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The Time Machine Archive

The Time Machine is a presentation of ski history material from the New England Ski Museum collection. This feature is updated on a regular basis - you'll find the most recent entry on the front page of SnowJournal.com


How To Use A Rope Tow, 1961 -- This whimsical cartoon appeared in the January 1961 Eastern Ski Bulletin.

Really, the image is self-explanatory. This cartoon was published in the interest of skier safety, instructing skiers on the proper usage of a rope tow. Rope tows were still a common form of uphill transportation in 1961.

Warren Miller Film Advertisement, 1959 -- This advertisment appeared in the February 1959 edition of Ski Magazine.

Ski bum extraordinaire - before the well known ski film pioneer's work was put on the annual tour that we know today, this is how he did it. If this were still 1959, you too could rent Warren Miller films in your choice of black-and-white/color and 8mm/16mm formats.

Text which appeared below the image reads:

World Champions, Deep Powder, Racing, Chile, Austria, Switzerland, France, Canada, Aspen, Sun Valley, Alta, Mammoth, to mention a few can now be yours to view in your own home. Cut the titles off, splice them in with your own home movies and show your friends where you spend your spare time.

Warren Miller 1959

Cannon Mountain and Mittersil - 1960 Ski Cannon & Mittersil, 1960 -- This combined advertisement for Cannon Mountain and adjoining Mittersill ski area appeared in the November 1960 issue of Eastern Ski Bulletin.

Cannon Mountain is one of the oldest ski areas in North America. Although trails existed on the mountain prior to 1933, the mountain gained fame when the Taft Slolam was cut as the first racing trail in North America. The mountain gained lift service with the construction of the first aerial tramway in 1938.

Neighboring Mittersill was built in the 1940's with t-bar service, and was expanded again in the late 1960's with the addition of a Hall double-chair. The base area was a quaint replica of an Austrian ski village -- during it's prime, Mittersill played frequent host to celebrities and became "the place to be".

Mittersill closed for business around 1984, although skiers today still enjoy the old trails as a "powder stash" requiring only a short hike across the summit ridge from Cannon.

When The T-Bar was King, 1941 -- This promotional ad for Constam T-Bars appeared in the 1941 edition of the American Ski Annual. The Constam brand was one of the more popular uphill rides of the period.

Born in Switzerland, Ernst Constam was a ski mountaineer and also made his own skis. His major contribution to skiing was the next step beyond rope tows - inventing a lift with a continuously circulating overhead cable, so vital in creating the T-bar, Pomalift, chairlift and gondola. He also designed the first (single-passenger) J-bar in time for the 1934-35 ski season.

Constam was inducted to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 2003.
Constam T-Bar Ad 1941

Alpine Meadows Snow Vacuum -- 1956

01/15/04 - Snow vacuum experiment at Alpine Meadows, 1956 -- This 1956 photograph shows a strange activity -- moving snow out of the woods and onto a trail at Alpine Meadows. This technique was used for a short time before modern snowmaking was widely available. The vacuum machine in this photograph was intended to remove waste from gutters and highways.

The 1957 Ski Annual gives a first-person account of the vacuum experiment -- written by Edwin B. Taylor, Jr., Owner of Alpine Meadows

But how will this machine work on snow? Bill said he did not know but it should handle snow. He would like to try it out on our slopes. That was what I wanted and so made arrangements to have the machine at Alpine Meadows in the morning. The next morning I had my D-2 outside and waiting when Tarrant's pick-up arrived with the big vacuum on its trailer.

We soon had it up the mountain and blowing snow in a good stream. There was not much in the woods to get and what was there had a crust on it so it took two men to break it up and one man to run the suction hose and one to work the discharge hose. This could be cut down with better snow and if the machine were mounted on the back of a four drive Sno-Cat, I believe that it would be of great value to a major area. You must remember that this was not designed for the purpose which we used it, the machine would take some changes in intake and discharge lines and perhaps longer hose, but even in its present state it does pick up snow from the woods and put it where you can ski on it. The snow, after it emerges from the machine, is like flour and two inches of this snow makes as much base as eight inches of powder.

At Alpine Meadows our season lasted from mid-December to mid-March and as far as ticket sales went we had our best season, but to achieve this goal with a winter like last year [1956] you have to bring the snow out of the woods and onto the slope. There are no doubt many methods yet to try and I am sure that there will be other bad winters to come so when they come we will try these and perhaps many more to maintain good skiing.

01/06/04 - 1934 Woodstock Ski "Hawl" -- To view this photograph is to witness the birth of modern skiing in the United States.

This Christine Reid photograph, shot January 1934 in Woodstock, VT, shows a small crowd at the base of the first powered ski lift in the United States. Of course, this is also the first lift-line in the United States. The lift was powered by a Model-T Ford, which is shown in the close-up. On the back of the photograph are the hand-written words - "Woodstock Ski Hawl".

Woodstock Ski Tow 1934

cannon mountain tramway under construction photo

12/31/03 - The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway -- During the process of it's construction in 1979-80, there was a short period in which both new tram cars were resting in the lower terminal. Since the tram cars normally function opposite of each other, this was the only time in it's history when both cars could be seen like this.

The original Cannon Mountain tram can be seen on the right. The original tram was constructed in 1937 and had roughly 1/3 of the capacity of the new tram.

Wednesday May 06, 2015
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