Jan York Romary
Born in Palo Alto, Jan was the first woman to compete in six Olympic Games
Ralph Faulkner and Polly Craus
Two-time Olympian Faulkner coached Polly Craus to a National title and an Olympic berth
Sal Giambra, Emily Romaine, Hans Halberstadt, Helene Mayer, Bunny Fratessa
Clubmates in Germany in the 1920s, Hans and Helene reunited in San Francisco at Halberstadt Fencers Club
After experiencing San Francisco’s Summer of Love, in 1967 Michael became the coach at Halberstadt Fencers Club
György Piller and Gerard Biagini
At the Fairmont Hotel in 1958, Piller demonstrates a foil lesson with San Francisco native Biagini
Fencing Master at UC Santa Cruz, member of a team that won gold at the World Master’s Championships
Preserving Fencing History
The passion for fencing history you’ll find reflected here on the West Coast Fencing Archive can be traced to the legacy of Charles Selberg.
An exceptional teacher and storyteller, Charlie brought fencing history to life for his students through his vivid tales of great fencers and famous bouts.
His estate, filled with posters, photos, scrapbooks and other fencing memorabilia, became the initial collection for the Archive. Since then, we have incorporated sixty more collections and counting.
The Latest Story
It isn’t often that my obsession with perusing the depths of Ebay delivers in such an intriguing fashion. Once in awhile, though, I’ll find a real treasure.
Other Tales from the Archive
I’ve been spending a fair bit of time lately perusing the scrapbook of Erich Funke d’Egnuff that was donated to the Archive by Marc LeRoux some time back. It’s mostly comprised of news clippings dating from about 1937 to 1947.
When I struggle with ideas for writing about fencing history for this site, I have a couple of favorite fallback topics. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you can probably guess most of them.
I’m not sure of the original source for the story, but it goes like this. In the early days of the AFLA, precursor to today’s USA Fencing, the East Coast was in charge.
The above picture has been assumed to be Hans Halberstadt for a very long time. I thought so myself, even after scanning it (thanks Kathy Krusen!) at high resolution and having every opportunity to review it with a critical eye.
My first impression of Peter Schifrin was formed by my reaction to seeing his sculpture work used in a poster for a fencing tournament. It was a photo of his sculpt of his teammates, Vinnie Bradford and Stacey Johnson, and I was fascinated by it.
If I don’t write something about Aldo Nadi for too long, I get this annoying twitch in my eye that will only begin to calm down with a collection of images and some quality time with my laptop. Buckle up!
The Last Captain
FEATURE LENGTH FENCING DOCUMENTARY
For fifty years, the Hungarian National Sabre team had two constants: they took home gold in every tournament they entered and they had George Piller.
This is the story of Jekelfalussy (Piller) Gyorgy, the 1932 Olympic Sabre champion who defected to the United States during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
By Doug Nichols and Greg Lynch
Meet the Fencers
Meet the Fencing Masters
Have something to share or add? Our goal is to capture the stories we know are out there. Plus photos, videos, home movies, posters—you name it. All this material helps preserve the stories of West Coast fencing.
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