What Were The First Hockey Pucks Made Of? [Fact Checked!]

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As the first NHL game is set to be played this season, it’s a good time to take a look back at the history of hockey pucks.

Since the first NHL game in 1917, the hockey puck has been an important part of the league. The most classic hockey puck is made of wood with a metal plate and has eight ridges around its edge to make it fly straight. These days, hockey pucks are usually made of synthetic plastics due to weight concerns. However, the basic design hasn’t changed much.

Here is a detailed history of hockey pucks, as well as an in-depth look at the design of a hockey puck.

Early Years

If you ask most people what they remember most about hockey in its early days, they will probably tell you it’s the colors and the noises. The first hockey pucks didn’t have any fancy decorations, they just had the basic design: a flattened sphere with a nail sticking out of it.

It wasn’t until 1923 that trademarks and logos started appearing on the pucks. That is also when the first international games were played, which still use the original design of a flattened sphere with a nail sticking out of it. For the most part, the NHL used white frosted pucks until the 1932-33 season, when they changed to a blue tint.

Flat Spheres Are No Longer

During the Great Depression, the demand for metals dropped, making it more expensive to produce metal pucks. So, for financial reasons, the NHL switched to a more homogeneous material: the flat sphere. This allowed the hockey puck to drop like a rock and still maintain its speed.

Prior to the Depression, the NHL used a rounded sphere design for its pucks. Many hockey puck collectors would go so far as to say that the rounded sphere is the definitive design of the hockey puck.

The Metal Plate

In an effort to save weight, the NHL decided that removing the metal plate from the head of the puck wasn’t a good idea. So, for the most part, the puck these days doesn’t have a metal plate on its head.

Prior to the 1920s, the metal plate was a fixture on the puck; in fact, it was used to identify a hockey player’s equipment. But, during that time, equipment managers started adding decorative elements to the pucks to make them look more appealing. In addition to the decorative elements, the metal plate started being used as a weight to make the puck heavier.

Decorative elements, such as pictures of animals and athletes, as well as simple colors like red and white, started appearing on the pucks during this time. And it was during this period that logos and trademarks began appearing on the pucks.

Synthetic Plastic

The development of synthetic plastics allowed the NHL to change the way they made their hockey pucks in the 1940s. Prior to this development, the only materials the league could use were wood and metal. Once synthetic plastics were developed, they started using them for all types of equipment, including hockey pucks. And, since then, the design of a hockey puck has largely remained the same.

The synthetic plastics used by the NHL have been developed to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as heat and direct sunlight. This is why logos and decorative elements started appearing on hockey pucks during the 1940s. And it was also around this time that manufacturers started using logos and designs on the pucks to promote products.

Harsh Weather Conditions

Hockey pucks are subjected to extreme temperatures, which can damage the materials used to make them. This is why the NHL uses only synthetic plastics for its pucks, which can withstand extreme temperatures.

Even more extreme weather conditions are present in Canada and the Northern Lights region of Scandinavia, which is why those areas use a different design for their hockey pucks. The Scandinavian design is more like a flattened sphere with an arched top, which is likely an adaptation to the climate there.

So, if you’re headed to a game this season or next season and feel like a luxury would be a great way to make the trip more enjoyable, then consider going for a leather or a vinyl jacket.

Above all else, the design of a hockey puck hasn’t changed much since its inception. This is likely because it was designed to be as functional and lightweight as possible.

Even today, most people believe that the design of a hockey puck hasn’t changed all that much. This can be attributed to the fact that, for the most part, it’s still made of the same materials and has the same basic shape. However, over the years, the way we see and use pucks has changed significantly.

Changes In Culture

Prior to the invention of the synthetic plastic, the way we used and looked at hockey pucks was very different. Most people used to store them in their coat pockets as “security” for their equipment. In addition to that, they were mostly viewed as a way to keep the cold out. But, with the invention of the synthetic plastic, these items started becoming fashion statement as much as a means of keeping the cold out.

Even now, we can still see the differences in culture when it comes to using and looking at hockey pucks. If you go to a game these days, you will see a lot of people carrying around their hockey pucks in their coat pockets. They do this because they want to keep the metal cold at all times and also have a quick access to their equipment at all times. And this is exactly why most people believe that the design of a hockey puck hasn’t changed all that much over the years.

More Than A Means Of Keeping The Cold Out

As we’ve learned, the design of a hockey puck hasn’t changed that much over the years. But that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been improved upon. It has, and the manufacturers have made great strides in improving the design. Today, a hockey puck is more than just a means to keep the cold out; it is a fashion piece as much as a functional item.

Prior to the 20th century, the primary function of a hockey puck was to keep the cold out. However, as time went on and technology improved, so did the way we used and viewed hockey pucks. Today, a hockey puck is a great way to make a statement; it is an item you will want to show off.

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