The historical and technical bases for the development of a friction testing device, the Universal Friction Testing Machine (UFTM), designed for monitoring the safety of industrial walkway surfaces were described. The findings of a literature review of material in this area were included concerning methods of measuring friction with attention to preload and initial slip, energy absorption, and horizontal sliding; studies of friction of footwear materials on walkway surfaces; and studies of friction of rubber on solid surfaces. State of the art testing of shoe materials, floor polishes, and walkway surfaces were considered along with considerations of the desirability of standardizing procedures and devices for the measurement of coefficients of friction. Measurements were made using rubber, leather, vinyl, and oak samples. The author concludes that the UFTM is able to provide several advantages over previously used friction testing devices. These advantages include the obtaining of consistent and reproducible coefficient of friction (COF) values independent of operator differences, the portability of the unit making it suitable for shop and factory monitoring of walkway surfaces, the reasonably low cost when built in quantity, and the usefulness of the equipment to study the transition friction effects between static and dynamic values of the COF.