Antique Push Stick - Antique Ski Pole
c. 1850's, 19th Century
Wood, leather, metal
58" tall, 5" basket diameter
© Vintage Winter
A wonderful example of a single ski pole commonly referred to as a push stick. This push stick was found in Sweden and has seen over a hundred years of use. Notice the carved grooves on the solid basket. Single push sticks like this are quite difficult to find.
Single poles were used until about 1910 and made of a hardwood (hickory, willow, oak, etc.) to be sturdy and strong “push sticks”. In the 1920’s, bamboo shafts became popular because they were lighter weight and still strong. Ski Poles were also made of cane, in fact many of the 1940s WWII US Military 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops had cane poles with leather hand grips, rattan ring baskets with leather straps. The tip was steel and most had aluminum ferrules protecting the “snow” end of the ski pole (dating 1920s – 1950s). Adaptations continued in the ski pole “baskets” – going from a sturdy round wooden discs – to rattan rings and leather lacing. The hand straps of the ski pole were once simple canvas straps. Leather hand grips and straps were “in” for ski fashion in the 20s and 30s. Ski poles evolved to rubberized hand grips, metal shafts and metal rings in the late 1940s and 1950s.