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Sherman Poppen Papers

Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videocassettes
Business records
Correspondence
Scrapbooks
Advertisements
Clippings
Newsletters
Patents
Negatives
Date:
1966 - 2008
Summary:
The Sherman Poppen Papers document the snurfer, the predecessor of the snowboard that he invented in 1965. The snurfer, a sled that was ridden while standing up, originally consisted of two skis bound together. Snurfer competitions fueled the development of the snowboard as a piece of sporting equipment. This collection contains material describing the snurfer's place in snowboarding history, and the associated business and legal aspects.
Scope and Contents:
The Sherman Poppen Papers document the invention of the snurfer and its distribution. The collection is arranged into two series. The collection consists of correspondence, product literature, photographs, books, notes, a scrapbook, newsletters, newspaper and magazine articles, and VHS videocassettes documenting the snurfer. The business and legal materials, 1966-2006, contains correspondence, notes, and legal documents.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1, History, 1966-2008

Series 2, Business and Legal Materials, 1966-2006
Biographical / Historical:
Sherman Poppen (1930-2019) was born in Muskegon, Michigan. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1952 and served in the United States Navy as a supply office at sea from 1952-1956. He owned an industrial business, Lake Welding Supply Company, which sold gases and welding supplies in Muskegon, Michigan. On December 25, 1965, Poppen created the snurfer, a predecessor of the snowboard, by binding two children's skis together. His wife, Nancy, was pregnant with their third child and his two restless daughters, Wendy and Laurie, wanted to play on Christmas day. Poppen entertained them by playing outside in the snow. The girls' desire to stand up while riding on a sled and Poppen's vision of snow drifts as waves collided, and the idea for the snurfer was born. Nancy coined "snurf" by combining the words snow and surf. Neighborhood children soon began asking for snurfers of their own. Poppen decided to patent his creation (US Patent #: 3,378,274 --Surf-Type Snow Ski) and trademarked the words snurf and snurfer (US Trademark #: 1,518,101). It was also patented in Canada (Patent #: 819,596). In 1966, he licensed the product to the Brunswick Corporation and worked with them to create a board from the laminated wood used for bowling alley gutters. Brunswick manufactured the snurfer and sold it as a novelty item, not sports equipment, and it gained popularity. From 1968 through the late 1970s, snurfer racing competitions were held in Muskegon at Blockhouse Hill. In 1972, Brunswick discontinued production of the snurfer, but JEM Corporation continued manufacture until the early 1980s. By 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter, an avid competitive snurfer, began developing an improved model without a rope handle and with the addition of rigid bindings for ski boots to the board. As more resorts began allowing snowboards on their ski lifts, the popularity of the snurfer waned.

Poppen took up snowboarding at the age of 67. He received recognition from the snowboarding community as the grandfather of the sport and was inducted into the Snowboarding Hall of Fame in Banff, Canada in 1995 and the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Culture and the Arts holds artifacts related to this collection. See accession #: 2009.0092.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Sherman Poppen on June 22, 2009.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Dolls  Search this
Paper dolls  Search this
Sports  Search this
Snowboarding  Search this
Patents  Search this
Winter sports  Search this
Sporting goods industry  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Snurfer  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videocassettes
Business records -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 20th century
Business records -- 21st century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 20th century
Patents -- 20th century
Negatives
Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1159
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1159
Online Media:

History

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-2008
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1159, Series 1
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref19

Correspondence

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
1968 - 2008
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref21

Product literature

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref22

Snurfer newspaper advertisement

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref23

Photographs

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
1966
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref24

Mounted photograph

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref25

Snurfing News (newsletter)

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref26

Magazine clippings

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
1979 - 2008
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref27

Newspaper clippings

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966 - 2008
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref28

Newspaper clippings

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966 - 2008
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref29

Scrapbook

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
1966 - 1989
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref30

CD-ROMs containing images of some collection material

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 6-10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref31

The Snowboard Book: A Guide for All Boarders (book)

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1997
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref32

(Sick) A Cultural History of Snowboarding (book)

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1998
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref33

Transworld Sport episode (VHS)

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Item OV 1159.1
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images
Date:
circa 2003
Scope and Contents:
10-minute segment from the British program that begins 42 minutes into the episode. It highlights Poppen, his invention of the snurfer, and the shift from snurfing to snowboarding. Features footage of Poppen discussing materials in this collection, Poppen snowboarding, and Jake Burton snurfing.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref35

Invention segment

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Item OV 1159.2
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
10-minute segment from the British program that begins 42 minutes into the episode. It highlights Poppen, his invention of the snurfer, and the shift from snurfing to snowboarding. Features footage of Poppen discussing materials in this collection, Poppen snowboarding, and Jake Burton snurfing.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 1 : History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref37

Business and Legal Materials

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968-2006
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1159, Series 2
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref38

United States patent documentation

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 2: Business and Legal Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref39

Transparencies of patents

Collection Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Sherman Poppen Papers / Series 2: Business and Legal Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1159-ref40

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