M995.18.1 | Hockey stick

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Hockey stick
1879-1881, 19th century
109.5 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Stick (14)
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Keys to History

Ice hockey is Canada's national sport, and it has been part of Montreal's heritage for over 120 years.

This, the oldest known hockey stick in existence, was most likely the type of stick the first hockey players used. It is made from a single piece of wood and has a straight blade, unlike today's sticks, where the shaft and blade are made separately. Modern blades are curved to allow for more powerful and accurate shots, and new materials such as fiberglass, aluminum and graphite are used to increase flexibility and resistance within the stick. Wood is still used in thin, laminated strips that further enhance a stick's strength and flexibility.

Hockey, as we know it, was first played in 1875 when McGill University student J.G.A Creighton (1850-1930) formalized a set of rules for the game. He also substituted a flat, wooden disk for the ball then used in the game. It frequently bounced out of play.

  • What

    This hockey stick is made from a single piece of wood that was curved to form a straight blade.

  • Where

    This hockey stick was used at McGill University by a member of the McGill hockey team from 1878 to 1881.

  • When

    Before the first skating rink was built in Montreal in 1862, hockey was played outdoors on patches of ice, with snow banks for boards and wooden posts for goals.

  • Who

    Lewis Skaife, a member of the McGill University hockey team, used this hockey stick from 1878 to 1881.