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newspapers : 1921

 Newspaper Extracts, 1921


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9 January 1921
12 February 1921
26 February 1921

13 June 1921
15 June 1921
28 June 1921
16 July 1921
26 July 1921
6 September 1921

6 September 1921

9 September 1921
14 September 1921
24 October 1921
11 December  1921
Claude West Injured in Rescue, Manly.
Newcastle Carnival.

Claude West Surfboard Rescue, Manly.
Lifeguards and Surfboard, Atlantic City, with photograph.
Beach Report and  Surfboard Restrictions, Atlantic City, with illustration.
Balsa Surfboards from Rogers Peet Company, at four stores in New York City.
Surfboards rented at 15 cents, tidal basin bathing beach, Washington, DC.
Boston's Helen Smith with her New Surfboard, with photograph.
Girl Reserves Camp, Kauai.
Surfboard Restrictions, Waikiki.
Duke Sculpture, for the New York Museum of Natural History.
Hawaii, Duke, and Surfboards by Frank Beaurepaire, Australia, with autographed photograph..
Duke, Surfboards and Swimming by L.G. Robinson, Henley and Orange Club, Adelaide
Surf Riding Women, Washington DC - Harvard University?

Sunday Times
Sydney, Sunday 9 January 1921, page 3.

Life-Saver Injured at Manly

Heavy seas at Manly yesterday were responsible for injuries received by Claude West, a professional life saver employed by the Manly Council.
A man was seen to be in difficulties
at South Steyne.
He was caught by the
current and carried out to the point.
donned the belt and went out to
assist him; but the man was washed to the edge of the rocks and managed to scramble out of the water.
The life saver was not so fortunate.

The cork belt allowed him to be tossed
about and the line dragged, and despite his struggles he was washed towards the point.
He then threw off the belt, and
as he did so was caught by a big breaker and dashed on to the rocks.
His legs
were severely scraped.

1921 'Life-Saver Injured at Manly.', Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), 9 January, p. 3, viewed 19 October, 2014,

The Daily Telegraph
Sydney, 17 January 1921, page 6.

"Lead me to it," said Pua Kealoba at the Central Railway Station yesterday morning, where he, Ludy Langer, Frank Beaurepaire, Tod Solomons, and other swimmers met to entrain for Cronulla, where the local surf club had promised to entertain the Hawaiian visitors.
"Lead me to it." The young Hawaiian had never been in better spirits since his arrival In Sydney.
His ""big brother" Langer would not allow any surfing prior to the classic race on Saturday.
And Pua has only one love — the beach and tho thundering breaker.
The surf is life to him.

Messrs. Les Duff, H. R, Kelly, W. Scott,, F.
C. Williams, E. S. Marks, and D. MTntyre," all
prominent in tho swimming world, were of tho
At Sutherland Kcaloha conld not leave the
train quickly enough.
"Lead ine to It" quivered on his lips.
Thero were half-a-dozen private cars in wait
ing, and Mr. W. Chiplin (president of tho Cro
nulla Surf Club) and others wolcomcd the
After running through National Park the cars
headed for the beach, much' to Koaloha's de-
Plight. But also it was short-lived. The car
In which ho was proceeded, through some mis
understanding, to the hotel, where lunch was.
in preparation. Here the swimmor was enter
tained by a few friends for several hours. In
ignorance of the fact that Ludy Langer and
tho others were disporting In the breakers-
"When the news was broken to him subse
quently he almost collapsed. To know .that ho
had idled on dry land when ho might have been
in the surf almost brought tears to this big
boy's eyes. He was heart-broken.
Mr. W. Chiplin at tho luncheon proposed tbo
health of the visitors, referring to their great
process and sportsmanship; and Mr. W, R
Ainsworth (president of the Sutherland Shire
Council) supported the toast.
Langer, in his reply, "guessed that he had |
never swum before such a huge crowd as at
the Domain on Saturday. "And I have seen I
some big meets, I guess," he added.
Kealoba, sitting glumly by, was not loth to
make a speech.
"I want to go to tho surf," he remarked
At 5 o'clock a start was made to get Koaloha
out ot tho water. Success was achieved at 6
o'clock. He had then been hours In the sea was a very reluctant youth that was led
back to the city.

1921 'TO THE SURF.', The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), 17 January, p. 6. , viewed 04 Apr 2019,

The Sun
Sydney, 30 January 1921, page 11.

Surfboard Race.— S. Dowling (Manly) 1,
Only starter.

1921 'SURF CARNIVAL', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 30 January, p. 11. , viewed 30 Mar 2016,

