• 1850 - Sondre Norheim, of Morgedal, Telemark, invents a heel strap of entwined shoots of the birch tree root.
  • 1879 - First ski manufacturing undertaken by Norwegian immigrant Martin A. Strand in Minnesota.
  • 1882 - Norske Ski Club, Berlin, New Hampshire, first modern ski club in America, is organized by resident Norwegians to remain oldest U.S. ski club with a continuous history.
  • 1896 - Retired school teacher Mathias Zdarsky of Lilienfeld, Austria, publishes the first book, Lillienfeld Skilaufer Technik, describing the stem turn.
  • 1911 - First run of the world's first downhill classic, the Roberts of Kandahar Cup, run over the Plaine Morte Glacier in Montana, Switzerland
  • 1920 - First paid instructor in a U.S. ski school, Norwegian Henrik Jacobsen, hired at the Lake Placid Club, Lake Placid, N.Y
  • 1924 - First Olympic Winter Games held at Chamonix, France, with Nordic ski events only.
  • 1920's - Norwegian pioneers in the western US showed how to make wooden skis
  • 1927 - On March 8, the first modern downhill race in the United States was run on Mt. Moosilauke, NH, by the Dartmouth Outing Club
  • 1930 - Rudolph Lettner, a skier and metal worker from Salzburg, Austria, invents and patents the steel edge.
  • 1932 - Third Olympic Winter Games held at Lake Placid, New York, with downhill and slalom still excluded.
  • 1932 - North America's first rope tow is invented by Alex Foster and installed at Shawbridge, Quebec.
  • 1934 - January 28 saw the first rope tow installed in the U.S. by Bob and Betty Royce, proprietors of the White Cupboard Inn, in Woodstock, VT.
  • 1935 - The first Kandahar cable binding holding the skier's heel to the ski is introduced.
  • 1935 - First European T-bar: the J-bar at Davos, is converted to a T-bar.
  • 1936 - Averill Haarriman, the president of the Union Pacific Railroad, purchased several thousand acres of Idaho ranchland for the first destination ski resort in North America. It was later named Sun Valley.
  • 1936 - First chairlift in the world on Dollar Mtn. at Sun Valley
  • Johnny Ellis, Dartmouth class of 35, helps construct first
  • 1936-38 - Rope tows at Lake Mary (Mt. Judah) and Clair Tappaan Lodge
  • 1936 - The Third Winter Games holds world's first Olympic alpine events, a downhill and slalom combined, at Garmisch.
  • 1938 - Dave McCoy sets up rope tow at Mammoth Mt., California.
  • 1939 - Sugar Bowl in Norden, California opened by John Wiley and Hannes Schrol
  • 1940's - Beartrap bindings
  • 1945 - Friedl Pfeifer meets with the City Council at Aspen and outlines the plan for creating a top international resort at Aspen.
  • 1946-47 - Aspen Skiing Corporation formed under Walter Paepcke, replacing Pfeifer's original Aspen Ski Company.
  • 1946 - P-Tex base invented by the Swiss firm Muller and Co.
  • 1949 - Mad River Glen, Vermont; Squaw Valley, California, both opened.
  • 1949 - First chairlift in Tahoe basin at Squaw Valley
  • 1949 - Howard Head markets the aluminum Head Standard, the first commercially successful aluminum ski.
  • 1950 - Ski schools become popular. Most didn't let you ride the rope tow until you learned to ski down while making good snowplows turns after climbing up the hill, which took about four or five days.
  • 1958 - Buddy Werner becomes first American male to win a major European combined, the Lauberhorn.
  • 1958 - Clif Taylor, considered the inventor of Graduated Length Method (GLM)
  • 1960 - Eighth Olympic Winter Games at Squaw Valley, California. first alpine Games in the U.S.; Penny Pitou wins silver medals in downhill and giant slalom, and Betsy Snite wins a silver medal in slalom.
  • 1964 - Construction of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
  • 1964 - Billy Kidd and Jimmy Heuga become the first American men to win Olympic medals for alpine skiing, being second and third, respectively, in the slalom of the ninth Olympic Winter Games at Innsbruck, Austria. Jean Saubert ties for second in the giant slalom and places third in the slalom.
  • 1964 - The first Lange all plastic buckle boots are commercially available.
Ski sizes:
1950's - 7.5 ft

Timeline of Important Ski History Dates from the International Skiing History Association.
Vermont Ski Museum

last updated 28 Jan 2007