Our July 2018 Artifact of the Month is a spectacular Yale University Foot Ball Association silver trophy loving cup awarded to Charles Dupee in May, 1899. Manufactured by the Derby Silver Plate Company, this quadruple-plated cup stands 11" tall and measures 10" handle to handle. Engraved on one side of the cup is the image of a football player punting a ball. while the opposite side contains the following inscription:
Charles "Charlie" Dupee was born on December 14, 1877 in Plainfield, New Jersey. He attended Yale University between 1897 and 1901, and played fullback for Yale's 1901 Freshman eleven in 1897. At 5'-10" and 158 pounds, Charlie played for the Varsity eleven from 1898-1901, battling Bulldog All-Americans George Chadwick and Malcolm McBride for a starting role. Despite his diminutive stature, "Duppy" proved to be one of the best punters in the country. During Yale's 1899 Spring practice, "Duppy" won the Bulldog's punting championship and was awarded this silver loving cup trophy. In a second competition in November, he outpunted Captain McBride during practice.
In nineteenth century football, punting ("punt on") was a far more critical and frequently employed strategy than it is today. Before the forward pass and with rules that limited opportunities for long gains on the ground, football games were strategic, defensive, low scoring struggles in which control of field position often decided the final score. Rather than being limited to a 4th down concession, teams would punt the ball with regularity to relieve pressure on one end of the field and to pin an opponent deep on the other. Teams with superior punters could dominate the field position battle, which explains why Yale would award such a substantial trophy to the team's best punter.
1900 Yale Bulldogs
In 1900, Charlie Dupee and his Yale teammates went 12-0 and were crowned consensus National Champions by all major publications. During the course of the season, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 336-10, including decisive victories over Princeton (29-5) and Harvard (28-0).
Yale University Foot Ball Association
Won By Charles Dupee
Derby Silver Company
Founded in 1872, the Derby Silver Company manufactured tableware, flatware, mirrors, combs, tea sets, and loving cups from their Shelton, Connecticut factory, located just 10 miles from Yale University. Derby was merged with the International Silver Company in 1898 and continued to produce silverware until 1933 when it fell victim to the Great Depression.
1900 Yale Bulldogs
Enlargement of Charles Dupee and Championship Ball