Sunday Times
Sydney, 6 February 1921, age. 18.
Skimming the Breakers at Express Speed by Skill of Paddle
..Water-sport that has Its exciting moments is Indicated In the
photographs accompanying the article appearing below. For the pur
pose of enabling Mr. W. Klmbell, the Sunday Times photographer, an
opportunity of securing these pictures, several Bondl canoeists gave a
special display during the week. F. Foran and C. Selfe were in the
? Sticky-beak No. 2, E. Smiles and A. Freeman in the wooden canoe, In
diana (which was built by C. Towns), N. and E. Wootten were In- the
Hinemoa, and L. Reedy and R. Gray In the Solster. The wooden canoe
is a beauty. In It last year E. Smiles, a hirsute, muscular canoe expert,
journeyed from Bondl to Towns' shed on the Parramatta River. He
took the trip leisurely; It lasted from soon after 6 a.m. until about
4 p.m. As the canoeist entered the Heads he was cheered by men on
out-going steamers. During the, taking of the photographs herewith, .
Mr. A. Sara swam out through the undertow to convey instructions to
: the canoeists.
r. Australians like their sport flavored
ivith the spice of danger which, no
Joubt, is one of the principal reasons for
the recent popularity of surf-canoeing.
' The pastime is full of thrills, and there
Is something in the accompanying dan
ger that gives it more attractiveness.
'Never again,' said one young man
trho went with a companion and a dog
out in a canoe to fish off .Ben Buckler
'Ben Buckler, as most Sydney people
light to know, is near the northern point
ef - the great surfing beach of Bondi.
The two young -men were fishing, when
a shark, longer than the canoe by several
feet, swam leisurely up to it and looked
it the occupants with a hungry glint in
his eye. It may have caught sight of
i dog, which had stuck its head over
the side of 'the canoe. It may have had
merely a playful desire to become bet
ter acquainted with the occupants; any
low, the unwelcome visitor would not
go away. The canoeists shifted their
Bshing ground, but the shark followed
:hcm, sometimes coming close alongside,
ind once it touched the canoe.
This was too much for one of the
men. He collapsed In the bottom of the
:anoe, and his companion made all
haste ashore. In the breakers near the
ihore the shark .decided to turn seaward,
ind the youth who had 'died ten deaths'
was landed much distressed.
'I was jolly glart to get ashore, too,'
laid his friend wnen telling the story
tecchtly.-,''The two of us would have
been merely an afternoon snack for the
big brute.'
But it does not require anything as
large as a tiger or black whaler shark
to cause a canoeist alarm.
i Fatalities from Canoes
??'An incident on one of the Irish loughs
hist before the war had a tragic ending.
Captain Cameron was fishing alone in a
tanoe when he caught a large pike,
which he safely landed. He was unable
to give the fish a blow on the head to
Mill it, and, when it had recovered from |
the winding it had sustained during its J
*bmbat with the angler, it began to
jump about in the bottom of the canoe.
Captain Cameron made a~grab at it just
as it ' was escaping over the side, and
in doing so upset his canoe.
He was thr.own into x the water in full
view of other anglers in boats, and, al
though they hastened- to his assistance,
he' could not be saved.
'Another fatality on a Canadian river,
Iri'.which a canoeist was the victim, and
inother on Loch Lomond in Scotland,
were recorded in 1912.
In both, -these cases men were fishing
Slid stood up to lift large fish over the
side of their frail crafv. ? It is a little
short of madness to alter the centre of
gravity of a light canoe in this way.
':These instances are sufficient to show
lhat there is danger when prudence i3
not strictly exercised,- but' on the other
hand hundreds of instances have been
recorded where canoeists have saved life
by their skilful ^management of their
craft at surf-bathing resorts, and on
swiff flowing rivers.
Of the pure joys of canoeing in the
lurf, those who engage in it speak with
little emotional emphasis. They are lilre
air-men. The game is 'bonzer,'
'boskcr,'' 'great,' 'all right,' they say.
The long wait on a surf board for the
right kind of carrying comber that will
brin? a man ashore at a breathsnatch
ine speed is too tiring for the canoeist
wh.o is (or ought to be) an expert swim
mer. Obviously the game is for those
who are . swimmers of ability to whom
nn undertow io nothing more than ' a
temporary nuisance that can be'. easily
This new sport is testing the manhood
of Australia. It started to do so just
before the war broke out. Then our
lads could be seen at each week-end
paddline their own canoes in the placid
waters of bays and coastal marine lakes
when conditions were safe, but it was/
not long before they sought new' thrills, j
Having mastered the balancing part ;
of the ' business in still water, they tried
it in broken water, and found that they
could make a success of it provided they
were able to swim well enough when a
capsize occurred. The upsets happened
with remarkable frequency for a time,
and then the experimenters discovered
that by proper use of their paddles they
could maintain their equilibrium in big
They soon mastered the art
A Soldier's Gameness
At the popular seaside resort of Nar
rabeen, on one occasion, several young
fellows went out to the deep water on
an ebb tide from the lake, and negotiated
the breakers with more or less skill.
One of the party, however, who sub
sequently enlisted and went through the
Gallipoli campaign, while keeping his
canoe right end up with some difficulty,
lost his paddle and the boat half filled.
He was being swept rapidly far seaward
when he decided to jump out and swim
to the rocks.
That was a hazardous accomplishment,
but it was better than being miles off
shore in a half-submerged canoe without
He got to the rocks safely, a bit
scratched by the attentions of the acorn
barnacles on the roclc3, and his canoe
went on the way of the winds and the
waves. Three days later it was washed
ashore four' miles to the north.
Another day that same young fellow
went out alone through the breakers
during a heavy sea, when a nasty un
dertow had carried a man a quarter of
a mile away from the beach, and brought
the apparently doomed swimmer ashore.
On the Murrumbidgee
Mr. Sil Rohu, a Bondi surfer, attained
such skill in surf canoes that before he
went to the war he took on a long canoe
trip with a companion on the Murrum
bidgee River. Starting from Michelago
the two went miles and miles through
jome of the most magnificent scenery
and had adventures innumerable.
Some of the rapids they shot were as
bad as . any in North America. Ont
rapid was essayed by Mr. Rohu alone,
his companion preferring to walk' ? over
a rocky spur. It was a disastrous trip
for tht single occupant of the canoe, and
the canoe was swept against a rock and
badly buckled.
Being a powerful swimmer, Mr. Rohu
got ashore, and the canoe, with all of
its movable contents tipped out, went
on its way to the next clear reach, where
it was secured and repaired.
Sometimes the two 'adventurers lost
nil tlieir food,--but they were always able
to reach some station homestead or hut
where they ware invariably hospitably
treated. ''It was a. grand trip,' said
Mr. Rohu. 'I hope I'll be able to take
it on again.'
An Expert's Opinion
Another Bondi canoeing expert is Mr.
Aubrey Sara, the clever shark, angler.
Here's what he says about the canoe
'It is certainly dangerous tor anyone
incapable of sv. imming at least a mils
to go in for sur: canoeing. When I go
out I am clad only in a bathing cosr
tume, so that I will not be hampered if it
becomes necessary to swim for the
shore. I- sometimes go out in my canoe
Stykebke with a rod and reel for sharks,
and I have had some thrilling rides in
the wake of a racing shark, but I prefer
a safer craft than a canoe for handling
these monsters.
'One afternoon I was towed a good
distance by a shark before it broke away.
Tearing along behind it was most ex
hilarating. I was sorry it got off the
hook, but my companion in the canoe
was glad. . .
'As long as the shark kept in the bay
we knew we were all right, b5cause we
could swim ashore if the worst happened.
I don't advise others to take this class j
of sport on. |
. 'Shooting the breakers in a canoe
ought to do most men. Sometimes on
a day when the rollers are well-behaved,
a canoe will come in on tlic ciest of a
wave at the speed of an express train.
It may be. dumped .at the finish, but
that's part of the excitement.' When you
see the possibility of being dumped is
the time to get out and swim. The canoe
won't take much harm, but you may get
a crack on the head from it, which won't
make you feel overwhelmingly happy.'
But surfing in canoes may pall after
a time, and then the men who have de
veloped skill at it will turn their at
tention to the rivers as Mr. Rohu did.
What healthy young man's pulse will
not beat a bit quicker at the lure of the
rivers. A canoe that can be taken to
pieces for carrying, a light tent, and all
the appliances of camping open up a
field of exploration of entrancing in
Two venturesome men undertook a
long trip down the Snowy River some
years ago in a canoe they made. They
had many narrow escapes from death,
and lost a.11 their food through not being
able to make a portage where the. rapids
were practically impassable.
Modern canoe models .arc far safer,'
and, being constructed for taking to
pieces, should be the means by which the
little-known beautiful reaches of mos:
of our streams may be visited.
It is pleasant indeed to forget for a
fortnight' that there arc dusty -streets,
and four-walled offices and workshops;
to smell the fragrant fire o£ eucalypt, to
angle for perch and cod and bream ;
and cook the catch on the glowing
embers of the camp fire '; to shoot a few
game for food, and to forget that there
is anything else in the world but you
and your camping companions and the
birds, and the insects, and the fish, and
the song of the river. ,



