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October 2019 PictureWeb

Artefact: Barney & Berry Ice Skates
Accession #: 2013.02.02
Year: 1880s

 Before the time of the closed-toe skate with an attached boot, skates were made with a blade and a footrest for the skater’s shoe. These skates, patented between 1884 and 1887, were made by the Barney & Berry Company. This company was known for its novel skate designs, namely the Ice King skate and the Ankle Support skate, patented in 1879. The Barney & Berry Co. stayed in business until 1919, when the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. bought the firm.

This type of B&B skate was referred to as a ‘lever’ skate, referring to the lever at the back of the skate that loosened the clamp so that the skater could fit their shoe into the skate and then clamp it tightly in place. The lever on this pair of skates is stamped with a ‘B&B’ seal and can be located underneath the heel. The leather straps at the top of the skate were used to provide further security for the skater’s foot while in motion.











September 2019 Pictureweb

Artefact: Fencing Sabre
Accession #: 92.01.11
Year: 1950s

This sabre fencing weapon was used in the 1950s. Both the blade and the hand guard are made from steeland the handle is wrapped in protective leather. Fencing was one of the first sports to be played in the Olympic Games. It is a combat sport based on traditional swordsmanship. Fencing as a sport developed in the 1700s, thanks to Domenico Angelo’s fencing academy in London, and Sabre is one of the three main types of fencing. The sabre weapon is unique in that both the cutting edge and the back of the blade can be used to score points. As for the other two types of fencing weapons, only the tip of the blade may be used in order to score points.










Artefact: Curling Broom
Accession #: 90.20.02
Year: 1940s

This broom belonged to honored member and builder Ray Kingsmith. Original curling brooms like this one, called ‘corn brooms’, were made of a wood shaft and looked like something used to sweep floors. Curling originated hundreds of years ago in Scotland and quickly became a very popular sport in Canada. Eventually brooms began to be manufactured with synthetic materials and a flat faced design, rendering these early corn brooms essentially obsolete. The sweeping technique of corn brooms is quite different from the modern technique of synthetic flat-faced brooms.










Artefact: Golf Club - Driver
Accession #: 99.17.01
Year: 1920s


The origins of golf can be traced back to late medieval Scotland. The game rose in popularity throughout the 16th century and the first golf association, The Gentlemen Golfers of Leith, was formed in 1744. Early golf clubs were made entirely of wood with a flat faced design. There was some experimentation with iron clubs throughout the 19th century but these designs proved too heavy and would damage the leather golf balls of the time. In 1908 manufacturers discovered that a grooved surface on the club face would cause more backspin to be placed on the ball. By 1930 steel shafts began to emerge, and in 1939 the standard numbering system for clubs developed. The first graphite shaft was introduced in the 1970’s and club technology has been increasing ever since, with wood clubs becoming all but obsolete.

The 2019 Open Championship will be played this July at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, marking the 148th time the tournament has been held.









Artefact: Horse Racing Saddle
Accession #: 88.15.03
Year: 1950s - 1960s


This saddle was used by horse racing jockey and honored member Jimmy Fitzsimmons. It is a thoroughbred racing saddle designed specifically for jockeys. Because of the diminutive stature of jockeys, saddles like this also very small and lightweight in order to maximize speed on the race track. Horse racing has a long and rich history. The governing body of the sport, the Jockey Club, was created in 1750. The three most important races in Canada are called the Canadian Triple Crown. These races are: the Queen’s Plate, the Prince of Wale’s Stakes and the Breeder’s Stakes. Fitzsimmons was the winner of the Queen’s Plate in 1962 and 1964. He also rode the famous Canadian champion racehorse Northern Dancer









Artefact: Figure Skates
Accession #: 90.28.01
Year: 1950s


Early metal skates date back as late as the medieval period of Dutch history and consisted of heavy iron blades which were attached separately to boots. These were used mainly as a form of transportation across frozen bodies of water. Once blades began to be sharpened and made of lighter materials, the different forms of skating activities emerged. From 1865 onward, skaters began screwing blades directly onto their boots and adding toe picks to the blades to offer more control and better movement on the ice. Skaters also began incorporating music into their practice, and thus the sport of figure skating was developed. Figure skating would eventually debut as an Olympic sport in 1908. The skates shown here were made in the 1950’s.