As I have learned about vintage basketball, I have had the great fortune of meeting some of the experts in our hobby. One such person named Hank provided me with a great opportunity back in 2003 to purchase an 1896 Men's Spalding "Basket Ball" guide. At that time, this particular guide was the oldest, best condition guide known to exist - better than the example in the Basketball Hall of Fame! It would be several years later when our hobby first saw an example of the 1893-94 guide from the Library of Congress.
Hank gave me the opportunity to own an amazing part of basketball history. I will never forget that. I was nervous the first time I opened that item up to reveal an image of a young James Naismith! The 1896 Spalding guide I purchased back on July 13, 2003 became the first centerpiece of my vintage basketball collection.
1890s "Basket Ball" Items
Spalding Guides for Men
American Sports Publishing Company