Ice Skates

Although not exactly conforming to the parameters of this Woodworking Tools site, was a commodity that supported MARPLES through some lean years and enabled the firm to survive, the manufacture of Ice Skates.  The first item below is the cover page from the 1881 Skate Catalogue

To disassemble the wood/steel skates:  The steel insert around the heel screw has to be removed [judicious use of a small screwdriver coaxed gently with a hammer!]. Then the point of the screw can be tapped down so that the whole screw assembly [which fits into a slot in the top of the steel skate] is free of the wooden base. Remove the screw. Then gently tap the rear of the steel skate to dislodge it forward such that a backward facing steel spike [on the front of the steel skate] is loosened from its’ hole in the front of the wooden base. The whole steel skate can then be inched out of its’ groove in the base. 

The above is admirably demonstrated by my disassembly of a pair of skates as shown:

These skates [below] are quite rare and are shown in the 1897 Catalogue where they are listed as item #875 described as: Best polished Walnut, brass toeplates, iron and steel Rocker blades, for broad toe straps, all sizes, 11/6 per pair. Straps for ditto, 2/4 per set. [That is 2 shillings and four pence for the uninitiated]  The Brass Toe Plates may have varied with time and operator, as the ones shown here do not conform exactly to the picture.


Another picture from the same page of the 1897 Catalogue showing Ice skates:

And here is a wonderful #864 with a number changed in the 1909 Cat to #9507, obviously missing the rear ankle straps:

Below is a great set of ‘Runner Skates’ as shown in the 1909 Catalogue.  From the pictures we can see that these were Item# 9524..the very best


The skates below are from c.1875 and in the 1888 Catalogue are described as ‘Racing & Hockey Skates Made to the National Skating Associations Approved patterns.  They look to be the same as the ‘Runner’ skates of 1897 [above], but have a more ornate brass toe and no brass heel attachments.
Below is the 1888 page:


‘Mount Charles Skates’ [below]   These skates are first seen in the 1909 Catalogue but are listed then as #9556.1/2 Nickeled blades and Aluminium tops.

They are missing from the 1921 Cat. but re-appear as #9557 in the 1928 Cat and again in 1938. They did not survive Mr. Hilter.  Shown here is the #12 size, as can be seen on the middle picture below.

This next set is first seen in 1897 under the General Heading of ‘Skeleton Skates’…which meant that they had no wood filler above the raw skate but were meant to be affixed directly to a ‘boot’ or similar. In 1897 they are numbered # 857.1/2  :

In the 1909 Catalogue they are listed as Item # 9560  ‘St. Moritiz‘ Brass tops, Iron and Steel Blades, but by 1921 and onwards they are not to be seen.   Therefore 1895-1914? is a good estimate of this skate being available.  The photos below may show a later example towards 1914, having no fancy cutout on the front brass fixture.

Also found in the 1909 Catalogue is this page devoted to the tools available to fix/repair the Ice Skates:




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