The Skater’s Velocipede
Sir, having about thirteen years since, made a velocipede for going on the ice, of which the prefixed sketch will give your readers an idea, if you the same worthy a place in your valuable publication, you will oblige me by giving it early insertion. I have found it an easy method of proceeding at a rapid rate on a smooth surface of ice and the exercise may be kept up for three or four hours without fatigue; – indeed, when the machine is going before the wind, the impulse given by the feet may be dispensed with, the power of the wind on the back of the person seated on the machine being sufficient to send the whole forward. The person will then merely have to put his feet down at intervals, when he may have to maintain his balance. From experiments made on our canal with a machine on this construction, it was found possible to keep pace with experienced skaters and that, by anyone unacquainted with the ordinary method of skating. The position of the three skates forms a sufficient base for the machine to stand alone, leaving thereby little to be attended to on the part of the skater. I may as well observe that the apparatus might be neatly made for twenty or thirty shillings each. – Yours, &c.
Liverpool, Jan, 1831