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
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.
Other Tales from the Archive
You don’t forget your first team, or your first teammates. The fortuitous circumstances surrounding my introduction to fencing couldn’t be more memorable; a time filled with remarkable personalities.
If you have ever taken the time to peruse the backlog of stories on this site, you may have run across a few older posts that had collections of newspaper comics that include a fencing reference. Well, it’s that time again!
Typically, US National Foil Champions are reasonably well documented, particularly in their home town. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Alfred R. Snyder, 1944 US foil champion.
During an otherwise very pleasant Italian meal I shared with two-time, two-weapon National Champion and Olympian Sewall “Skip” Shurtz and Andy Shaw of the Museum of American Fencing, Andy mentioned that he’d come to appreciate, late in life, a difficult-to-like fencer who was once a teammate of Skip’s.
Of the 13 million Germans mobilized for the First World War, over half were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Hans Halberstadt and other survivors jumped into the Roaring Twenties with gusto.
I drove from my Bay Area home last week to attend the memorial service for much-loved fencing master Delmar Calvert.
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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