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Online Collections

snow ski

ca. 1930

In the early 20th century the Northland Ski Manufacturing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, was one of the earliest American ski manufacturers and one of the world's largest. The company was founded in 1911 by Norwegian immigrant C. A. Lund, who advocated skiing for a "healthier nation," claiming, "I have seen many a man regain the vigor and vitality of youth through skiing and tobogganing." At the time the company made this pair of skis, around 1930, skiing was still a relatively young sport in the United States. Although Americans and Europeans had been skiing since early in the 19th century, it had yet to catch on as a popular activity. However, its popularity exploded during the 1930s, with the number of American skiers rising to an estimated 3 million by the end of the decade. In 1931 sales of skis and snowshoes totaled $163,032; by 1937, the figure soared to nearly $1.25 million. Yet, at the beginning of the Great Depression, skiing continued to be a sport for the wealthy. At the time they were made, these mid-range skis of maple cost roughly $15 - not including boots, bindings, and poles, which could cost more than the skis themselves.

ManufacturerNorthland Ski Mfg. Co.
Materialwood | leather | metal | rubber
OriginSt. Paul, MN
Object ID88.93
Credit LineGift of Mr. & Mrs. Harold Larson

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