Two facts are clear: People were still using bone skates in Sweden in the nineteenth century (see pp. 143–145 of my Skates Made of Bone).Many people immigrated from Sweden to the midwestern United States in the nineteenth century. This combination of facts had led me to wonder whether Swedish immigrants to the Midwest used bone… Continue reading Did Swedish immigrants to the Midwest use bone skates?
Gösta Berg (1903--1993) was a Swedish ethnologist who worked on skating, skiing, and other winter activities. His writings include three papers on bone skates, written in three different languages over a period of nearly thirty years.
My book on bone skates is available for pre-order! You can get it directly from the publisher, McFarland, from Amazon, or from whatever bookstore you like best.
The Lödöse Museum in Sweden hosts an annual skating event---on bone skates! This year, the skating is scheduled for February 11 from 1 to 3 PM; the details are here (in Swedish). Skating on bones in Lödöse, Sweden. Photograph courtesy of Marie Schmidt, Lödöse Museum. There are videos of previous years' skating events on the… Continue reading Skating party in Lödöse
I just ran across an interesting bone skate in the Swedish History Museum's catalog. It's listed as having possible boat-like carvings. You can see them if you look carefully at the picture: right about the middle of the bone, just above the number written on it, there are some curved scratches. Photograph by Ola Myrin,… Continue reading Bone skates and boats
I recently got hold of a copy of De Nederlandse glissen by H. W. Jacobi, thanks to some kind people in the Netherlands. It's a paper written for a course at the University of Amsterdam in 1976. This paper has gone viral (in the bone skates sense) despite its obscurity. It has been cited far… Continue reading H. W. Jacobi on bone skates
In August, 1878, A. Heneage Cocks visited Iceland and got a pair of bone skates. Here's the story as he told it to J. Romilly Allen: I noticed the bone skates hanging up in Kalderhohdi Farm on the Log River SW Iceland when putting up there in August 1878. I remember carefully concealing my feeling… Continue reading Kalderhohdi Farm