Sheet metal jar from the 1930’s containing Kiva ski wax, with slight odour of tar. The number 4 indicates that the wax was meant for wet snow. The instructions are written in Finnish, English and German.
Kiva was a label of Esa Rossi (1895–1962), the most famous ski wax manufacturer in Finland up until the 1960’s. Rossi was also a benefactor of many Finnish elite cross-country skiers; he thought that it was impossible for skiers to train successfully for major competitions if they must also do full-time work. One of his famous proteges was Kalle Jalkanen (1907–1941), whose anchor leg decided the gold medal for Finland in the Olympic relay race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936.
Kiva (“Nice”) wax was made in Rossi’s factory in Helsinki until the 1960’s. It was also exported to other countries, especially to Germany. Esa Rossi never used recipes when he cooked his waxes: he measured the ingredients by following his own instincts.