Founded by Alfred J. Reach in 1874, A.J. Reach & Company became the largest manufacturer of sporting goods in the U.S. by the turn of the century. Reach was purchased by A.G. Spalding in 1892, but continued to manufacture sporting goods lines independent of Spalding models until 1934, when the Reach brand was discontinued.
Around 1915 several sporting goods companies began manufacturing flattop helmets constructed out of three pieces of leather; one for either side and a third for the crown. This style was apparently preferred by the Harvard Crimson, as it was soon referred to as the "Harvard" style. In 1918, Wright & Ditson merged with Victor Sporting Goods Company to form Victor, Wright & Ditson.