Originally Posted by Trekchick
I just acquired some Cubco bindings from a friend, who had them on his skis long ago(can't find the boot plates tho), they are in the original box which says:
Let Cubco be your guardian angel
Some Cubco history for ya;Other tinkerers were hard at work. Beginning in 1948, in Nutley, N.J., mechanical engineer and recreational skier Mitch Cubberley brought an ingenious mind to the problem of skiing's broken-leg image. Skiing with his friend Joe Powers at Highmount, Belleayre and Bromley, Cubberley concluded that a key problem - thus far addressed by no one - was unreliable heel release, arising from the combination of the soft leather boot sole, the longthong wrap used to reinforce the sloppy leather boot cuff, and the complex, serpentine Kandahar heel cable. He figured out how to eliminate the heel cable and its grip on the soft leather sole, designing an elegant spring-controlled latch which could be mounted at both toe and heel.A key element of the Cubberley design was the boot plate. Steel plates were screwed solidly to the toe and heel of the boot, and the spring-loaded binding gripped these plates rather than a soft, wet, flexible boot sole. The metal-to-metal contact provided more consistent release and reduced boot-to-ski friction. Cubberley sold about 200 sets during the winter of 1949-50.
In 1952, Mitch Cubberley patented a toe unit that would release in all directions, and sales took off. By 1955 he'd added a lip to his heel latch and created the first step-in heel.
In 1961, rivals Earl Miller and Mitch Cubberley introduced the first ski brakes, eliminating the "safety" strap and with it cuts and contusions due to windmilling skis. Ski resorts wouldn't accept ski brakes until the major European binding brands adopted ski brakes beginning in 1976.
During the Sixties, Mitch Cubberley and Gordon Lipe proved the importance of reducing boot-ski friction, and, in parallel with Lusser, created the first anti-friction devices. Personal injury attorneys began paying closer attention to ski binding design. Cubberley had the test results to prove that removing the leather boot sole from the release system improved safety, and by the mid-Sixties Cubco was selling more than 200,000 sets of bindings annually. Cubco was the binding of choice for rental operators.Cubco, armed with brilliant reviews from the testing labs, soldiered on. Mitch Cubberley was determined to build a safe, effective and cheap binding, and seemed equally determined to keep it ugly. With the universal adoption of standard plastic boot soles, his binding lost its performance advantage. Thanks largely to his own efforts in partnership with Gordon Lipe to eliminate boot-to-ski friction, industry-wide injury rates fell 75 percent to about 2.5 sled rides per thousand skier days, and most of those injuries were upper-body fractures entirely unrelated to ski binding issues.Moreover, Cubberley was amazingly generous about his own designs. When other companies infringed on his patents-the original Gertsch plate and the Rosemount toe unit are egregious examples-he declined to protect his rights. Cubco, a victim of its own technological leadership, slid into commercial obscurity.Cubberley, more than anyone the man responsible for destroying the sport's broken-leg image in North America, died in 1977 at age 62. Cubco folded two years later. But the truth is, if you have a late-model Cubco binding, complete with its standard Lipe Slider, it still works pretty well.
By Seth Masia, 2002