1921 'PAGE 18 THE SUNDAY TIMES FEBRUARY 6, 1921 PORT WITH CANOES IN THE BONDI SURF', Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), 6 February, p. 18. , viewed 13 Dec 2016,
The Newcastle Sun
11 February 1921, page 6.

About three years ago Duke Kahanamoku introduced the Hawaiian surf board to Australian surfers.
The exhilarating sensation of being carried at express speed on a 'shoot' proved so captivating thai many Australian surfers decided to adopt the new
sport, with the result that there are now many local expert surfboard riders.
To-morrow, Messrs. Claude West, Steve Dowling. R. H. Walker, and O. Downing, of Manly, and several exponents trom the Freshwater Club, will give some thrilling exhibitions on 'Duke' boards.

1921 'SURF CARNIVAL', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), 11 February, p. 6. , viewed 30 Mar 2016,

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate
Saturday 12 February 1921, page 5.

One of the big features of the New castle Surf Club's annual surf carnival, to be hold on the Newcastle Beach this afternoon, will be the march-past, in which 500 life-savers will take part.
programme for the carnival is a particularly attractive one, and the spectators are promised an interesting afternoon's sport.
Six surf boats will be engaged
in senior and junior races, and a novelty that will be watched with much interest will be the "Duke" surf-board riding.
The surf-board riders who will take part
are experts, and the exhibition that they will provide is said to be in itself well worth going a long way to see.
the numerous attractions which will go to make up the carnival programme are canoe races, beach relay races, rescue competitions, alarm events, and novelties of various kinds.
Last year the attend
ance was estimated at 14,000. and the club confidently hopes that that number will .be excedded on this occasion.
 Last night
200 surfers, who will take part in the carnival, arrived at Newcastle from Sydney by special train.


