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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

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.
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.