|Chicago Bears Uniform History (1920-2005)|
The club has had few official logos throughout their history. The first was introduced in the early 1940s with a bear running with a football. The next logo featured a navy blue bear on top of a football. The team kept this until 1962, when the Bears trademark 'C' logo was first introduced by the team.
The change in their logo from the black bear was due to the addition of logos on helmets, which pro football teams started adding in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike some NFL franchises that have had many different looks over time, the Bears have kept the wishbone 'C' for over 40 years. In 1974, the team decided to keep the same white 'C' logo but to change the color of it from white to orange with a white trim. This is the current logo to this date; however, the club has experimented with some alternative logos throughout the past decade, including a navy blue bear inside of the orange wishbone 'C', introduced in 1995, and an orange bear head, introduced in 1999.
In 1920 the team introduced the official team uniforms containing brown and blue stripes. In the 1930s, the franchise's team uniform underwent some substantial alterations. After many subtle and not-so-subtle changes, by 1933 the Bears donned all-orange jerseys with navy numbers and matching navy blue helmets. In 1936, they modified this design into "an early version of psychedelia" by adding three orange stripes to their helmets, changing the color of the jerseys from orange to white, complementing the new white jerseys with fourteen navy and orange alternating stripes on the sleeves, and introducing socks with a similar striped pattern extending from ankle to knee. Due to poor response from the fans and the media, this design lasted only one season.
By 1949, the team was wearing the familiar navy blue shirts with white, rounded numbers. In 1956, the team added "TV numbers" to the sleeves. The Bears 'C' logo first appeared on the helmets in 1962. The logo changed from white to a white-bordered orange logo eleven years later, and has remained unchanged ever since. The Bears added the initials GSH to the left sleeve of their jerseys in 1984 in memory of George Halas.
For decades, the team was known as the only NFL team to wear jersey numbers that were not the traditional block-style numbers. Although a handful of other NFL teams and the Houston Oilers during their early AFL days experimented with rounder jersey numbers, by the mid-1960s the Bears were the only team left to continue wearing rounded jersey numbers. Since the mid-1990s, however, several teams have shifted away from the block numbers in favor of numbers that match a specific team font (e.g. Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, etc...) or in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers, match the jersey number font with the helmet numbers while otherwise leaving the jersey design alone.
Other variations to the Bears uniforms over the years include the addition of navy blue pants as a part of the road kit in 1984. During the 1994 season, the Bears – with most of the other NFL franchises – introduced throwback uniforms to be worn in the honor of the NFL's 75th Anniversary. These uniforms with brown and blue stripes resemble the original uniforms worn by the team in the 1920s. On October 7, 2002 the Bears wore navy blue pants with their navy blue home jerseys for the first time, and lost at home to Green Bay before a national Monday Night Football audience. The Bears did not wear the all-blue combination again until the 2006 regular season finale against the Packers, also a loss, on December 31.
Also, the Bears wore all-white uniforms during their final two road games in the 2006 season, and for all of the 2008 season. On November 13, 2005 and October 29, 2006 (both times in games against the San Francisco 49ers), the Bears introduced an orange alternate home jersey. The orange swaps roles with the navy blue on this alternate jersey, as it becomes the dominant color while the navy complements. The Bears also donned the orange jerseys on October 28, 2007 against the Detroit Lions, a game that they lost 16-7. The Bears again wore the orange jerseys for the fourth consecutive year on October 19, 2008 when they hosted the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears previously wore orange jerseys as part of a throwback uniform in a Thanksgiving Day game at the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. For the 2010 season, the Bears introduced throwbacks representing the original Monsters of the Midway of the 1940's. They wore the uniforms against the Green Bay Packers on September 27th, 2010 and against the Vikings on November 14th later that season. Both of those games were wins for the Bears. The classic look of the club's uniforms has given it the title of one of the best uniform sets in the league.
Before the introduction of Staley Da Bear, the club had two unofficial mascots named "Rocky" and "Bearman". "Rocky" was a man who donned a "1" Bears jersey, carried a megaphone, and started chants all over Soldier Field during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. There is no known source of who "Rocky" was, except that he disappeared from Soldier Field in the early 1990s and presumably lived in Northwest Indiana. Don Wachter, also known as "Bearman", is a season ticket holder who decided in 1995 that he could also assist the team by cheerleading. The club allowed him to run across the field with a large Bears flag during player introductions and each team score. In 1996, he donned his "costume" of face paint, bear head and arms, and a number 46 jersey. "Bearman" was forced to stop wearing his costume with the introduction of Staley Da Bear in 2003; however, in 2005 Wachter was allowed in costume again.