FRANCONIA NOTCH, New Hampshire — The once-a-year New England Ski Museum Gift Catalog is being mailed today from Littleton, NH. The 32-page color print catalog and its associated online shop is one way the non-profit Museum supports itself, with all proceeds used to support the Museum’s mission of preserving the history of skiing.
Shop Manager Linda Bradshaw developed many of the 62 new products in the catalog based on items from the Museum’s extensive collections. Each year the Museum researches and mounts a new exhibition, and this year the display, The National Ski Patrol and Ski Patrolling in America, was a fertile source of shop products. “The ski patrol exhibit has been so popular that two vintage patrol posters, a black and white photograph, T-shirts, a mirror, and a new documentary film with a patrol theme have all grown out of it,” Bradshaw notes.
The documentary she mentions will be a 54-minute film featuring rare footage of early ski patrols from Mt. Mansfield, Vermont as well as interviews with some of the pioneers of ski patrolling exemplified by George Wesson, longtime patrol director at Mt. Mansfield and Killington. The family of NSP founder Minnie Dole allowed the use of extensive footage and still photos from their archives. The NSP was instrumental in organizing and recruiting the army’s 10th Mountain Division during World War II, and the contributions to the growth of postwar skiing by veterans of the 10th are covered in the film. Filmmaker Rick Moulton, a member of the Museum’s board, is the producer of the documentary, which will be seen on Vermont PBS stations in December.
A new DVD by Nils Larsen of Washington state, documenting the isolated people of the Altai Mountains of central Asia whose ski-building and skiing techniques have been carried down from prehistory, was first presented in a preliminary version to a Museum audience in March as part of the Museum’s Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race. Production of Larsen’s film was partially underwritten by a Museum grant; it should be available through the Museum by December.
In addition to posters, prints, DVDs and gift items, books are a popular category in the catalog. The Culture and Sport of Skiing From Antiquity to World War II, a new book by E. John B. Allen, a Museum board member and one of the most respected academic historians of skiing in the world, follows skiing from its origins thousands of years ago to 1940, by which time it had evolved from its original form as a mode of human travel and hunting into the recreational pursuit of today. The Museum will also offer a second edition of its book on the 10th Mountain Division, Tales of the 10th, with new material added from the 2007 exhibit.
All telephone and internet orders are processed by Museum staffers at the Franconia Notch location. The New England Ski Museum 2008 Gift Catalog can be obtained by calling the Museum at 800-639-4181 or going online to www.skimuseum.org.
About the New England Ski Museum
Located in Franconia Notch next to the Cannon Mountain Tramway, NH, the New England Ski Museum is a non-profit, member-supported museum dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting aspects of ski history. The Museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM seven days a week from Memorial Day through the end of March. Admission is free. For more information call 800-639-4181 or visit www.skimuseum.org.