Can’t skate? This U.S. Representative’s 1885 trainer could help
The problem with skating? It can be hard to learn and involve a lot of wall-hugging. Fortunately, in 1885 Laurin D. Woodworth invented a solution (after he’d retired from the U.S. House of Representatives).
The patent for his Skater’s Appliance shows how skaters could learn to skate by rotating around a bar or, alternately, holding on to a piece of string. The support seems like a good idea, especially if it could be implemented for unsteady ice skaters.
It was an interesting second career for Woodworth, who was a lawyer from Youngstown, Ohio and a U.S. Representative from 1873 to 1877. Because of that, we’re lucky enough to have a Matthew Brady photograph of the roller skating fan. Perhaps the photo shows him already pondering his interesting invention.