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Elias Bjarni "Ole" Olson (1888-1964)

E.B. "Ole" Olson A pioneer in Alberta sport and industry, Elias Bjarni "Ole" Olson single-handedly altered the landscape of a Canadian pastime. Born on Christmas day in Russell, Manitoba, Olson moved to Saskatchewan at 18 and homesteaded for several years in Kindersly and Alsask before moving to Edmonton.

The Olsons He first made his mark in the world of curling by being the first to use coloured ice at a rink in Marengo, Saskatchewan in 1926. Three years later, he published The Art of Making True Curling Ice. His expertise in ice was evident throughout his career; he went on to make ice for the Dominion Championships (now the Brier) from 1954 to 1963, and even invented a curling rink ice-shaver as an inexpensive alternative to the Zamboni.

Olson’s most significant contribution to the sport was his invention of the standard rubber curling hack. Patented in 1939, this simple tool revolutionized the world of curling. It, along with many other Olson inventions, is still in use today. Throughout his career, he designed and patented a circle cutter, a pebbling can, a flooding tube and a stone measure.

Olson founded the family business, Olson Curling Manufacturing and Supplies Ltd., in 1933. He was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in May 2000 and awarded the Pioneer Award from the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in May 2002.

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