History Collection - Ice Skates – Starr Manufacturing Company

Revolutionary Technology

In 19th century Nova Scotia, skating was becoming a popular activity. But the old block skates were terrible – they were unstable and kept coming loose. That all changed in the 1860s when John Forbes, a young employee at the newly formed Starr Manufacturing Company in Dartmouth, invented the Starr “Acme Club” spring skate. The skates attached to a skater’s boots with a mechanical lever. Soon, skaters were starting, turning and stopping like never before. In later versions, like you see here, the blade could be screwed to the bottom of the skate. The skates were wildly successful and Starr continued to produce skates until the 1930s.

Object type: 
Ice skates
Object #: 
77.123.1 a,b
Collection name: 
Date (age/made): 
Halifax, NS
metal, leather
Height: 19cm ; Length: 32.2cm ; Width: 9cm