These wonderful old ice skates are made of cast iron. The skates have screw mechanisms that adjust the shoe clamps to fit the toe of the shoe and also an adjustable mechanism to clamp onto the heel of the shoe. The screws all turn freely so that these old skates can still be adjusted to fit a shoe. The blades are 10 1/2 inches in overall length. Because of the fully adjustable heel and toe clamps, the skates do not require any straps or bindings. Both blades of the skates are marked with Pat. Feb 19 1878. This stamped mark is quite faint. Both blades are also marked with C and 10 which is much clearer. I researched the patent date on the US Patent office website to find the following information. Patent Number 200424 was granted to E. H. Barney of Springfield, Massachusetts on February 19, 1878 for his improvements to cast iron ice skates. His invention was the addition of movable parts for the fastening of cast iron skates, to the shoe of the wearer. The improvement included the addition of independently adjustable clamp brackets to the heel and the toe of the shoe.
Here is a pair of Barney's original skates and they have stood the test of time exceedingly well. They would make a great decorative pair of skates for a winter decor, however they could also be worn by someone with small feet for a run around the rink or pond. They would also make a nice gift for someone who is a serious skater as they would add a great touch of history for someone with a love of the art of skating!