A Brief History

We know sometimes it can seem difficult to understand who and what we represent and exactly what made it possible for us to be stomping at Carleton today. In these times, we need to look to our past to better understand our future, and maybe learn a little about the present along the way.

To this end, we have decided to put together a short, unabridged history of stompbox at Carleton, which will be completed in the coming academic year. Until that is ready for publishing, here are some interesting historical tidbits:

Here, we have a prime example of the extreme length of time stomping has been around. This is a photo from one of the first stompbox competitions held at Carleton, in 1911:

1911 Stompbox Competition

Now, it is clear from their lack of tables that this is before the stompbox reformation of the 1920s, ending in the New Deal, which as we know mandated table coverage and made stomping more accessible to all economic classes. The top hats on the onlookers were common for the day; these were deemed unnecessary by the Stomping Rights Act of 1932. Notice how although their methods and strategies have changed, their embraces are no less intimate than our own when we stomp. Wow.

My friends, here we present the very first official, competitive traveling varsity Carleton Stompbox Team, circa 1893:


Notice that these stompers are all men. This was because until 1930, the mustache was an integral part of Stompbox competition. Stompers would attempt to grow the largest, most impressive whiskers in the months leading up to a match, so that they might intimidate and tickle their opponents. Women were, of course, some of the earliest members of Three Tables for Stompbox, but were sadly left out of competitions due to their lack of facial hair. Thank the boxes this has changed! With the advent of fake mustaches as a depression-era stimulus package in Europe, we all can stomp together, as we have been at Carleton for many years.

We hope that these pictures have given all of you new heart and a new sense of where we as stompers belong in the history of Carleton. Both of these photos can be found in chapter 23 of our book, which will be out soon.