My topic today is wooden snowshoes and really heavy manual typewriters. I’m not really 100 years old, but my parents never bought anything new, and they never threw anything out, and they took good care of what they had. They were depression era babies. This explains a lot – about them, and about my life.

I learned to type on a manual; it was very heavy and was open on the sides and back – you could see all the parts. I thought it was pretty cool, for that. For typing, not so much. 

Manual Remington, cica 1940's

Manual Remington, circa 1940's

 It was hard to practice, because at home I typed on this dinosaur which required pretty strong finger strength to hit the keys and get them to go all the way to the paper, and at school I was using an electric, with the letters on one of those balls that flipped around as you typed. If I used the same force at school that I did at home, I’d get multiple letters, so I had to adjust.

I was looking on the internet and people are selling these things for $200 – $300 – you couldn’t get me to buy one. It’s amazing what people will fork over for old stuff. I had a nice manual portable that I carried around for years and finally got rid of last summer. It was nice, but I got tired of storing it and I hadn’t used it for about 15 years.

Next topic: Wood snowshoes!

Wood snowshoes with leather bindings and mesh

Wood snowshoes with leather bindings and mesh

I don’t know when these were made; I wore them when I was a little kid. My family used to go snowshoeing at Snoqualmie Pass. These are small and are called bear paws. I have some adult size wood snowshoes; they are a different shape and much longer.

Below is a close up of the bindings:

Wood snowshoe leather bindings

Wood snowshoe leather bindings

The purpose of the rope wrapped around the frame is to improve traction. The whole thing was varnished to reduce the amount of water the leather absorbed when hiking. We have a lot of wet snow in Washington, and if the leather absorbed water it would stretch and everything would come loose.

The last time I wore my wood snowshoes, everyone else was using the modern plastic and metal type. I found out that these are all narrower in width, so I was basically breaking trail the whole hike. After that I hung up my “antiques”, even thought there is nothing wrong with them, and bought some modern type.

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