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
A recent gift to the Archive has me dumbfounded. It’s existence was something I had speculated about in a vague way, but never dreamed of finding proof for. Much less, having the proof come directly to me as a donation to the Archive.
Other Tales from the Archive
There was one group of photos, classes, individual fencer, etc., that I couldn’t place or identify after collecting them as part of the Selberg estate, so I sent some to John for help.
I love photo collages of fencers, even when I don’t know who any of the people in the pictures are. Especially if there are lots of faces to look at. I always find myself looking closely and wondering, “Is that….?
It’s funny how things have come together while gathering items for this Archive. When I was just starting to get things together, I went to visit Matthew Porter at his shop, American Fencers Supply.
Mark Headley and I hold the distinction of having dismantled the salle d’armes that Charlie Selberg put together in the woods of Southern Oregon. On the outside, it looked like this: On the inside, like this: Taking it all down for transport to Berkeley and...
I’ve been fascinated with Generoso Pavese since first finding his picture in an antique store many years ago. Looking at it, I can’t resist the tug on my brain
One of the amazing bits of fencing history at Halberstadt are a collection of four scrapbooks which include items dating back before 1900.
In the scrapbook with the oldest material, there were two programs that caught my attention.
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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