Home > First mention of skiing in an American newspaper? Barnum's paper...
Show image list »
First mention of skiing in an American newspaper? Barnum's paper...
Item # 669882
March 19, 1853
ILLUSTRATED NEWS, New York, March 19, 1853 P.T. Barnum was the co-owner of this early illustrated newspaper which preceded both "Leslie's Illustrated" and "Harper's Weekly". These latter two ultimately becoming immensely more successful. This effort by Barnum and the Beach brothers would last but 48 issues.
Although an illustrated newspaper, perhaps the most notable report is an inconspicuous news item which may well be the earliest mention of the sport of skiing in an American publication.
Page 10 has a report describing what we now know as cross-country skiing: "Some of the Norwegian emigrants, settled in Minnesota territory, use the Lapland snow skates. These skates are strips of smooth wood, about six feet long and three inches wide, and turning up like sleigh runners before. The wearer partly shuffles along by moving alternately his feet, and shoves himself behind at the same time with a long staff. One of these snow skaters arrived in St. Paul in the latter part of January last, from Lake Superior, having traveled at the rate of eighty miles or less a day."
Among the many prints within is a nice print: "The Flood at Sacramento City, California---View on J Street". Also a print of: "Baltimore & Ohio Railway---Crossing the Pettibone Tunnel" and: "Winter Life In Canada---Skating in the Club House, Quebec" and the back page shows: "Prairie Scene Near the Rocky Mountains".
Sixteen pages, nice condition.
Category: Pre-Civil War