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Nordic Ski Bindings: 1860s to 1970s 

Only wicker and/or leather toe straps were used on the oldest skis. It is also known that the Sami and the military have used leather straps around the heel for centuries. Telemarkers used wicker around the heel in the 1860s. Bindings of rattan came around 1890. In 1894, Fritz Huitfeldt took out a patent for the bolted binding and the iron pipe binding three years later, which in 1904 was applied to Sigurd H°yer-Ellefsen strap tightener. In 1920, Marius Eriksen patented adjustable bindings, which attached to the top of the ski with screws. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, the same binding was used for both ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Gradually, both skis and bindings became more specialized. Special bindings for cross-country skiing came in 1913. The Kandahar cable binding for jumping and alpine came around 1930. Pin bindings were invented in 1927 and are still used today. With the popularity of cross country skiing occuring in the 1970s, many variations of bindings were introduced. Rottefella started making their new Nordic norm bindings in the 1980s and binding evolution continued.

 Wicker or braided willow bindings were used in the early years, with a hoop for the toe and a heel strap in the back. 


Vidje ski binding from the mid-to late 1800s


Sami boots used with Vidje bindings.
Photo by Piotr Jasienski "Szuwarek"


Leather strap bindings from the late 1800s


Leather harness bindings from the late 1800s, usually made by horse harness-makers.


Huitfeldt binding through a mortise in the ski - 1897 by Fritz Huitfeldt


Høyer-Ellefsen buckle/clamp - 1904


Bergendahl binding, patented in 1913 by Olaf Selmer


Marius Ericksen toe iron, introduced in 1920


Rottefella 6-pin binding invented by Bror With in 1927.
In 1948, 4-pin bindings were introduced and 3-pin bindings were used starting in the early 1960s. 
Click here for more information on Rottefella bindings.


Tempo Binding - Introduced in the mid-1930s


Gresvig Kandahar cable bindings - 1938
Click here for instructions on mounting cable bindings

ca 1948: Rottefella 4-pin binding


4-pin boot plates - ski boots needed to be drilled for bindings during this time period.


1970s: Bass Eie binding - Copy of patent


ca 1950: Rottefella SNABB 4-pin binding


ca 1963: Rottefella Gull binding


Early 1950s: C.A. Lund Military balata binding.
Click here for mounting instructions.


ca 1968: Normark 3-pin, made in Sweden


ca 1979: Rottefella wire bail binding


ca 1970: Modern 3-pin, 75mm binding


ca 1970: Skilom 50mm binding


ca 1970: Dovre 50mm binding


ca 1975: Rottefella 50mm binding    


ca 1973: Snabber binding, made in Sweden


Kloa binding from the early 1970s


Adidas 38mm Norm introduced at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria and used by the US Ski Team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Source: crosscountryskihistory.us


1973 Bergans binding manufactured by Sven Ivar Dysthe
Photo from https://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/


1979: Boots for Adidas 38mm Norm bindings

 


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