About the content
This blog is about the history of ice skating, loosely interpreted. See Aims & scope. You can find posts by category or by searching.
- Bone skates
- Books and articles
- English style
- Field trip
- Freestyle slalom
- Medieval skating
- Metal skates
- Roller skating
- Skate sharpening
- Skating skills
About the author: Bev Thurber, PhD
I am an independent scholar whose research focuses on the history of ice skating. My book on bone skates has been published by McFarland, and I’m working on a number of other writing projects.
I have four degrees in four different fields and have studied in three countries. I was a professor at Shimer College from 2009 until 2017, when it was acquired by North Central College. And yes, I still skate.
Publications relating to skating
I maintain a website about figures.
|Gerhard Ulrich Anton Vieth, On Skating. Translated by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2022. Publisher link.|
|Markus Wild, Beverly A. Thurber, Stephen Rhodes, and Christian Gates St-Pierre, eds. Bones at a Crossroads: Integrating Worked Bone Research with Archaeometry and Social Zooarchaeology. Sidestone, 2021. Publisher link.|
There is no skating in this book, but you can read it for free online.
|B. A. Thurber, Skates Made of Bone: A History. McFarland, 2020. Publisher link; Bookshop link.|
|E. F. Benson, Skating Stories. Edited by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2020. Publisher link; Bookshop link.|
|H. E. Vandervell, The Figure Skate: A Research into the Form of Blade Best Adapted to Curvilinear Skating. Edited by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2020. Publisher link; Bookshop link.|
|Henry C. Lowther, English Skating: Edges and Striking; Principle of Skating Turns; Combined Figure-Skating. Edited by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2019. Publisher link; Bookshop link.|
|Frostiana: Or a History of the River Thames in a Frozen State. Edited by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2018. Blog post; Publisher link; Bookshop link.|
|G. H. Fowler, On the Outside Edge: Being Diversions in the History of Skating. Edited by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2018. Blog post; Publisher link; Bookshop link.|
|R. Jones, A Treatise on Skating. Edited by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2017. Blog post; Publisher link; Bookshop link.|
The Evolution of Skating series on Schaatshistorie.nl:
- “Whither bone skates research?” Schaatshistorie.nl, 2021. Direct link.
- “Figuring it out at 2020ne Worlds.” Recreational Ice Skating, Fall 2021, pp. 23–24. Direct link.
- “The English style: Figure skating, gender, and national identity.” Sport History Review 50.2 (2021): 332–355. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1123/shr.2020-0023.
- “Skating in my own backyard.” Recreational Ice Skating, Spring 2021, p. 6. Direct link.
- “The myth of skating history: Building elitism into a sport.” Leisure Sciences 43.6 (2021): 562–572. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2020.1870589.
- ”Experimenten met vroege hout-ijzeren schaatsen” [Experiments with early metal-bladed skates]. Translated by Niko Mulder. Kouwe Drukte, no. 69 (2020): 4–8.
- “No ice? Practice outdoors on wheels!” Recreational Ice Skating Online, April 6, 2020. Direct link.
- “How to skate a cat.” Recreational Ice Skating, Fall 2019, pp. 24–25. Direct link. Companion video.
- “The Viking ball game.” Scandinavian Studies, vol. 87, no. 2, 2015, pp. 167–188. Blog post. JSTOR link.
- “The similarity of bone skates and skis.” Viking and Medieval Scandinavia, vol. 9, 2013, pp. 199–217. Publisher link.
- “A new interpretation of Frithiof’s steel shoes.” Scandinavica, vol. 50, no. 2, 2011, pp. 6–30. Publisher link.
Get in touch if you’d like pdf copies of these articles. I have also published book reviews and journal articles on historical and computational linguistics, archaeology, and fluid dynamics.