Olympic collection box
This wooden cash box was used at coffee parties by Finnish-American societies in New York to raise funds for the Finnish Olympic team ahead of the 1932 Winter Games held in Lake Placid, N.Y. The collection drive held in the winter of 1931-32 – in the middle of the Great Depression – among Finnish immigrants in the United States and Canada yielded an impressive sum that eventually covered half of the travel expenses of the Finnish Olympic teams for Lake Placid and for the Summer Games held in Los Angeles.
The cash-strapped Finnish Olympic Committee could afford to send only seven athletes to the Winter Games in Lake Placid – and one of them had to pay for his own fare. This box was apparently handed to the team in New York on 20 February 1932, the date seen on the bottom with signatures of the Finnish athletes.