1942 Duke Rose Bowl Pin vs. OSU – “Beat Hitler and Oregon State”

As you recall from previous posts, the 1942 Rose Bowl game that pitted Oregon State against Duke came at a tumultuous time in our country.  Weeks before the game the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, causing the game being moved from California to Duke’s campus in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Within a few days after the bombing, America would be at war with both Japan and Germany, and many of the men on both football teams would soon be in the war themselves, with some making the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

This white pinback is a little larger than a silver dollar and reads in Duke blue writing “BEAT HITLER AND OREGON STATE.”  While I’m sure many Duke fans wore that pin proudly back in 1942, this is the only one I have ever seen.  I have no idea if there was a “Beat Hitler and Duke” pin created for the OSU side, but if there was, I’m sure if would have been worn proudly too!

This pin is great example of sports and world events bringing a group of fans together and the nationalism that often ensues.  While the pin was made for Duke fans, I felt it was just too good to not post on an OSU memorabilia blog!

1942 RB Pin - Copy

1962 Liberty Bowl Pin, Program and Ticket – Oregon State vs. Villanova

Oregon State was led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker when it faced a one loss Villanova Wildcat team in the 1962 Liberty Bowl, which was played on a frozen field in Philadelphia on December 15th.  Baker scored on a 99 yard quarterback keeper run to provide the only points of the game, with OSU winning 6-0, earning its first bowl victory since the 1942 Rose Bowl.  After starting 0-2, the Beavers capped the season with eight straight wins and Baker won the Heisman just weeks after his performance in the Liberty Bowl.  Here is a pinback, program, ticket stub, decal, and a picture of Terry Baker from the game!

Terry Baker


Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) Pennant & WWI Pins – c. 1918

This black felt O.A.C. pennant, with hand stitched orange felt letters, dates from c. 1918, at a time when America and Oregon Agricultural College (then OAC – now OSU) were in the last year of our country’s first great war, World War I.

Helping date this pennant, it came with five small pinbacks from WWI affixed to it.  The pins include a “Third Liberty Loan” pin, a Salvation Army War Service Fund pin, and three small Red Cross pins.

These pins were probably collected by a student at OAC during the War (1914-1918), when Oregon State University was a thriving training grounds for countless men and women who would go on to serve our country in one capacity or another.

During 1917, OAC was the center of military life for the entire state of Oregon. 66 faculty left to aid in the war effort. The US War Service called an additional 105 staff members to active service in 1918, and nearly 2,000 students, alumni, and faculty members were enlisted. In addition, more than 2,000 men were in training at OAC in the Students’ Army Training Corps and other military and naval training units.  Sadly, 51 OAC students, faculty, and alumni lost their lives during the War.  Below are two pictures of campus during 1918.  The first shows OAC’s President Kerr addressing the Student Army Training Corps, and the second shows Army students doing radio training. For the early part of OSU’s history every physically fit male was required to take the first two years of ROTC instruction.

Today, OSU Army ROTC continues the tradition of “The West Point of the West,” the nickname earned during World War II when the OSU Corps produced more officers than any other non-military academy in the nation.

The “Third Liberty Loan” pin refers to part of the larger effort by the U.S. government to sell war bonds (also known as Liberty Bonds) during WWI, to defray the expense of war. They were primarily sold by the boy and girl scouts, and the Third Liberty Loan Act was enacted in April of 1918, giving the best evidence of the age of this pin and pennant.

The Salvation Army War Service Fund was a fund raising effort to help provide assistance to the troops during the war. And the Red Cross, which started the war as a small organization, by war’s end had nearly one-third of the U.S. population who were either Red Cross donors or serving as a volunteer. In all, 20 million adults and 11 million youth claimed membership in the American Red Cross during the war and more than 8 million adults were volunteer workers.

Undoubtedly, many of these organizations were found on the campus of OSU during this time, and this pennant and accompanying pins provide a unique snapshot into a student’s life during that time in the school’s history… nearly 100 years ago!