1921 'NEWCASTLE SURF CARNIVAL.', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 12 February, p. 5, viewed 23 October, 2014,

The Maitland Weekly Mercury
Saturday 26 February 1921, page 7.
By using a surf board, Mr. Claude
West, official life-saver at South Steyne for the Manly Council; rescued a twelve year-old lad, who had been carried out to sea by the current.
It was a spec
tacular rescue and demonstrated the value of the surf-board in circumstances where it is difficult to use the life line.

1921 'NEWS OF THE WEEK.', The Maitland Weekly Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1931), 26 February, p. 7, viewed 19 October, 2014,

Evening Public Ledger.
Philadelphia, June 13, 1921, page 28.


Frank Baxter, furnished the power as Joe Marks enjoyed a rid
e on the surf board, at Atlantic City, yesterday afternoon.
These boys felt no effects of the heat wave.
-Ledger Photo service.

Chronicling America
Evening public ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, June 13, 1921, NIGHT EXTRA, Image 28

Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA
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Evening Public Ledger.
Philadelphia, June 15, 1921, page 29.

[Beach Report - Atlantic City?]

Absence of any of the old-fashioned northeasters last winter has given the resort its widest expanse of beach in many years.

Tests made by the beach patrol under the supervision of Charles Bossert, the chief surgeon, last week have shown the bathing sections almost entirely free of holes, giving the safest bathing area the resort has known since 1910.

The water temperature is far in advance of what it was this time last year.
Seventy has been the high mark to date, the daily average being above 65 since May 20.
The crop of tan and sunburn along the beach has been an early one as a. result.

Unusual agitation, even this early in the season, is manifest against the edict of the beach censors that one-piece bathing suits
and bare limbs shall not appear on the beach.
While beach guards are rigidly enforcing the ukase (sic), the City Commissioners have been petitioned by scores of prominent young women for more liberty, in the matter of water togs.
It is their contention that the modern girl swims and swims well, and that skirts and hosiery are unnecessary incumbrances that spoil her romps in the surf.

The edict has been modified to permit the wearing of knitted suits with brief skirt, fashioned after the one piece surf attire worn by the men.

That has mollified the mermaids somewhat, but they now insist that the stocking law be wiped off the city laws, saying that all the beaches along the Pacific coast give such freedom.
There is a possibility of a revocation of the decree before many weeks, because the city is now being patronized to a larger degree than ever by society buds who have been accustomed to such liberties.

Because of the danger of accident, those in control of the beach have ordered the use of surf boards in the restricted bathing sections entirely discontinued.
That the sport might be enjoyed, however, they have set apart a district on the Chelsea strand, where the speedsters can cut loose.
The area between the Steel and Steeplechase Piers has been set aside as an open-air gymnasium, where the fat boys may wear down their waistlines with medicine ball exercises and beach baseball.

Chronicling America
Evening public ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, June 15, 1921, NIGHT EXTRA, TRAVEL and RESORT Section, Image 29
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA
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The Evening World
New York, June 28, 1921, page 17.

The water's fine !
So are our bathing suits.
All, all-wool and fast color.
One-piece and two-piece models.
Also separate jerseys and blue flannel trunks.
Bathing bags, beach robes, bathing caps; some made to cover the ears.
Bathing belts, towels, beach balls.
Surf boards of "Balsa" wood- light as air!
Everything for golf!
Everything for tennis!

Rogers Peet Company

"Four Convenient Corners"

- Broadway at 13th St - Broadway at 34th St. - 
- Broadway at Warren -  Fifth Ave. at 41st St -

.Chronicling America
The evening world. (New York, N.Y.) 1887-1931, June 28, 1921, Baseball Final, Image 17
Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation
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Evening Star.
Washington, D.C., July 16, 1921, page 2

Bathing Suit Rental Reduced to 30 Cents, Towels to 5 Cents, Checking Valuables Free.

A new price list for bathing suits, checking of various articles, etc., at the tidal basin bathing beach goes into effect July 25, according to announcement of Col. C. C. Sherrill, engineer officer in charge of public buildings and grounds.
The change is made in order to equalize the charges, so as to distribute the cost more equitably among all the persons using the beach, Col. Sherrill announced today!
Bathing suits will be rented for 20 cents each, which heretofore were from 25 to 75 cents each; towels will be 5 cents each; checking of raincoats. 5 cents; valuables will be checked free.
A charge of 10 cents each will be made for lockers for men and women, while boys and girls under sixteen years will be given lockers free.
Surf boards will be rented at 15 cents each; boats will be hired for 25 cents per hour or 50 cents for the evening; swimming lessons will remain the same.
The charges are: For adults, single lesson, $1, or ten lessons for $7.50; children, single lesson, 50 cents, ten lessons for $4.

Up to July 7 approximately 107,000 persons had used the bathing beach this year, whereas the total expenses have been borne by approximately 21,000 persona renting suits, checking coats and other Incidental services, Col. Sherrill states.

Chronicling America
Evening star. (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, July 16, 1921, Image 2

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC
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Evening Public Ledger.
Philadelphia, July 26, 1921, page 24.
[Caption, below photograph.]
That's the name of the new surfboard.
The owner is Helen Smith, of Boston.
Central News Photo
Chronicling America
Evening public ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, July 26, 1921, NIGHT EXTRA, Image 24
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA
Persistent link:

The intricate decor and Fish tail (45 years before Bear Mirandon-Steve Lis) with side-cut template (70 years before Meyerhoffer).

