Rare small advertising poster for the Chicago Bears 1940 National Football League football season at Wrigley Field, featuring portrait heads of five star players: Bill Osmanski (1915-1996), Joe Stydahar (1912-1977), Joe Maniaci (1914-1996), Joe Mihal (1916-1969) and Sid Luckman (1916-1998). The players are shown above the slogan "The Team of Stars" in a red, white and blue ribbon. Beneath the slogan is a list of the five home games for 1940 and the text, "Tickets on sale at The Hub, Henry C. Lytton & Sons, State and Jackson, Chicago." The poster is printed in shades of red and blue, with the text and design elements against a light blue gradient with white stars. The size, format, materials and slogan "Ride the 'L' Direct" at the bottom all suggest that this poster might have been produced as an advertising sign for the interior of Chicago "L" (elevated) train cars. Nevertheless, this poster was also issued in a seven-foot-tall version, sold at auction in 2006 for almost $6,000.
The Chicago Bears finished the regular 1940 season with an 8-3 record under coach George Halas, winning the Western Division. They went on to win the 1940 NFL Championship Game on December 8th, defeating the Washington Redskins 73-0, the most lopsided score in NFL history. Of the players featured on the poster, Joe Stydahar and Sid Luckman have since been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Luckman is now considered the most prominent of the five, having led the Bears to four NFL championships while a player for the team from 1939 to 1950 and having been named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1943. Known as the best long-range passer of his time, he also made football history as the first modern T-formation quarterback.
Henry C. Lytton & Co., also known as "The Hub" and "Lytton's" was a department store chain headquartered in Chicago. The first store opened on State Street in 1887 and the last store closed in 1986.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Some faint scattered foxing.
"1940 Chicago Bears Season." Wikipedia. 18 November 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1940_Chicago_Bears_season (8 February 2016).
"1940 NFL Championship Game." Wikipedia. 8 February 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1940_NFL_Championship_Game (8 February 2016).
"Gigantic 1939 Chicago Bears Advertising Schedule Poster with Lifesize Portraits of Bears Stars." Legendary Auctions. 21 April 2006. http://www.legendaryauctions.com/lot-57235.aspx (8 February 2016).
"Sid Luckman." Wikipedia. 6 February 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Luckman (8 February 2016).