When the 1930 World Figure Skating Championships came to the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City, a milestone had been reached. It was the first World Championship to be held in North America and the first to be held in the United States. In the 34-year history of the World Championships, the event had been contested only in a narrow area of Europe, with every championship having been held in Russia, Sweden, England, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, or Finland.
It is easy to imagine competitors of the event proudly wearing their badges as they toured New York City…
In the gallery below is a pin that belonged to one of the approximately 30 skaters who competed in the 1930 Worlds. A double-layer, red silk ribbon with gold foil lettering marks the event: “Worlds Figure Skating Championship 1930.” The famed host city name is conspicuously absent from the pin. Attached atop the ribbon is a badge with a simple, typewritten paper insert that reads “COMPETITOR” to denote the wearer’s role in the event. Suspended from the doubled-over portion of the ribbon is a beautiful winged skate blade that suggests excellence and speed (the winged skate blade is part of an early brand of U.S. Figure Skating). The blade is made of a gold-color metal and is held in place by interlocking jump rings. The charming, handmade quality of the pin reflects the era and points to a simpler, more intimate time in the sport.
It is easy to imagine competitors of the event proudly wearing their badges as they toured New York City, many perhaps for the first time. That roster would have read like a legends of figure skating: Sonja Henie, Maribel Owen, Karl Schäfer, and Andrée Brunet and Pierre Brunet, to name just a few.
Enjoy An American First. 1930.