just inserted into the scrapbook for safe keeping. Or another possibility is the student could have stayed in Corvallis after graduation or been associated at OSU at a later date when he obtained the pennants, because his estate also had a picture of the OSU student body and faculty from 1923. Either way they are very cool early OAC pennants that likely date sometime between 1908-1923!
Here is another vintage Oregon State University pennant from the school’s Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) days (1890-1927). This orange wool pennant is slightly smaller in size (about 24 inches long) than the more modern pennants and the black letters are simple and stitched on. This pennant shows some signs of good use over the years!
Oregon Agricultural College Pennant
While I have been fortunate to come across and obtain many old Oregon State University pennants, there are still several from the school’s Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) days that I have only seen in pictures, old photographs, or even drawings. The pennants in this specific post are not in my personal collection, but I’d obviously love to find! They all range from roughly 1890-1927, before OAC became Oregon State College (OSC). Each is unique and I found them from number of sources, like the Benton County Historical Society, OSU’s Archives, old programs, or old online auctions. Keep your eye out for others as I’d love to add more pennants (or even just pictures of them) to the collection and this site!
Dating to the early 1920’s, this is the oldest OSU (then OAC – Oregon Agricultural College) banner I have come across. The calligraphy style font of the hand-stitched OAC letters is the best way to date it, as this style of letters started to appear around that time. For being around 100 years old, this felt banner has amazingly vibrant colors and its large size (32 1/4 x 16) is unique. Old OAC pennants are rare, but this is the first OAC banner I have come across, making it a neat piece of Oregon State’s history!
This full size black felt Oregon State University pennant dates to the leather helmet era of football back in the 1930’s-1940’s. The picture and lettering were both screen printed on the pennant. Very few pennants from this era had pictures of players, making this one unique, and the style of uniform and helmet are what help approximate its age.
This slightly smaller than normal OAC (Oregon Agricultural College) pennant came from the same estate as the Class of 1914 OAC pennant that I posted about earlier, so I’m assuming it’s from roughly the same year. For being 100+ years old, this particular pennant has the truest orange and black colors on the felt and hand-stitched letters that I have ever seen! The styling of the OAC letters are also unique. This is one of my favorite old Oregon State pennants that I’ve come across.