WWII 10th Mountain Division Bear Paw Snowshoes
Authentic WWII 10th Mountain Division Bear Paw snowshoes measuring 28" x 13" wide to strict government standards. These remarkable snowshoes have history and provenance which is stated on the included brass plaque certificate of authenticity.
Bob Dole was a proud member of the elite 10th Mountain Division.
These historical snowshoes were made in America by the following companies: Lund of Hastings, MN, A.F.H. Co. (American Fork and Hoe Co.) of Wallingford, VT, Bentley-Wilson of Camden, NY, and Snocraft of Norway, ME. They were sent to Europe on ships with the elite 10th Mountain troops starting in December 1944.
After the war, the snowshoes were stored in a barn in Turkey where they remained until 2002 when I was able to work with the Turkish government and have them returned to the U.S.
The snowshoes are stamped with 'U.S.' the name of the manufacturer, size, serial number and date, either 1942, '43, '44 or '45. They are made of ash wood, rawhide and have original leather bindings. The companies mentioned were commissioned by the government under strict specifications and were the only companies allowed to use rawhide since it was rationed during the war. Consequently, they were the only snowshoes manufactured during the war years.
These vintage snowshoes are from the same collection that were used to form the backdrop for President Bush during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
You are observing beautiful craftsmanship and a rare piece of American history. The Mark Miller Collection Brass plaque certificate of authenticity measures 8"x6" and has the color 10th Mountain Division insignia and double sided tape for display next to the snowshoes. Comes with the purchase of any 10th snowshoes.
As seen in The Sundance catalog. I will pick the best pair available for you from the above mentioned stock brought back from Turkey. It takes a labor intensive 1 1/2 hours to weave the rawhide in just one snowshoe, and must be done by hand. A rare piece of American military history!