Antique Barney & Berry Ice Skates - 1861

Vintage Barney & Berry Ice Skates
Steel and Leather 
Adjustable Sole length
Vintage Winter 

Patented Oct 18, 1861, these "cutting edge" Barney & Berry ice skates featured a leather heel cup and also had an adjustment to vary the length of the sole.  Fashioned with hardened steel, these were beautiful and "best-in-class" at the time.  

Everett H Barney began manufacturing ice skates in 1864. According to some sources, he invented the metal clamp-on skate, a product that was the mainstay of the business.  They also made roller skates and signal cannons for yachts.

EH Barney was a well-known figure around Springfield, Mass.  He was himself an accomplished skater, and he was often seen near his Forest Park home, skating on the Connecticut River and a skating pond he built in the park.   Unfortunately Barney was judged insane in 1913, and died in 1916.  He left the bulk of his assets to the city of Springfield, with directions that his property was to be added to Forest Park.  The Barney skating pond still exists and is open for skating. 

Barney and Berry company was acquired by Winchester, in 1919.  

But it wasn't until he teamed with his business partner to form the Barney and Berry Company that Everett Barney became rich and famous.

Barney and Berry clip on ice skates were all the rage, here in Springfield, and all over the world.

"When Everett Barney came up with his invention and it became very popular, people started buying these skates by the thousands," said Guy McLain, Director of the Wood Museum of Springfield history.

"He set up a factory in the South End of Springfield very close to the current railroad line that we have today. And that factory was a booming factory for several decades. And it was one of the main providers of jobs for Springfield during that period."

And Barney's timing was impeccable - the Victorian Era was flourishing.

Bx17-254

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