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25 bits of sledding trivia

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Of all winter’s leisuretime activities, sledding easily seems the most straightforward, requiring only a something to sit on, snow and a slope, but as Erin McCarthy of Mental Floss discovered when she did some digging in the mounds of sledding history, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Toboggans

1. The word toboggan comes from either the Algonquin word odabaggan or the Anishinabe word nobugidaban.

2. The Inuit made their toboggans out of whalebone, while other tribes used birch or tamarack. The sleds had a curved front, to ease traveling over difficult terrain, but had no runners. The design has changed little since they were first developed; today, most toboggans are made with seven boards of ash or maple, each about 2 inches wide.

American Clippers and Cutters

1. Clippers and cutters were the first mass-produced sleds in the United States. They were made by the Paris Manufacturing Company in South Paris, Maine. The company was founded by Henry Morton in 1861; it was also the first company to commercially produce skis.

2. Morton based his sled designs on horse-drawn sleighs.

Full story at Mental Floss.

Snow sports.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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