6.0 Times Three. 1973.

Last Updated on May 20, 2021 by Netropolitan Museum

It was to be Janet Lynn’s year when she would, at last, capture the elusive world title and earn a distinction befitting of a champion who had already given so much to the sport. In Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota, at the 1973 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Lynn won her fifth and final U.S. title in high style, with three perfect 6.0 marks for artistic impression for her flawless freestyle program. It was quite a send-off to the 1973 World Figure Skating Championships, to be held in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, where she would compete under a revised format that introduced a short freeskating program valued at 20% of a skater’s total score and that devalued compulsory figures. The stars were aligned but it was not to be, and Lynn finished second in Bratislava. She left a lasting legacy on the sport and answered the question that the great Dick Button would often opine about [paraphrasing]: Will this skater leave the sport better or different just for having been a part of it? Janet Lynn did. She remains the finest female skater the sport has ever seen.

An all-American look—like Lynn herself had—is seen in the pin that marked the 1973 U.S. Championships. On a silver-color base metal, red, white, and blue enamels dominate the center pin design that includes a representation of the U.S. flag, a skate boot and blade, and the year, “73.” The top of the boot is superimposed over the flag, with one star filled in blue and centered exactly on the upper boot. As a unit, the boot, blade, and year work well against the contrasting black background to create a memorable logo.

An unusual design treatment appears in the lettering, where the “N” and “A” in “Nationals” are merged into a ligature, the stylistic blending of two letters into one.

As is seen in pins from other early U.S. Championships, the event name, which appears around the top circumference of the pin on a white enamel background, is written (in all capital letters) as “U.S. Nationals,” a variation of the colloquial wording often substituted for the event’s more formal name, “United States Figure Skating Championships.” An unusual design treatment is used in the lettering, where the first “N” and “A” in “Nationals” are merged into a ligature, the stylistic blending of two letters into one. To the knowledge of The Curator of The Netropolitan, this is the only pin from a major championship to feature a ligature. The ligature may have been solely an artistic choice, but it also hints at the close connection of Minneapolis and St. Paul, referred to as the Twin Cities. Around the bottom circumference of the pin (also in all capital letters) is the location and full year: “Twin Cities 1973.” Unlike other U.S. Championships pins of the era, the pin features a screwback and tap attachment rather than a traditional pinback. The screwback is not favored by collectors because it is cumbersome, somewhat difficult to attach, and is not garment friendly.

The 1″ diameter pin (2.54 cm) has historically been difficult for collectors to find and is made more so today, some 47 years after the event.

Enjoy 6.0 Times Three. 1973.

1973 U.S. Championships Gallery

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