When Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, opened its football season in 1930, spectators were ushered into a brand new stadium which was one of the finest in the middle west (U.S.). Visitors were particularly impressed by the excellent condition of the playing field. This condition was not by chance but was due to the painstaking care given it. The sod itself had been transplanted, piece by piece, from historic old Cartier Field, the playground of the famed Four Horsemen and Notre Dame’s immortal George Gipp.
In August of that year, the George C. Carpenter Co., Inc., Chicago, received an order for an extra-large tarpaulin to cover this field in wet or snowy weather. The order specified all seams and hems to be sewed with the lock or shuttle stitch, Type 301. The representative of the Carpenter Company, having had years of experience making canvas for marine use on the Great Lakes, realized that this stitching would not give satisfactory service. Consequently, he made the trip to South Bend and related his experience with canvas seams for outdoor use. Needless to say, the specifications were changed to the Double Locked Stitch Type 401 which combined strength, elasticity, and durability.
ln making the tarpaulin, 10-oz. Army Cotton Duck fabric was used, cut in ten pieces each 172 feet long and each weighing 885 pounds. The seaming was all performed on a Union Special Style 7800C machine, and the two cut ends were hemmed on a Style 660GB. The entire tarpaulin was then treated with a waterproofing solution which prevented mildew. The waterproofing solution was treated with a dye which gave the tarpaulin the color of olive green. NE