Our June 2018 Artifact of the Month is a rare A.J. Reach & Co. No. 5 6-strap head harness, which was manufactured as a youth helmet between 1913 and 1916. Based on our research, Reach appears to be the only manufacturer to produce 6-strap head harness during the early 20th century. Reach's reason for using 6 straps instead of the standard 8 may have been to eliminate the center longitudinal crown strap, leaving room for Reach's patented elastic adjustment strap at the forehead.
The No. 5 also proves an exception to one of AntiqueFootball's general rules of thumb, that head harnesses without rear neck flaps typically date to before 1905. Reach likely left off a rear neck protector on the No. 5 to reduce cost. The No. 5 retailed for $1.25 in 1915 and was billed as "the best on the market at the price." This particular example of Reach's No. 5 is the first example we've ever handled. Other than superficial spalling of the leather and a missing chinstrap, this head harness is in excellent condition.