Days Gone By - stories from the past

Auburn football was started by Dr. George Petrie [see his bicycle built for two in this vintage film]

Auburn officially began competing in intercollegiate football in 1892. The first Iron Bowl Game between the University of Alabama and Auburn took place at Lakeview Park in Birmingham on February 22, 1893. Auburn walk away with a 32-22 victory.


From the time of the series’ conception until a 6-6 tie in 1907, Auburn dominated, winning seven of 11 games.

Auburn spring 1892 – Auburn’s first football team

1892_spring_first_Auburn_Tigers_football_team

The organization of Auburn’s first football team is credited to Dr.George Petrie, who led the 1892 Tigers to a 2–2 record. Dr. George Petrie, a history and Latin professor who played football himself at Johns Hopkins University.

Auburn Football Team 1893

Auburn_Football_team_1893

Petrie is considered the founder of both the History Department and the Graduate School, as well as the school’s athletic program.

Dr. George Petrie

Dr. George Petrie

Petrie also chose burnt orange and navy blue as the official colors for Alabama athletic teams, which was inspired by his alma mater, the University of Virginia.

1895 Georgia-Auburn Game at Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia

1895 Georgia-Auburn football Piedmont Park

The first game was against the University of Georgia at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Auburn won, 10–0, in front of a crowd of 2,000.In an era when coaching was a part-time job, Auburn had five different coaches in its first eight seasons.

John Heisman

john heisman

The first full-time coach was John Heisman, who went 12-4-2 from 1895-99 before achieving national success at Georgia Tech; the Heisman Trophy is named for him.

Mike Donahue

Mike Donahue

Auburn’s most successful coach in the early years was Mike Donahue, whose teams won 99 games and finished undefeated three times in two stints from 1904-06 and 1908-22.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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41 comments

  1. […] do know that the game between the University of Alabama and Auburn took place Birmingham’s Lakeview Baseball Park on Feb. 22, 1893. That historic game saw […]

  2. Harlie Moon

    It’s a marathon not a sprint… Roll Tide…

  3. Chris Jones

    Bammer trollers. Figures.

  4. Neal Rose

    Took them 10 years to learn how to snap the ball. lol

  5. Denise Gentry Atkisson

    Notice the protective equipment, and ignore the jerks! What equipment? Riiiight!

    1. Alabama Pioneers

      Here is an interesting film of one of the first football helmets. The man who invented it actually tried it out in this film by taking repeated blows to his head. http://daysgoneby.me/earliest-made-of-a-football-game/

    2. Denise Gentry Atkisson

      Wow! Should have a concussion! You have the greatest videos and photos. Thanks!

  6. Sherron Hayes

    This is supposed to be educational, but as always BAMMER just flap their chaps… Stupid is as stupid does! Go away!!!!! There is a roadside plaque there…..I was surprised the first time I noticed it !

  7. Scott A. Graham

    Funny, even back then “little brother” had to compare themselves to Alabama.

    1. Jeff Pollard

      Thanks man, do you know any two syllable words, excluding obscenities

    2. Wegl Wegl War Damn Eagle is not so high brow itself. And before you go off on me for being a Bama fan, I’m not. Spectator sports is a mindless activity, an opiate for the masses. There are better things in which to involve yourself.

    3. Jeff Craven

      Spectator sports are an opiate for the masses yet you watch films, an activity in which you do nothing but sit and stare at a screen for hours. I’m pretty certain that can be considered a mindless activity.

  8. RoyandPam Henderson

    You have to love this rival no where on earth is bigger. Auburn won the first ironbowl. War Eagle !!!!!

  9. Jeff Pollard

    Wasn’t he the guy that invented dishes? Named after him? (I never embraced chemistry)

    1. The PETRI dish was named after it’s inventor, German bacteriologist Julius Richard Petri. They are typically used in biology, usually microbiology…not chemistry. Auburn’s Dr. George Petrie taught History and Latin.

      1. There are lots of idiots in the world. You never know when your dealing with one.

    2. Mark Ellsworth

      God help us all some people need to get a sense of humor

  10. Kenneth H. Haughton

    But you might note too, that as they “walked away” they limped a little and kept looking over their shoulder as if concerned about being followed?

  11. Bobby Edmondson

    Not a AU fan but the history of AU,and UA I like, roll tide, war eagle

  12. Jeremiah Woolsey

    veni, vidi, purpureo sum perditus aestu

  13. Kaye Everett

    Donald Davis Auburn football history.

  14. Diann Hays

    Glad the traditional continued and UA shared the money with AU by holding the games at a neutral sight.

  15. Stephen Boozer

    Tina Horton Boozer Brittney Boozer

  16. Casey Mattox

    UVA man who brought UVA’s orange and blue uniforms with him to Auburn.

  17. Richard Hudgins

    You mean Alabama Polytechnic…..

  18. Bill Niedermeier

    And AU has been sucking ever since!

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