Far Left:
Another young girl with a balsa wood surfboard.
Also see: New Uses for Balsa Wood
Scientific American
Volume 121 Number 23, 
6 December 1919

Great Falls Tribune.
Great Falls, Montana, July 31, 1921
, page 16.
The Haskin Letter

Washington, D. C., July 25.—A new exhibit in the National Museum displays samples of the lightest wood known—balsa.
A beam of balsa a yard long, three by four inches thick is lying on the table.
You bend to pick it up, prepared for its lightness.
Yet the sensation of finding a beam of wood no heavier than a fairly heavy book takes you by surprise.
It recalls the fake weights which comedians lift with so much elaborate effort in the vaudeville skits.
A tag says that the beam weighs 1.6 pounds.

In the tropics where balsa grows, men carry long thick trunks of balsa trees without the effort necessary in hauling other logs.
Balsa is only about half as heavy as cork, which we regard as a symbol of lightness.
Near the beam in the exhibit is a box about a foot long and a little less in height and width.
This box, too, is surprisingly light.
But that is not its most interesting feature.
It is an ice cream container.
The label explains that one quart of ice cream will remain firm in this box for five hours with an outside atmospheric temperature of 75 degrees.
In other words, a box of this wood is a sort of iceless refrigerator.
This is due to balsa's insulating properties.

When experts became interested in the commercial possibilities of balsa, they examined the cells and found them to be barrel shaped with very thin walls.
The soft porous structure of the wood accounted for its lightness and also for its being a good insulator against cold and against heat.
In a test made with a fireless cooker contrivance of balsa wood, food placed in the cooker at night was still hot the next morning.
Facts learned by the various experiments are being put to practical use.
Balsa is being used extensively for refrigerator linings on ships and for ice boxes.

Wood Grows the Year Round.
Still another exhibit in the museum is a cross section of a log of balsa.
The wood is almost white and of a rather silky texture, with light-colored bark.
The label calls attention to the fact that there are no annual rings such as our temperate zone trees have.
Here during the winter months new cells are not filling out and a thin film forms inside the bark.
In the spring cells grow outside of this in a cross section of the wood to mark a year in the life of the tree.
But in the tropics, except in a few places, there is no season of rest from growing.
The cells may grow irregularly, swiftly in the rainy seasons and not very much in dry weather, but they are steadily growing, so that the trees are uncircled.

A few years ago, balsa trees had no commercial value.
They were merely known as tropical specimens used by the natives of Central America for raft material because of their extreme lightness.
The very name balsa is Spanish for raft and was given to the wood by Spanish explorers in America when they noticed that the natives used it so much for water travel.
A number of people could be safely floated on these rafts so much lighter than cork, but if any fore-
sighted business man thought of the wood as a commercial possibility he soon abandoned the idea when be saw how quickly it decayed and how it gradually became waterlogged.

But finally, a retired sea captain became interested in life-saving apparatus.
He recalled the remarkable rafts of balsa logs on which the natives of Central America rode and he wondered if something could not be done to the wood to preserve it and
make it waterproof.
He sent for some samples and made a number of experiments but with no success.
Then he heard of a new wood preserving process which had been patented and he got in touch with the inventor.
By the process every duct and cell in a piece of wood could be coated with a thin waterproofing substance.
This method was tried out on balsa wood and it worked satisfactorily.

The porous wood was made durable and its useful possibilities instantly became numerous.

Since then, it has been used in making pontoons for hydroplanes, and in making parts of airplanes where a light, easily worked wood is desirable.
Life preservers, rafts, and life boats are being made of balsa as a substitute for cork.
So buoyant is the wood that as many as 60 people can ride on some of the life rafts.
Yet they do not take up much room on a boat and a number of them can be set afloat quickly in an emergency.

Balsa in the World War

When the submarine mine barrage was laid in the North Sea, 80,000 balsa floats were used.
It was said to be the only wood available, which could stand the exposure to water and at the same time resist the impact of death bombs.
Balsa is being used in time of peace for buoys and surf boards and other floating things, and even for making carved toys, where its softness is a desirable feature.
As a material for making stoppers for bottles it is re placing cork to a very small extent.
Because of its varied uses, balsa is now registered as an important product.
Experts have visited the American tropics to study the trees in their
native state.
They report that balsa is one of the swiftest growing trees, that it grows so rapidly that a seed planted shot up in a year into a tree 6 feet tall and about 5 inches in diameter.
In five years, a tree trunk averages nearly 30 inches across and the tree will be from 10 to 60 feet tall.
It may not grow any taller than this, but the trunk may reach 5 feet in thickness.
The leaves of the young balsa tree are very large, sometimes 3 feet across.

All through Central America and the West Indies the balsa trees are found, generally in swampy land.
The extreme lightness of balsa wood was shown graphically when a block of balsa was compared in weight with similar blocks of other woods.
A cubic foot of balsa weighed 7.3 pounds.
Cork, the next lightest, was 13.7 pounds, and from there on in round numbers the weights ran through Missouri corkwood 18, spruce 37, hickory
54, ebony 73, and quebracho, the heaviest wood knowu, 91.

Chronicling America
Great Falls tribune. (Great Falls, Mont.) 1921-current, July 31, 1921, Image 16
Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT
Persistent link:

The Maui News.
Wailuku, Maui, September 6, 1921, page 5.
Regulate Surfing.