3 salvation army pins 1 loberty loan and one salvation army war service fund

1918 OSU



Vintage Oregon State Pinbacks – OSC, Oregon Aggies

This picture of a small group of pins was sent to me by an avid collector college pins.  He actually collects pins for every school in the country… and I thought I was obsessed in collecting what I have for one school!).  These are just a few of his Oregon State collection, but I chose this picture because I don’t have a couple of these pins and hadn’t seen them before.  The O.S.C. pin, which is likely from the late 1950’s, seems simple enough, but I have never seen another one.  And the all orange Oregon State one with the ribbon and charm (which we can’t see in the picture) is another pin I haven’t seen before.

The one pin in this group that is interesting is the green and gold (or yellow) pin on the left that says Oregon Aggies.  Now we know Oregon State was known as the Aggies back in the 1890’s through around 1910, when the Beaver started to be referenced as the mascot.  So that would date this pin to sometime in that roughly 20 year period… but the more interesting question is what’s the deal with the green and gold colors?  As early as 1893 Oregon State’s official colors were already orange and black.  As for green, the only reference I can find to that color being used was in 1917 when the upperclassmen made the freshman, or “rooks,” wear green hats so everyone could identify who they were.  The problem is I thought Oregon State was known as the Beavers by that time!  And before OSU adopted Orange and black as the color, one of the earliest school colors was actually blue.  Anyone have any other ideas?  Was there another school at the time called the Oregon Aggies with green as their color?  We know it wasn’t the fowls down south!

Maury Ingram Pin Collection

Oregon State Homecoming Pins

Back in “good old days” the annual homecoming event at most colleges, including Oregon State, was a big event, celebrated with campus decorations and student events and alumni events. Starting around 1904, homecoming at OSU became tied to a home football game and over 100 years later we still celebrate it much like we did years ago.  For a great article on OSU’s homecoming tradition, read George Edmonston’s piece for the Alumni Association here.  Back in the 1950’s through the 1970’s it was common for fans attending the homecoming game to purchase commemorative pins they could place on their lapel or hats. Each year was different and often had a funny picture of a Beaver beating up on whatever the opponent’s mascot was.  This group of five pins is a sample of some of the homecoming pins from those years. My favorite of this lot has an appropriate for the time play on words, with the saying “Bomb Moscow,” which of course is referring to both our good friends in Russia at the time, and our friends in Moscow, Idaho, the home of the University of Idaho Vandals… that year’s opponent! Homecoming Pins

1961 Homecoming

197819761969 Homecoming


1950’s Oregon State College (OSC) Pin

This simple O.S.C. pin is one of the few I have posted that I actually don’t own.  It dates most likely to the 1950’s, as OSC changed to OSU by 1962.  A picture of it was sent to me by a guy who collects pins from all colleges around the country and he saw my blog and decided to send me a picture of all his Oregon State collection so we could compare.  He had this pin and two others I hadn’t seen before (one of which I now have).  I was kind of excited that I had one or two OSU pins he actually didn’t have too!


Oversized Beavers Pinback (c. 1950’s-1960’s)

This orange and black Beavers pin is unique because it’s about three to four times larger than most of the normal older pins I see.  I’m unsure of its age, but I’m guessing it’s from the late 1950’s or 1960’s.  The “wave” style reminds me of the Pepsi logo, which I know has been around since the 1930’s, but this pin isn’t that old!

Oversized Beavers Pin

Oregon State Pin – Split Color – c. 1940-1950’s

This older Oregon State pin isn’t all that creative in style and it lacks a ribbon and charm, but it seems to be one of the harder to find OSU pins to find as I have only seen a couple of them in the last few years.  It’s also the only OSU pin I have seen with the split color down the middle. The font of the text is unique in the at the letters are more block style with each letter having some type of straight lines (like the S and the O), whereas nearly every other pin has the more traditional curvy font where the O really is an oval and the S is curved with no straight lines.  I’m not sure of the age of this pin, but if I had to guess I’d say it’s likely from the 1940’s-1950’s.

Split Color Pin