Vintage Skis Made in Maine

A pair of vintage skis with a classic Scandinavian design

These wooden skis were made in Maine in the early 20th century by the Paris Manufacturing Company. Located in South Paris, Maine, the Paris Manufacturing Company was founded in the mid-1800s by Henry Morton and Lucilla Forbes, who started the company in their living room.

The company was well-known for making sleds. Henry would craft the sleds by hand and apply the runners; Lucilla would paint them to add appealing flourishes and details. The company grew over the years and by the early 1900s it employed more than 300 workers, boasting the reputation of being one of the largest and longest-operating sled companies in the United States.

 Skiing was not originally considered a recreational sport. Skiing was a necessity founded in Europe and was used for hunting, trapping and travel during the winter months. The oldest pair of skis ever discovered are more than 8,000 years old and were found in Russia. Starting in the 18th century, skis also became integral for the military in snowy regions.

 As skiing became a booming popular pastime, who better to manufacture skis but a sled company in Maine? Skis were originally made from wood and there were no fancy bindings or high-tech parabolic technologies compared with the likes of today.

 These Paris Manufacturing Company skis are based on a classic Scandinavian ski design. They are a nice example and are in excellent condition, still bearing their original labels. I would estimate the value of  these skis at $200.

Categories: Antiques