This recent vintage sportswear find came with a bonus – the original box. The packaging of an item can be really handy, especially if the collector is encountering a new-to-them item. Like this Ski Shield.
When I spotted this on Ruby Lane, I was immediately drawn to the graphics. I knew this had to be from the late 1950s or 1960s. The dating was made easier due to the box.
Someone (the buyer? the store?) was kind enough to write a date on the end. Even without the date, there are two more important clues. The presence of a zip code dates this to 1963 or after. And best of all, there’s a patent number.
The patent was filed in 1960 and granted in 1962. There is a lot of information about how the shield works, but the most important part is the diagram. There are two shields – a green for day and a yellow for night. They snap on and off a rubber strap.
And there’s more. The price sticker tells me that this Ski Shield was bought in Sun Valley, at Sturtevant’s. This store was located in Ketchum, ID, and is still in business.
I tend to shy away from items made of plastic. They are often really hard to preserve, as most plastics degrade. To make it worse, the strap is rubber, another finicky material. The only marking on the shield itself is “Bausch & Lomb” stamped on the rubber strap. See how valuable that that box is?
I found this on Ruby Lane. That’s a great place to shop. I find that the sellers there are professionals.