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December Artifact of the Month

Artifact: Punching Bag Mitts

Accession #: 90.23.02a/b

Date: 1930s


These punching bag mitts belonged to Webb Frizzell during his memorable boxing career, which began in the Canadian army in the 1930s. He has been inducted into both the Canadian and Alberta Boxing Halls of Fame and his record stands out with 114 wins out of 117 matches. Despite their modern appearance, boxing gloves in one form or another have been around since ancient times. The sport became banned in the Roman Empire in the 300s AD and was later revived in Britain in the 1600s. Boxing at this time was done without the use of gloves until the introduction of Jack Broughton’s rules in the 1700s. Even with these rules, it took another hundred years for the use of gloves in boxing to become standardized.

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