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December Artifact of the Month

Artifact: Referee Sweater- 1995 World Jr. Hockey

Number: 95.12.08

Year: 1995

Up until the 1950’s NHL official’s sported a cream-colored sweater and a necktie. In the early 1950’s they began wearing a bright orange colored sweater to further distinguish themselves from teams’ white sweaters. The orange uniforms, however, proved difficult for fans to distinguish from the dark uniformed home team while watching television broadcasts with no color. On December 29, 1955, officials began wearing the iconic black and white striped sweater which remains in use to this day.

By 1970, NHL referees adopted orange bands across their arms in order to differentiate themselves from the linesmen. Hockey leagues from across the world would eventually adopt this style of officiating attire. The sweater seen here is from the 1995 World Junior Championship in Red Deer where Team Canada captured its eighth gold medal. The event is hosted annually by the International Ice Hockey Federation, with the 2018-19 tournament taking place from December 26 - January 5 in Vancouver and Victoria.

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