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Your Best Vintage & Retro Penn State Memorabilia

Last week, we asked you to send in your most interesting retro and vintage Penn State memorabilia. As you can imagine, the Penn State community didn’t disappoint.

Submitted items dated back to as early as the 1930s and ranged from pieces of a goalpost to football-shaped music boxes. Whether it was an old Coke bottle or a 1936 restaurant menu, we compiled our favorite submissions below.

Share A Coke With Penn State

Jeff Chlebowski picked up these beauties at McLanahan’s after Penn State won a national title in 1986. It was the first Fiesta Bowl to decide the national championship and the last time Penn State officially claimed a title.

Kurt Williams also collected Coke bottles from the 1982 and 1986 national championship games. He received the unopened bottles about 10 years ago from a friend and even has matching pewter mugs.

Game Day Back In The Day

Jeffrey Davey purchased football media guides from 1970 to 1974, 1977, 1988, and 1990. He also picked up basketball season media guides from 1969 to 1970 and 1971 to 1972.

Brian Heckert received his dad’s 1955 football season ticket that was punched out while attending a game. Students bought these passes for $14 for the whole year. At the time, there were only four games at Beaver Field.

Darryl Daisey owns a 1949 Wally Triplett collection that includes an autographed leather Penn State helmet, an autographed photo, and his NFL rookie card. Triplett signed the items for Daisey when they met at the 2012 Penn State Black Alumni Reunion.

“My wife and I were assigned to pick up Wally Triplett and his wife at the Lewistown Train Station and bring them to the 2012 Penn State Black Alumni Reunion, where he was to be honored,” Daisey said. “I was told in advance that Mr. Triplett did not sign plastic helmets because he never played in them.

“I was able to procure two mini leather helmets, which he happily signed. I kept one helmet, and donated to other to be auctioned to help fund a scholarship,” Daisey said.

Jeff Chlebowski also sent in a 1984 freshman football reusable ticket. He mailed in his application in the winter of 1984 and received it in the mail that summer just in time for the football season. He attended all six home games and received six punches.

Can I Get Your Autograph?

Joel Getz purchased a signed copy of a 1994 Sports Illustrated magazine that featured the Nittany Lions’ 1994 season. He also owns multiple signed footballs in a Rathskeller display case and a photo of him and James Franklin.

Adrian Galloway was at a Penn State basketball game in 1989 when Joe Paterno signed a basketball program for him. He keeps it framed in his office to this day.

Miscellaneous Knickknacks

Kendall Eshmont received her grandfather’s 1940s thermometer. He played football at Penn State for one year between 1940 and 1941 before he was drafted to serve in World War II. Eshmont’s grandfather passed down the thermometer to her dad and her.

Kristen Sabol owns a piece of the goalpost that was taken down in the aftermath of Penn State’s win against Notre Dame in 1981.

“This provides an answer to the question everyone used to ask when a goalpost was taken down in celebration after a big win. What happens to it after it’s carted out of the stadium and marched through the town?” Sabol said.

Keith Saroka stumbled upon a vintage Penn State football music box at a thrift store, complete with a faded logo. Although the sound still works, Saroka says it plays an out-of-tune “Fight On State.”

Saroka also owns a memory-matching game featuring scenes from all over Penn State’s campus. He found it at Goodwill in 2019, but the box says it’s from 1998. He’s never found another game quite like it.

Megan Carbine received a Corner Room dinner menu from 1936 from a family friend as a high school graduation gift in 2008. Her friend’s mom saved the menu from when she was a student at Penn State.

The menu features items such as a fried fish filet for 60 cents and shadow layer cake for 10 cents. On the backside of the menu, there’s an illustrated map of campus and downtown by cartographer James Dugan titled ‘The Various Attractions of State College.”

“It became an essential piece of decor at each of my rooms as a student. The map displays recognizable sites and sights —such as Pond Lab, University Club, and, of course, a student napping on Old Main,” Carbine said.

“There are also unfamiliar landmarks such as an area designated for ‘mushball’ behind Steidle — which was not yet named Steidle, an archery range where my freshman dorm belongs, and soil experiment plots where South and Pollock now stand,” Carbine said. “I wish I could still get a grilled steak with potatoes, broccoli, eggplant, and a side salad for 75 cents.”

Lindsay Oudsema found a Penn State football tray in her parents’ attic. The vintage metal serving tray features a picture of Joe Paterno and Penn State football players. The back is engraved with Nittany Lion bowl game results, the last being Penn State’s 1976 Gator Bowl loss to Notre Dame.

Alex Robinson (an Onward State alum!) found a Joe Paterno vinyl record online and knew he had to have it.

“It’s basically a ‘how to coach football’ podcast released on a vinyl record in 1975,” Robinson said. “It has former players give their thoughts about Joe Paterno. He talks about his coaching style and decisions, and you hear pristine calls from Fran Fisher on the biggest plays of the era. It is the coolest record I own by far.”

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About the Author

Hope Damato

Hope is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and is one of Onward State's social media editors. She resides in Northern Virginia but likes to tell people she's from D.C. since no ones heard of Manassas. She considers herself a coffee expert, obsessive Eagles fan and likes long walks on the beach. Feel free to follow her on twitter @hopemarinaa to send her funny tweets or email her at [email protected] to yell at her.

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