Owing to the many complaints of bathers being subjected to the danger of being struck by surf boards at Waikiki the lifeguards are to regulate the sport at least in so far as setting aside certain sections where surf boarding will not be permitted.

Chronicling America
The Maui news. (Wailuku, Maui, H.I.) 1900-current, September 06, 1921, Image 5
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The Garden Island.
Lihue, Kauai, September 6, 1921, page 2.


At Breitablick, where the Girl Re
serves had their Sunshine Camp, during the month of August, silence reigns.
Camp is over, and every
girl who had the opportunity of spending part of her vacation there holds happy memories and happier
anticipations for a repetition next summer of those good times.
Even housecleaning was made a pleasure and the house shone bright with cleanliness.
There were never such good meals, and the girls cooked them themselves.
No dining table could be
more attractive than theirs though there was no table cloth, for ferns are abundant at Breiablick, and they can be made a wonderful table covering and background for dishes steaming with Spanish rice, baked beans and corn chowder.
The swimming pool, deep and cold, made safer by a rope stretched across, and inflated automobile tubes, and surfboards, and water wings, tempted even the most timid and they are longer timid for they can now swim.
No accident marred the good times and friendships made have united Girl Reserves of all Kauai closer than ever.

Chronicling America
The Garden Island. (Lihue, Kauai, H.T.) 1902-current, September 06, 1921, Image 2
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Evening Star.
Washington, D.C., September 9, 1921, page 25.

Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian, to Be Perpetuated as Sculpture
Duke P. Kahanamoku. world champion sprint swimmer, and his brother David are to have their powerful physiques, developed by years of surfing and swimming perpetuated as a sculpture.
For a year Pr. R. J. Sullivan, anthropologist of the New York Museum of Natural History, has been preparing an exhibit illustrating the physical development of the Hawaiians and the other people of the islands.
The duke will be represented in plaster casts on a surf board, on which he is a past master.
David will
be presented as a Hawaiian fisherman.

Chronicling America
Evening star. (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, September 09, 1921, Image 25
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The Referee
Sydney, Wednesday 14 September 1921 page 20.

Ancient Island Sport : 'Nickel Hunters' All Champions in the Making
(By FRANK BEAUREPAIRE, for The Referee)

Honolulu is the surfers' paradise.
Lots of people have said so, and I was prepared almost to believe them.
But now, after having seen the place and it's glories on my recent visit, I am convinced.
On our recent trip we sighted Oahu, on which is Honolulu, at daybreak, and by 7.15 a.m. had entered the harbor proper, the domain of the nickel-hunters or coin diving boys of Hawaii.
The scores of colored imps, ranging from, say, 8 or 9 to about 17, who follow the slowly-moving steamer, are artists to the fingertips, at cajoling the nickel from the pocket, or ditck-diving for the gradually sinking coin, and the trick of making the coin disappear into the mouth.
It is a matter of wonderment to me as to the exact limit to the number of coins a boy can hold in his mouth, for some of the quicker gatherers of wealth are passing money to the jaw constantly for half an-hour or more. 
This nickel-hunting business is a source of great entertainment to the passengers, but a majority wonder at the possibility of catching a coin under water, for getting, or, perhaps, never realising at all, that a coin sinks very slowly and with a reversible diagonal motion.
Other passengers- a big minority, unfortunately - are entertained most of all by the uniformly good stroke and speed shown by these boys.
They are all good sprinters and swim independent or trudgeon crawl, with, the exception of one or two trudgeon swimmers, and one boy I noticed doing a perfect double trudgeon with no crawl leg actions whatever.
Perhaps this youngster will develop into the Hawaiian long-distance champion, as he seemed to have conquered or mastered all the disabilities of a double trudgeon stroke, and swam with great ease and rhythm.


The nickel-hunters are all potential champions.

This business provides a nursery for swimming that at the present time is second to none in the island.
Some Hawaiian champions have graduated from this 'course of instruction.'
The amateur bodies are, of course, ignorant of the past misdemeanors of youth, but certainly keep the boys away from the game once graduated; that is to say, one they enter the ranks of competing swimmers.

After a little disembarkation delay numerous friends are located, among them Dad, president of the Hawaiian swimmers, and Duke, whose first words almost are, 'The surf is good, hurry on.'
Duke is certainly a fine chap and an ornament to any sport, but what an easy-going character he is!
The day before our arrival the edict went forth on the invisible wings of rumor that the surf was better than it had been for some time.
Duke thereupon left his billet at the 'Q.M.'s' office and took the half-day off.


