- Published: 13 December 2008
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Kevin Wasynski, age 10, of Casper, Wyo., for his question:
WHO INVENTED THE TOBOGGAN?
Toboggans are sleds without runners. They are made of strips of hickory, ash or maple, with the front ends curved back. The strips are fastened together by crosspieces into one compact unit that is usually six to eight feet long.
Indian hunters were the first to build toboggans. They used them to carry game over the snow. The first ones were made of bark. We don't know exactly when it was invented.
The Eskimos used to make toboggans of whalebone many hundreds of years ago.
Bobsledding, an offshoot of tobogganing, has become a feature of the Winter Olympics. Bobsleds can reach speeds of 90 miles per hour.
Two seater and four seater steel sleds, nine to 12 feet long, are standard. They may weigh as much as 500 pounds.