Ed Lamy, from the program of the 1957 Winter Carnival Program. Probably Ed Horton Barrel jumping in the United States was popularized by speed skaters
. Speed skaters entertained crowds prior to and after speedskating competitions by jumping the barrels laid out to outline the race course. The sport soon took on a life of its own in the 1920s. According to Ed Lamy
, longtime holder of the barrel jumping record (27 feet 8 inches), flour barrels measuring two feet in diameter were used. In order to safely clear all barrels, it was necessary to take off at least a foot from the first barrel and to land a foot or more beyond the last barrel to avoid tumbling. However distance was only measured from the first barrel to the last barrel. The daring gentlemen of the early days of barrel jumping competed without any protective equipment.
In the 1950s the sport was revamped and all of its previous records scratched. Barrel size was standardized and jumps were measured from the skater's point of take off and actual landing. Skater safety was addressed and helmets were required.
Source: Parker, Dan. New York Daily Mirror. February 7, 1962. New York, NY.