Figure Skating Pins Profile: 1973 U.S. Championships
An all-American, no-nonsense look is seen in the pin that commemorates the 1973 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in the Minneapolis–St. Paul suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota (thus the “Twin Cities” inscription on the pin). On a silver-color base metal, the red, white, and blue motif dominates the center pin design that includes a representation of the U.S. flag, a skate boot and blade, and the event year, “73.” The top of the boot overlays the flag, with one star filled in blue and centered precisely on the upper boot section. The boot, blade, and year work well as a logo against the contrasting black background to create a memorable figure skating pin.
Of particular interest is the ligature used in the lettering, where the first “N” and the “A” in “Nationals” are blended into a single artful letter.
The colloquial term “U.S. Nationals,” in all capital letters, appears around the top circumference of the pin on a white enamel background. This wording, or another variation, is sometimes seen on earlier U.S. Championships pins in place of the event’s longer, more formal name: “United States Figure Skating Championships.” Of particular interest is the ligature used in the lettering, where the first “N” and the “A” in “Nationals” are blended into a single artful letter. To the knowledge of The Curator of The Netropolitan, this is the only pin from a major championship to feature such a stylization. Although the ligature may have been solely an artistic choice, it also hints at the blending of Minneapolis–St. Paul. Around the bottom circumference of the pin (also in all capital letters) is the event location and year: “Twin Cities, 1973.”
A screwback and tap attachment, most unpopular with collectors, is used rather than another, more traditional pinback style. The screwback is difficult to attach and is not at all garment friendly. Historically, the approximately 1″ diameter (2.5 cm) pin from the 1973 U.S. Championships has been difficult to find and remains so today, nearly 50 years after the event.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: It’s a Ligature. 1973.
(This is an edited edition of a blog titled “6.0 Times Three” originally published September 5, 2020.)
Figure Skating Pins Gallery: 1973 U.S. Championships
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