Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Empress Alexandra’s Gymnastic Apparatus 1897
A reader, who had commented on my July 27th post on ‘Doctors in the Palace’, reminded us of a letter Alexandra wrote to her brother. http://winterpalaceresearch.blogspot.ca/2016/07/doctors-in-winter-palace-1.html
In Petra Kleinpenning’s book ‘The Correspondence of Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig’, on January 14th, 1897 Alexandra wrote “…And untrue … from the Volksblatter Jan 24. A room for gymnastics has never been arranged – a sort of improved Ruderapparat I have got, but only used it last winter, as the Dr. recommended it for my leg …”
A ruderapparat is a rowing machine and I have discovered two advertisements c1900s (below)
While Alexandra did not use the machine in 1897 due to pregnancy, I do not know if she exercised with it in subsequent years. There were two rowing machines bought in 1896, one placed in the Winter Palace. Where was the other kept? I have not identified any in my photographs as yet. I am curious though if a rowing machine was in the Alexander Palace or Peterhof. Did Nicholas also use it for exercise?