From Skisport to Skiing: One Hundred Years of an American Sport, 1840-1940

Przednia okładka
Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1996 - 248

The first full-length study of skiing in the United States, this book traces the history of the sport from its utilitarian origins to its advent as a purely recreational and competitive activity.

During the mid-1800s, inhabitants of frontier mining communities in the Sierra and Rocky mountains used skis for many practical reasons, including mail and supply delivery, hunting, and railroad repair. In some towns skis were so common that, according to one California newspaper, "the ladies do nearly all their shopping and visiting on them."

But it was Norwegian immigrants in the Midwest, clinging to their homeland traditions, who first organized the skisport. Through the founding of local clubs and the National Ski Association, this ethnic group dominated American skiing until the 1930s.

At this time, a wave of German immigrants infused America with the ethos of what we today call Alpine skiing. This type of skiing became increasingly popular, especially in the East among wealthy collegians committed to the romantic pursuit of the "strenuous life." Ski clubs proliferated in towns and on college campuses and specialized resorts cropped up from New England to California. At the same time, skiing became mechanized with tows and lifts, and the blossoming equipment and fashion industries made a business of the sport.

On the eve of World War II, as the book concludes its story, all the elements were in place for the explosion in recreational and competitive skiing that erupted after 1945.

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Popularne fragmenty

Strona 48 - I know of no form of sport which so ' evenly develops the muscles, which renders the body so strong and elastic, which teaches so well the qualities of • dexterity and resource, which in equal degree calls for decision and resolution and which gives the same vigor and exhilaration to mind and body alike.
Strona 4 - ... secularism, equality of opportunity to compete and in the conditions of competition, specialization of roles, rationalization, bureaucratic organization, quantification, the quest for records.
Strona 43 - ... woods and snow-fields." Then Lylikki, snow-shoe-maker, Ancient Kauppi, master artist, Whittled in the fall his show-shoes, Smoothed them in the winter evenings, One day working on the runners, All the next day making stick-rings, Till at last the shoes were finished, And the workmanship was perfect. Then he fastened well the shoe-straps, Smooth as adder's skin the woodwork, Soft as fox-fur were the stick-rings; Oiled he well his wondrous snow-shoes With the tallow of the reindeer; When he thus...
Strona 48 - Civilization is, as it were, washed clean from the mind and left far behind with the city atmosphere and city life; one's whole being is, so to say, wrapped in one's snowshoes and the surrounding nature. There is something in the whole which develops soul and not body alone.
Strona 75 - If you love the great out,of,doors, and if you like to live, really live, in the clean, wide distant sweep of a limitless horizon, breathe an untainted air, boundless as the heavens themselves and enjoy a freedom that can be found in no other way, a keen, stimulating, exhilarating pleasure that thrills you through the very center of your being, you will understand what motives led to the organization of the Dartmouth Outing Club.
Strona 57 - Standing with one foot slightly advanced, his skis close together, and leaning forward he sped down the steep hill. At the jump he gathered himself for the leap, and with a mighty bound sailed into the air. Twice he gathered himself together and leaped while in mid-air, raising himself apparently as a bird would raise.
Strona 188 - The Making of a Skier: Fred H. Harris, 1904-1911," Vermont History 53 (Winter 1985): 5-16; Jack Feth, "Hyah, Chubber?
Strona 31 - ... demand [for flour] is much less than had been expected. Just now the snow around here is two and a quarter feet deep and quite loose. As soon as I step off the path I sink down well above my knees. The poor deer have suffered a good deal because they cannot escape the hunters on skis. The men tire a deer out, and several times they have been able to walk right up to one and plunge a hunting knife into it.
Strona 48 - ... to one's feet and takes one's way out into the forest? Can there be anything more beautiful than the northern winter landscape, when the snow lies foot-deep, spread as a soft white mantle over field and wood and hill? Where will one find more freedom and excitement than when one glides swiftly down the hillside through the trees, one's cheek brushed by...
Strona 175 - William H. Brewer, Up and Down in California in 1860-1864: The Journal of William H. Brewer, edited by Francis P.

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Informacje o autorze (1996)

E. John B. Allen is professor of history at Plymouth State College.

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