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The history of cheerleading pom poms

The cheerleading pom poms have not always been what they are today. They are a key element for all modern cheerleader outfits, and as iconic as the cheerleader skirt but what was it all like before all the flashy pom poms made it what it is?

When was the pom pom invented?

They were originally seen in the 1930s to improve showmanship within the supporting cheerleaders. Included in high school cheerleading in America, pom poms were fashioned out of crepe and tissue paper. This was the creation of Jim Hazlewood, known as the first man to create pom poms for cheerleading. As opposed to the modern pom poms, which have been now created with plastics, they were quite flimsy and fell apart easily, especially with vigorous shaking that accompanies cheerleading. The modern versions of the pom pom with hidden handles were made by Lawrence Herkimer when he founded his own cheerleading supply company in 1953. In the mid-60s, Fred Gastoff bettered the pom pom again, by creating the same thing using a vinyl or plastic material so that they were no longer so delicate and easily broken. This as well as being water resistant.

The reason behind the creation of the pom poms

The use of the pom pom is evident if you have seen any kind of modern cheerleading. They raise team spirit and the motion of the pom poms focuses the crowds attention to the cheer squad down on the side lines. Now that they have the addition of the hidden handle and being made from plastics rather than paper, pom poms now meet the demands of cheerleading, in any weather conditions and with any type of movement that may be utilised by the teams cheer squad. Now that cheerleading has become a sport of its own, the vigour of the movement has become increased over the years.

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