Minnesotans are ice innovators, and for good reason—the land of ten,000 lakes suggests we have of a total lotta ice. We carve it, soften it, capture fish beneath it, and construct castles with terrific blocks of it. But it is thanks to John Strauss Sr.—a 165-year-old German-American fellow who immigrated to St. Paul in 1881—that we do that windswept and wondrous issue: skate across it. Strauss revolutionized ice skate style with a magic formula metal hardening system and closed-toe blade. Just about a century and a 50 % later, Strauss Skates is still around in Maplewood.
Jenelle and Shaun Hastings are a component of the Strauss lineage: they run Strauss Skates with a team of family members and other old-timers. They say John Strauss Sr. was destined early for a vocation in sharp implements: as a teenager, he traveled to Italy and was trained to craft rifle bayonets in an