Next day, on which we arrived, the whole day is taken off, and the extremely useful telephone plays. the part of excusing Duke, who is, in his own words, busy welcoming the Australian swimmers.
From now on Duke will truly be welcoming- folks, for after this month he takes over the new position of 'official' greeter, under the Governor's Department.
The term is surely wide and elastic, but the idea is to use Duke as an official at the arrival of steamers and at various tourist functions. : The salary will be 200 dol per month, and is but a small return for the fame he has brought and the publicity he has given to his beloved Hawaiian Island.
Duke, too, will still be an amateur swimmer. 
The surf is good, all right. Waikiki Beach is justly famous.
As a good Australian, one is proud of his own surfing beaches, but Waikiki is just as good and in some respects unique.
Surfing and swimming, bathing and sun-bathing, can be indulged in any month of the year.
Climate is uniformly good throughout the year, and tne most equable known.
There is no intense heat and no cold.
Oh! ye swimmers!
The surf is not strong, there are no dumpers, and the waves are of a type that gradually curl or break, and continue, on good surfing days, to curl for hundreds of yards.
Of course, there are off days, and many of them at times.
The undertow is so weak as to be almost negligible.
The breakers or waves come gently in a kind of swell towards the shore at more or less regular intervals or spaces, in some cases of a couple of minutes, and almost calm water prevails between waves.
That is the one great reason why surfing does not spoil these Hawaiians for bath racing, and right here at Wai kiki a goodly potion of training for championship races can be done, and is done, by Hawaiians.

Surfing is an ancient sport of the Hawaiians, and it is said that in days of old the various chiefs of the Islands used to bet heavily with their lands and minor titles upon the results.

It is quite evident from folk-lore and legends that it was the chief sport, and that many points of dissension were settled by competition at surf-board riding, in much the same spirit as the modern boys or youths would box on to settle an argument.

The island is rich in old surf legends, and it goes to show that from time im memorial, these Islanders have been swimmers.
It is fitting then that swim ming champions should come from these parts, and what is more, use a stroke which is Hawaiian- developed there and first brought to fame by Duke Kahanamoku.
Duke's stroke, is essentially a local production or development, and all the sprinters there have based their stroke on his.
Not that these strokes are exactly alike in each instance where a man has become successful.
Swimming and surfing are properly catered for at Waikiki.
There are five clubs and dressing rooms with every convenience.
Every accessory for bathing and surfing is on hire - surfboards at about 50 cents, per hour; outrigger canoes, with- a pilot at a dollar per person per hour; bathing suits, towels, lockers, refreshments, and instructors are available, the latter on the hire system.

The modern Hawaiian surf board, exact duplicates of which are to be seen around Sydney beaches, are somewhat different from the old Hawaiian boards, which where longer, narrower, .and thicker.
The boards used to-day measure 8 to 9 feet in length, are about 2 feet across at widest part and from 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches thick.
There are old Hawaiian boards in the Museum here up to 18 feet in length, and I am informed that they were used in big surf.
Possibly bigger boards would go well, on our Sydney beaches, where the surf is generally much stronger and heavier than at Honolulu.

"Sliding" is the most, popular way of shooting there.
By sliding diagonally along the front of a wave too, three and four times the speed (according to the angle taken across the wave) is made above that speed which would be obtained by coming straight in with a wave.
This sliding is usually done before a wave has broken, but not always so with the very expert.
The speed obtained by some is tremendous, and the resulting sensation must be wonderful.
Sliding was not the vogue there always.
It is a development of the past ten or twelve years, and the result of experiment and practice.

Surf-boarders around Sydney should try this phase of the game and try-out longer and perhaps narrower boards.
A board certainly costs money;- but the N.S. Wales type of surf board requires experimenting with and new features of surfing discovered, if at all possible.
Surely something worthy by adoption as Australian could be evolved with experimenting.


It is remarked and written in Honolulu that, the sport of swimming, with the allied pastimes of surfing, surf-boarding and canoeing, threatened to become extinct about 15. years ago.
The organisation of clubs followed and the sport took on a new lease of life.
Just how definite was the revival is quite apparent to all Australians.
It also put Hawaii 'on the map,' and, in addition, boosted the sport in the United States.
Thus was U.S.A. assisted in obtaining the swimming laurels at the 1920 Olympic Games and, in so doing, displace our swimmers.
We are glad, however, that the art was not lost to Hawaii, for by the success of representatives from that spot we have been induced to look into strokes and methods of training, coaching, etc.; and, in addition, it has enabled us to see such world-renowned performers at Kahanamoku, Kealoha and Langer. In Honolulu, surf-bathing is the feature of every-day life, and there is a simple explanation.
For this fascinating pastime ideal natural conditions exist, and what man has added in the way of accessories has rendered the pastime desirable in every way.


1921 'Honolulu's Surf Paradise.', Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), 14 September, p. 20, viewed 15 August, 2013,

The Pensacola Journal
October 23, 1921, SECOND SECTION, page 20.

Soderquist & Co, Awning and Tent Manufacturer to Investigate Possibilities of City.

At a recent meeting of the board of directors of A. L. Soderquist & Co., awning and tent manufacturers, held in New York, over which Ernest V. Soderquist, chairman, vice-chairman and general manager, presided, Pensacola, -was tentatively decided on as one of the several places where new branches will be added to the present chain of fabric factories now owned and controlled by this firm.
Another increasing feature of this firm's manufacture is the making of surf boards and air-tight Selkirk surf balloons, which have recently been placed on the market and are affording much sport and merriment at Atlantic City, Pablo and Palm Beach.

Chronicling America
The Pensacola journal. (Pensacola, Fla.) 1898-1985, October 23, 1921, SECOND SECTION, Image 20
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The Register
Adelaide, Monday 24 October 1921, page 5.


