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This blog is about the history of ice skating, loosely interpreted. See Aims & scope. You can find posts by category or by searching.

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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

Website

I maintain a website about figures.

Skating Figures in the Twenty-First Century

Books

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.
Cover imageR. Jones, A Treatise on Skating. Edited by B. A. Thurber. Skating History Press, 2017. Blog post; Publisher link; Bookshop link.

Videos

The Evolution of Skating series on Schaatshistorie.nl:

  1. Bone skates (2021): English and Dutch
  2. Archetype skates (2021): English and Dutch

Articles

  • “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.