Through June 14, you can get my book Skates Made of Bone: A History for 40% off (meaning $27 instead of the usual $45, plus shipping) by entering the code SPORTS40 on the McFarland website. This code also works for their other sports books, like Skating on Air: The Broadcast History of an Olympic Marquee… Continue reading Skates Made of Bone is on sale!
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.
The first ice skates were made from the leg bones of animals. Skaters simply stood on them (tying them on was optional) and pushed themselves along with metal-tipped poles. The skater in the picture is using what seems to have been the most common technique: pushing with one pole between the legs. Two poles were… Continue reading Bone skates