Interesting news of the tour of Mr. L. G. Robin
son (of the Henley and Orange Club) vhb re carried by the latest American mail (writes 'Xaiatar').
Mr. Robinson is at present in Am
He reports having had a splendid voyage
from Auckland.
The Fijians were found to be
very interesting, and the diving of the boys, and their wonderful ability to recover coins from the water was an eyeopener.
In some instances the
natatorial artists would start from a buoy 20 yards away, swim to where the coin struck the water, and then dive and 'never miss.'
Nearly all of
them used the crawl stroke.
Honolulu was next
visited, and the famous Waikiki Beach proved an attraction.
Lody Langer (who paid us a
visit last summer) had just previously left to swim at San Francisco.
Duke Kahanamoku and
Pua Kealoha were out surf-riding.
The surf
was shallower at Honolulu than around the Sydney beaches, but the work done on the surf-boards and in the outrigger canoes was exceedingly clever.
As the s.a. Xiagnra l&ft, several boys
perched themselves on the deck, and subsequently dived into the ocean and swam ashore. The American crawl was most used, but only in ] Btodioci-e fashion.
The Duke was timed to swim '
BO yards in a 220 yards relay race for the Outrigger Club of Honolulu apain?t Yale Univef- 1 hicy in 22 4-5. This is the fastest -time evefl made ovti a. sbort course, and 13 a shade better Sum his own record of 23. The full 220 yards occupied 1.89 4-5. ? Mr. RofeaGn -was nruch im- j pressed with a big carnival which was opened at 1 Chicago Fiop Uy artsr his arival theTe. Norman J Ross won the three -rrdleg river svrim apraijx?t 85 ! corapeBtors. He used a splendid etrofce through- j out the king: couisa, and wt)n easily in lh. 4m. i 47b.. He competed in the colours of tha Illinois Athletic Club (Chicago). Ranger 3IUls (Great! Lake A.C.) finished second in lh. -5m. Ss, and I Gerald McDermott web third in 111. 10m. 25s. A ! veteTan Ewirraner in John Keitz, aged S3, began j wh Ao minaix'8' handksp to precede the cbam- j pkra home. ' £ach ctwtesfcuii vrss provided with a 6oat with ^ a -iistingnii3liing number attached, lint, ihyso condi- ? tions would be impractdeable in AdcJaTde owinff . to lftn-Hed river craJt. . i .Doris (aged seven, just going to her music lesson)— 'Mummy, they only pky .; harps in heaven, don't they?' Mother — , 'Yea dearie, only haxps.' Doris— 'Then j what « the use of my iGaroing to play to? j SINKS'' J

1921 'SWIMMING.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 24 October, p. 5, viewed 23 October, 2014,

The Washington Times.
D.C., December 11, 1921, page 56

The "sport fish" was introduced to water lovers as a substitute for the Hawaiian surf board.
The rider coming on the crest of the waves attains the terrific speed of fifty miles an hour.
Any fault in balance means a plunge into the swim, and no one should try it who is not thoroughly at home swimming in the surf. It takes the cleverest kind of swimmer to become a successful "sport fish" rider.
The artificial steed bucks like a broncho when a wave hits it

Pretty Peggy Burke won the title of champion "sport fish" jockey of the Pacific coast in a contest with many of the finest men and women swimmers.
She rides the fish standing on her head or on her feet.
She dives into a tank on the fish and she swims half a mile with it

Surf riding is perhaps the most excit­ing of all outdoor water sports attempted by women.
It is an old amusement of the Hawaiians and has been taken up by the more daring swimmers on American beaches.

Surf riding is done on a long, narrow hoard, almost like the deck of a sailboat.
The swimmer carries this out into the deep water beyond the bathing line, awaits a big comber and launches herself on it.
The wave Immediately shoots her forward and she is carried to the shore at tremendous speed.

The average surf rider stretches out flat on the board in taking a wave and stays thus, but experts scorn this tame method.
They will leap to a landing position on a standing position and balance themselves thus until they reach the shore.

The game is risky, because occasionally a great roller will break suddenly and throw the rider downward head foremost.
If the water is shallow she may strike the bottom with an ugly thump, or she may be­come twisted up in an unpleasant manner.
It is a sport which should only be attempt­ed by a strong and fearless swimmer, who has already learned to swim through a good surf without losing her head

The sport of swimming has made more progress, it is estimated, in the past ten years than in all its previous centuries of existence.
A score of strokes have been
invented one after the other, each making for increased speed.
Among these strokes are the "trudgeon stroke," the "Australian crawl," the "steam­boat loop-the-loop," the "propeller and torpedo" and other fast strokes.
In all these strokes the women are at proficient as the men.

The remarkable success won by women in long distance contests have led to a belief that they are naturally better swim­mers than men.
This view Is supported by Dr Dudley A. Sargent, physical director of Harvard University and one of the great experts of the country.
"Woman by her natural build," he says, "is more able and better equipped for en­durance swimming than man.
Women do not train down so fine as men; consequently their blood is farther from the surface and less liable to be chilled so quickly.
Where the strength of currents enters into endurance contests so much as they do in these long swims, women are better equipped to stand the cold.
We get daily illustrations of this fact in our work in my own gymnasium."

Chronicling America
The Washington times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, December 11, 1921, SUNDAY MORNING, Image 56
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Geoff Cater (1997-2020) : Newspapers, 1921.