Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Suit Up


S WIND 5 TO 10 KT...BECOMING SW 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS...DROPPING TO W SWELL 6 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
Text adapted (and added to) from the Atomic Bride...

1910, John and Roy Zehntbauer and Carl Jantzen founded the Portland Knitting Company to produce wool-knit suits for rowers that soon became popular with swimmers. The suit eventually came to be known as a “Jantzen” and in 1918 the company changed its name to Jantzen Knitting Mills. Jantzen was well known for their stylish ads and risque swimwear. Their logo of the Red Diving Girl was a recognizable brand image for years.Duke Kahanamoku was born in 1890 and grew up in the middle of all this. As a native Hawaiian, Duke was likely right at home surfing in a loin cloth and probably surfed starkers when the mood hit him, and if people weren’t around. But by 1912, Duke was 22-years-old and one of the fastest swimmers in the world. He traveled through America and across the Atlantic to compete in the Olympic Games in Sweden and caused a big sensation. At the 1912 Olympics, Duke swam in a suit that was built for speed. This was a one-piece suit (far from a modern Speedo), but it was skin-tight, made of who knows what and it helped him win the Gold medal and become the toast of the Olympic Games, along with a fellow minority, the native American athlete Jim Thorpe.
By the 20s, Jantzen was the market leader in men’s swim suits. Meanwhile, Duke Kahanamoku was continuing to kick the world’s okole in the pool. At the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Duke won Gold in the 100 yard freestyle and in the relay. At Paris in 1924, Duke took a silver in the 100 yard freestyle, with the gold going to Johnny Weissmuller and the bronze to Duke’s brother Sam. Duke and Weissmuller became fast friends, and when Weissmuller came to Hawaii, Duke took him surfing.

2 comments:

nmm said...

I think The Duke & Johnny would be blown away by sharkskin technology.

Aptly named....?

ludlow said...

was buried alive for a time and now going back out to the waves and to the blogs - thanx again for awesome pix of Duke, love the story of Janzen, live a few blox from the orig gurrll in red suit and gurrlll in Seaside at the old Natatorium (have you seen her, the diving girl of Seaside? Very censorable). LOVE the lads from OZ, Chamber Orchestra tour of USA, surfin violins. GREAT STUFF!!!!