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Putting to rest 5 historic myths about the Browns' uniforms

With the Browns' new uniform unveil just 12 days away, we're digging deep into the archives to clarify a few misconceptions about the jerseys, helmets and pants Cleveland has worn since the team came into existence 69 years ago.

1. The Browns have always worn orange helmets

Why it's false: The iconic look has been associated with the Browns for seemingly forever, but it wasn't until 1950 when the team first covered its helmets in orange paint. From 1946-49, the Browns' helmets looked a lot like Penn State's do today -- plain white, no frills. For the 1950 season, the Browns would wear orange helmets for night games and a handful of day games while donning white helmets for most of their day games. Orange became the full-time staple in 1952, the same year a white stripe was added down the middle.

2. The Browns have never tried to introduce any major changes to their uniforms

Why it's false: A look through stacks and stacks of old photos reveal Browns players wearing uniforms that essentially look the same, save a few tweaks here and there to the striping on the sleeves or a different spin on the combination of orange, brown and white. But there have been a few steps off the beaten path along the way. In 1950 -- and 1950 only -- the Browns wore silver pants with their brown jerseys. In 1984, the Browns planned to roll out a brown jersey that had an orange number with a brown outline. Those jerseys never saw the field during the regular season, as they were viewed as problematic for spotters who couldn't decipher the numbers as they whirred past them.

3. Paul Brown invented the facemask

Why it's false: One of the most important figures in football history invented a particular kind of facemask, but he wasn't the first to arm his players with that kind of protection. Somewhere along the way through constant retellings, Brown has been credited with providing Otto Graham with the game's first facemask after he suffered a blow to the jaw during the first half of a Nov. 15, 1953, game against the San Francisco 49ers. It's true that Graham first wore a facemask during that particular game, but photos of players in facemasks can be found all the way back to the mid-1930s. Brown, meanwhile, is credited with inventing the BT-5 facemask, which is better known as the "single-bar." The NFL banned the facemask in 2004, but former Browns punter Scott Player kept it alive all the way to 2007 because he was grandfathered in under the old rules.

4. The Browns never wore orange jerseys until their occasional appearances in the 2000s.

Why it's false: Cleveland first wore orange jerseys in 1953, donning them for a home-opening rout of the Philadelphia Eagles. (They were also worn in the preseason, then again for exhibition games in 1954 and 1955). For 49 years during the regular season, Cleveland kept it simple, rotating between variations of white and brown until the orange reappeared in 2002. The Browns beat the Texans, 34-17, that day and are 2-3 all-time in orange tops.

5. The Browns once wore a "CB" logo on their helmets

Why it's false: As documented in detail by the Cleveland Scene, there is no evidence of the Browns wearing this kind of logo on their helmets during the 1965 season. The confusion stems from advertisement drawings commissioned by the NFL that showed the Browns wearing this unexpected new logo on their helmets. Merchandisers picked up on it and used the logo on a number of Browns products. Alas, there are no photos that show this, or any other logo, on the Browns' helmets since the team came into existence in 1946.

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