Los Angeles Rams 1948

Nola McConnan

Out of stock

Watercolor Painting

Nola McConnan

This beautifully framed piece features an original piece of watercolor artwork glass-framed in an attractive two inch wide black resin frame with a double mat. The outer dimensions of the framed piece are approximately 17” wide x 24.5” high, although the exact size will vary according to the size of the original piece of art.

$595.00 USD - Price includes framing as well as fast, free shipping with UPS

This beautifully framed piece features an original piece of watercolor artwork glass-framed in an attractive two inch wide black resin frame with a double mat. The outer dimensions of the framed piece are approximately 17” wide x 24.5” high, although the exact size will vary according to the size of the original piece of art.

At the core of the framed piece is the actual piece of original artwork as painted by the artist on textured 100% rag, water-marked watercolor paper. In many cases the original artwork has handwritten notes in pencil from the artist (be sure to “See the actual artwork without the frame” elsewhere in this website). Simply put, this is beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork.

The outer mat is a rich textured black acid-free mat with a decorative inset white v-groove, while the inner mat is a complimentary colored acid-free mat reflecting one of the team’s primary colors. The website image of this framed piece shows the mat color that we suggest (Yellow), but since each piece is custom framed, we are happy to use whatever color mat you wish (depending on availability) – our standard mat colors are:

Light Blue / Dark Blue / Brown / Maroon (close to brown) / White / Silver / Gold / Yellow (bright yellow) / Green (dark green) / Orange / Purple / Red (bright red, somewhat close to PMS 186)

Beneath the artwork is a silver plate with black text describing the original artwork. The text for this piece will read:

This original, one-of-a-kind watercolor painting of the 1948 Los Angeles Rams (now once again the Los Angeles Rams) uniform is the original artwork that was used in the creation of this St. Louis Rams uniform evolution print and tens of thousands of other St. Louis Rams products that have been sold across North America. This original piece of art was painted by artist Nola McConnan for Maple Leaf Productions Ltd.

Beneath the silver plate is a 3” x 9” reproduction of a well known, best-selling print that celebrates the history of the team. The print beautifully illustrates the chronological evolution of the team’s uniform and shows you how the original art was used in the creation of this print. If you look closely, you will see that the print features the actual artwork being offered for sale. The 3” x 9” print looks like this:

The piece is framed with an extremely high quality framing glass. We have used this glass style for many years with excellent results. We package every piece very carefully in a double layer of bubble wrap and a rigid double-wall cardboard package to avoid breakage at any point during the shipping process, but if damage does occur, we will gladly repair, replace or refund. Please note that all of our products come with a 90 day 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Each framed piece also comes with a two page letter signed by Scott Sillcox describing the history behind the art. If there was an extra-special story about your piece of art, that story will be included in the letter. When you receive your framed piece, you should find the letter lightly attached to the front of the framed piece.

If you have any questions, at any time, about the actual artwork or about any of the artist’s handwritten notes on the artwork, I would love to tell you about them. Simply email me, Scott Sillcox, at scott@heritagesportsart.com and I will tell you everything I can about your original piece of art. The artists and I spent well over ten years of our lives creating these pieces of original artwork, and in many cases there are stories I can tell you about your actual piece of artwork that might add an extra element of interest in your one-of-a-kind purchase.

Please note that all reproduction rights for this original work are retained in perpetuity by the National Football League unless specifically stated otherwise in writing by the NFL. For further information, please contact Heritage Sports Art at questions@heritagesportsart.com .



Los Angeles is now home to the Rams franchise. Their first few years on the West Coast were reasonably successful (6-4-1 in 46, 6-6 in 47, and 6-5-1 in 48), but the team would eventually reach the League Championship game in 1949 when they went 8-2-2 and lost 14-0 to the Eagles at Memorial Coliseum in LA.The 48 uniform showcased here features some interesting changes from the 1945 uniform shown earlier. The blue shoulder yoke, which had graced Rams jerseys in previous years, has been dropped. But most importantly, look at the helmet and you'll see the introduction of the infamous Rams horns logo which has been a Rams uniform staple right to the present day! Amazingly, the original design was done by Rams halfback Fred Gehrke who studied art in college at Utah. It's for this helmet that we chose to show this 1948 uniform the painting of a team logo on the helmet began something that has added immeasurably to the game of football and fans enjoyment of the game thanks Fred!A couple quick points:When the team moved to LA in 1946, team owner Dan Reeves signed Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, the first African-Americans to sign NFL contracts since 1932. Reeves also became the first owner to employ a full-time scouting staff, perhaps a main reason for the teams success through the late 40's and 50's.

Here's the story of the horns on the helmet:

February 2022

The first-ever NFL helmet with a logo was hand-painted by the Rams' Fred Gehrke in 1947/1948. (See 2022 TV clip here:)

Team branding is a big part of the NFL's success. But did you know it all started with the L.A. Rams? When you consider the 100-plus-year history of the NFL, a lot has happened and a lot has changed. But could a single Rams helmet perhaps be the most historically significant artifact of the last century?

The story goes back to the mid 1940's, back when helmets didn't provide much either in the form of safety, or in this case, team identity.

The story also involves NFL player Fred Gehrke. Fred Gehrke played in the NFL in 1940, then again from 1942-1950. He played for the Cleveland Rams in 1945 and moved to LA when the Rams moved to LA - he played for the LA Rams from 1946-49.

The story goes that in the mid-1940s, Gehrke toyed with the notion of painting a football helmet. Rams coach Bob Snyder suggested Gehrke paint a helmet with the ram horns on it that he could present to the team's owner Dan Reeves. Gehrke painted two ram horns on an old college helmet and presented the design to Reeves, who was intrigued. Reeves then contacted the NFL for a ruling on legality of having a football helmet painted. It was reported that the answer Reeves received from the NFL was "You're the owner; do what you want!" Reeves then tasked Gehrke to paint 75 helmets at $1.00 per helmet. The project took Gehrke the entire summer of 1948.

Wikipedia picks up on the story: "The newly painted helmets debuted during a pre-season match-up between the Rams and Redskins at the Los Angeles Coliseum before a crowd of 105,000. Upon seeing the new helmets the crowd began cheering, which was followed by a five-minute standing ovation. To this day, Gehrke's rams horn logo is still worn by the team. By 1949, the Riddell sporting goods company had created a plastic helmet, baking in Gehrke's design. Some observers of the 1950 NFL Championship Game said that the only way to tell the Rams and the Cleveland Browns apart in the initial low resolution coast-to-coast telecast was the distinctive horns on the Rams' helmets. Throughout the 1950s many professional and college teams began painting logos to their helmets. The Pro Football Hall of Fame displays one of the original helmets, painted by Gehrke, along with the story behind it each year during Super Bowl Week. The logo innovation also earned Gehrke the Pro Football Hall of Fame's first Daniel F. Reeves Pioneer Award in 1972."

Kevin Pederson, the current (as of 2022) owner of the helmet tells the story this way: "Gehrke wanted to decorate the Rams helmet with a team logo. As an art major in college, he went to the coach. "He kept asking the question and the coach just kinda kept pushing him off until he finally got upset and handed him this helmet - and just said go home and paint," says Pederson, the current owner of the historic helmet.

That helmet is believed to be the first of 75 that were hand-painted that year in Gehrke's garage. He was paid on the side at $1 per helmet.

According to Pederson "Fred carried a can of blue and yellow paint with him all through the next season, and after the game he would take your helmet and if there were scuffs on it, he would fix the yellow and fix the blue."

Recently Viewed Products