History Of Rowing Machine

In the 1950s and 1960s, coaches in a large amount countries began using especially made rowing machines for training and improved power measurement. One original design incorporated a big, heavy, solid iron flywheel with a mechanical friction brake, made by John Harrison of Leichhardt Rowing Club in Sydney, later to be professor of mechanical engineering at the University of New South Wales. Source: Best rowing machine

History Of Rowing Machine

Harrison, a dual Australian champion beach sprinter who continued to row in the coxless four at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, have already been introduced to rowing after a chance ending up in among the fathers of modern athletic physiological training and testing, and the coach of the Leichhardt Guinea Pigs, Professor Frank Cotton. Cotton had produced a rudimentary friction-based machine for evaluating potential rowers by exhausting them, without the pretence of accurately measuring power output.

Harrison realised the worthiness of utilizing a tiny braking region with a nonabsorbent braking material, coupled with a sizable flywheel. The advantage of this design (made by Ted Curtain Engineering, Curtain being a fellow Guinea Pig) was the virtual elimination of factors able to hinder accurate results-for instance ambient humidity or temperature. The Harrison-Cotton machine represents the very first piece of equipment in a position to accurately quantify human power output; power calculation in an accuracy range as achieved by his machine of significantly less than 1% remains a fantastic result today. The friction brake was adjusted according to a rower’s weight to supply an accurate appraisal of boat-moving ability (drag on a boat is proportional to weight).

Inferior copies of Harrison’s machine had been stated in several countries utilising a smaller flywheel and leather straps-unfortunately the leather straps had been sensitive to humidity, and the relatively huge braking area made results much less accurate than Harrison’s machine. The weight correction factor tended to produce them unpopular among rowers of that time period. Harrison, arguably the daddy of modern athletic power evaluation, died in February 2012.

In the 1970s, the Gjessing-Nilson ergometer from Norway used a friction brake mechanism with professional strapping applied over the broad rim of the flywheel. Weights hanging from the strap ensured an adjustable and predictable friction may be calculated. The cord from the handle mechanism ran over a helical pulley with varying radius, thereby adjusting the gearing and speed of the handle similarly to the changing mechanical gearing of the oar through the stroke, created from adjustments in oar angle and additional factors. This machine was for a long time the internationally accepted standard for measurement.