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Object Name: Bobsled
Date: ca. 1900
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Medium: Wood, metal, textile
Dimensions: Overall: 12 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 89 in. ( 32.4 x 31.8 x 226.1 cm )
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Description: Wooden bob sled with elongated oval top above two pairs of runners; front runners with pivoting mechanism; rope at front.
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. John E. Parsons
Object Number: 1959.100
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Marks: stencilled: on underside of body: "SLAZENGER/NEW YORK"

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Bobsledding was developed in Switzerland in the late 1800s when runners were attached to a toboggan to get greater speed down the famous runs at St. Moritz. The new sled was so named because early racers believed they could increase their speed by bobbing their bodies back and forth. The first bobsled run in the United States was built at Lake Placid, New York for the 1932 Winter Olympics, and American bobsledders took the lead in world competition through the 1950s. This bobsled, with a pivoting mechanism for steering, was made by Slazenger, a British sporting goods manufacturer more familiar today for its tennis equipment.