Foam Hand

A foam hand, also known as a foam finger, is a sports paraphernalia item worn on the hand to show support for a particular team. The first such hand was originally created by sportsfan Steve Chmelar in 1971, who constructed it from hardware cloth and paper mache for the 1971 Iowa High School Athletic Association Boy’s State Basketball Finals.

In 1978, Geral Fauss created foam fingers to show support for the team at the high school where he taught, to raise funds for the industrial arts club, and as a project that his industrial arts class could produce themselves. His first prototype foam finger was actually made out of plywood and had a painting of a ‘number one’ done in the school’s colors. The success of the hand led Geral Fauss to venture into the sports merchandise business, by making hands to sell at the 1978 Cotton Bowl game, and later by founding Spirit Industries for the large scale manufacturing of foam fingers the following year.


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