The History of Trophies

Silver trophy ready for engraving

The History of Trophies

From childhood sports to major leagues across the world, trophies have been a part of history for a very long time. According to the National Hockey League (NHL) the Stanley

Cup is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a sports franchise. Commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, its current name relates to Lord Stanley of Preston from Canada (although, some victory trophies have a longer history outside of sports.)

Ancient Chalices and Silver Cups

Perhaps the most notable awards to date belong to the Olympic games in Greece. Winners of these games usually received a laurel wreath but those in local games received different types of awards. These included a tripod vase, a bronze shield or a silver cup. By the 1600s, chalices were given to winners at sporting events. Most of these ancient trophies were made out of silver, gold or bronze. Nowadays, most trophies are made out of less expensive materials. Simply put, a trophy serves as a token of victory, valor or skill.

Ancient War Trophies in Greece and Rome

Going back to both ancient Greek and Roman times, war trophies were common. But these aren’t the usual trophies we imagine of in the modern world. Stemming from the Greek word tropaion, a trophy signified a war memorial which was assembled from items originating in the battlefield. Rome also displayed cultural objects taken from war back home to claim victory. It’s common for soldiers to return home with their personal trophies or souvenirs from battle such as enemy weapons, flags, etc.

Professional Trophy Awards in 2020

For the past century, or just about, we have seen professional trophies become the new normal. Just to a name a few notable ones: Academy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Grammy Awards, etc. These professional association awards those for outstanding work and recognition in their respective field of work. With corporate America booming in the past few decades as well, more often than not, each company holds their own awards ceremony each year.