SUN Hockey Pool

Cup blueprints uncovered at Hall

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

The Hockey Hall of Fame has recovered a half century-old treasure, the blueprint of today's Stanley Cup.

The undated sketches are thought to have been made in 1956, about the time the Cup was changed from a two-piece trophy with a removable bowl into today's famous one-piece, five-barrel model. The drawings measure about 16 inches by 20, and show how the older model was to be rebuilt and retouched.

"We found the plans about five or seven years ago, lost it and were always looking for it again," said Craig Campbell, manager of photography archives for the Hall. "Just recently we were cleaning out the area of one of our retired workers and found it in a map case.

"I think it's a very significant find. It looks to be the design of the Cup, though the actual history of the Cup design has never been well documented. There's no date, no signature and we have to make a lot of assumptions."

It is known that on March 18, 1892, governor general Lord Stanley of Preston relayed to a dinner gathering of the Ottawa Athletic Association that he wished to donate a challenge cup to the best hockey team in the Dominion of Canada.

A decorative 71/2-inch tall bowl was purchased from a London silversmith for 10 guineas (about $51) and awarded for the first time to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association team in 1893.

ELEPHANT'S LEG?

Silver bands with team names were added in the 1920s, and by the 1940s, the three-foot elongated Cup was nicknamed "the cigar" or the "elephant's leg."

In 1948, the wide barrel with a twist-off bowl was introduced. That year, the Maple Leafs won their third straight Cup. The one-piece Cup arrived 10 years later, with five bands to accommodate new champions, but those teams from 1928-40 were eventually removed to the Hall's vaults to allow the Cup to add new winners into the 21st century.


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