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2005/16/2 Ski stocks, pair, bamboo / leather / metal / string / plaster, owned and used by Hans Berents during construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, 1952, maker unknown, Norway, 1950-1952. Click to enlarge.

Pair of ski stocks

Made
This acquisition documents skiing as an essential means of transport for high altitude workers on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The stocks are significant because of their use by Hans Berents, a Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority engineer, who used them when undertaking field research between 1952 and 1960.

In 1949 a massive national and international recruitment programme was launched to find workers with scientific and engineering skills for the Snowy Mountains Scheme. Migrants from many countries with skills in surveying, tunnelling, geology and hydrology came to work on the project. Hans Berents was a Norwegian engineer who emigrated to Australia in 1952, with his Russian-born wife, Dr Ina Berents, and son Peter. The family moved to the Snowy and both Hans and Ina were employed as professional staff by the Authority.

Skis were an essential means of transport for engineers, hydrographers, geologists, and surveyors who needed to work in the high-country sites during winter. Investigation teams went into the mountains to gather and analyse information about topography, rock types and water flows before construction work could begin. According to Peter Berents his father often skied into inaccessible locations to conduct field research for the Authority.

Summary

Object No.

2005/16/2

Object Statement

Ski stocks, pair, bamboo / leather / metal / string / plaster, owned and used by Hans Berents during construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, 1952, maker unknown, Norway, 1950-1952

Physical Description

Pair of bamboo ski stocks with leather wrist straps. The end of the pole is reinforced with aluminium casing and a metal tip. The basket prevents the stock sinking into the snow, and features leather straps crisscrossing each other across a circular bamboo frame. The stock pierces the centre of the lattice framework and is attached to the basket with a bolt and string. One stock has a split that has been repaired by winding plaster tape the length of the stock.

Marks

No marks.

Dimensions

Height

1320 mm

Width

175 mm

Production

Made

Notes

According to Peter Berents these ski stocks were purchased by his father Hans Berents in Norway, and brought with the family when they emigrated to Australia in 1952. Peter recalls his father using the skis and stocks between 1952 and 1960 for work and recreation. There is no maker's mark.

By 1950 all new ski stocks were made of steel, suggesting that these stocks were already several years old in 1952.

History

Notes

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme was officially launched on 17 October 1949. It was the biggest engineering project ever undertaken in Australia, and is still recognised as one of the great engineering feats of the modern world. The Scheme took 25 years to build and is one of the largest and most complex integrated water and hydro-electric power schemes in operation. More than 100,000 people helped build the Scheme, attracted by good job opportunities and high wages. Two thirds of the workforce came from overseas as contracted personnel, migrants or refugees from Europe.

In 1949 a massive national and international recruitment programme was launched to find workers with the scientific and engineering skills. Migrants from many countries with skills in surveying, tunnelling, geology and hydrology came to work on the Scheme. Hans Berents was a Norwegian engineer who emigrated to Australia in 1952, with his Russian-born wife, Dr Ina Berents, and son Peter. The family moved to the Snowy and both Hans and Ina were employed as professional staff by the Authority.

According to Peter Berents the ski stocks were purchased by his father Hans Berents in Norway. Peter recalls his father often skiing into inaccessible locations to conduct investigative field research for the Authority. Dr Ina Berents, Peter's mother, also used skis in her work as the SMA's resident doctor at Cabramurra between 1952 and 1967. The Berents family skied regularly on days off while living at Cabramurra, the highest town in Australia. Hans Berents was a member of the Cabramurra Ski Club.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mr Peter Berents, 2004

Acquisition Date

10 January 2005

Cite this Object

Harvard

Pair of ski stocks 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 November 2020, <https://ma.as/347272>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/347272 |title=Pair of ski stocks |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 November 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}