One of the first bobbleheads was supposedly made in 1920 by the New York Knicks. However, the New York Knicks came into existence in 1946. This obviously presents a discrepancy. Can someone please help me out?
I don't see anything more specific than Ben Miller's comments on bobbleheads.
However, I would note that the Original Celtics were active in New York (not Boston) in the 1920s, and they were a very showman-like - even circus-like - team; basically a slightly more serious version of the Harlem Globetrotters, with a similar record (193-11-1). It seems likely they would have thought of something like this.
There was also the Harlem Rens in this period, who were commonly the opponents of the Celtics.
Follow up: I emailed the folks at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame, and they replied with (in part):
We did add a note to our site regarding this bobblehead and the fact we are investigating further. It's odd that so many sites have listed this information. We have spent a good amount of time looking into this and haven't been able to find anything conclusive yet. I will appeal to the folks on the Bobblehead Addicts page and some sports historians in the New York area to get to the bottom of this. I will surely let you know what we find out!
This is turning out to be a very interesting question. Doing some research, I have found a few different sources claiming that sports bobbleheads got their start in the 1920s with the New York Knicks:
- Bobbleheads.com: History of Bobbleheads
- Historyofdolls.com: History of Bobblehead
- National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum: History of Bobbles
These articles, unfortunately, provide no sources. They are not a copy-and-pastes of each other. This "fact" was even picked up by a recent article in the Tampa Bay Tribune.
However, this cannot actually be true, since the New York Knicks did not begin until 1946. I think this is just a matter of some article somewhere putting out this "fact" and everyone else just assuming it is true. But I haven't been able to determine what the original source is.