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Posts Tagged ‘Fred Waller

This explains everything…

 

See several confirmed prior identities (Charlemagne, Mounet) at Keanu Reeves is Immortal.

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As we stock up on garlic, we might recall that it was on this date in 1922 that Ralph Samuelson invented water skiing.  18 at the time, Samuelson had already mastered aquaplaning (riding on a board while being pulled by a powerboat), but wanted a summer equivalent of snow skiing.  He had unsuccessfully tried barrel staves and snow skis before succeeding with 8 foot long pine boards, the front tip of which he bent up (by boiling them in his mother’s kettle).  His first successful outing, on a wide portion of the Mississippi River near Lake City, Minnesota, involved starting on an aquaplane, then stepping off onto the skis.

Samuelson didn’t patent his invention, nor was his work sufficiently publicized at the time to prevent U.S. Patent 1,559,390 for water skis from being subsequently issued, on October 27, 1925, to prolific inventor Fred Waller, who marketed his product as “Dolphin Akwa-Skees.”  (Waller also invented Cinerama, which he used to publicize his skis…)  Still, Samuelson, who became a turkey farmer, was a guest of honor at a water skiing 50th anniversary in 1972, and was inducted into the Water Ski Hall of Fame in 1977. His slightly-modified second pair (the first pair broke) still exists, and are on display at the Lake City Chamber of Commerce.

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Written by LW

July 31, 2013 at 1:01 am

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