16th Century engraving of a Dutch skater. Adapted from a painting by Cornelius Dusart.

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The pictures in Ice Skating Clipart Galore are grouped by subject matter. You may use the menu buttons just below the Introduction to switch between the pages.

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The graphics are organized into subject groupings of similar images. Many of the images are thumbnails of the actual larger image. Clicking on the thumbnail will display the image in it's regular size. Please do not access these images on your website directly from my site! If you want to use these graphics on a website, please download them and upload them to your own site. To download an image, right click on the image and select your "Save As" option. You can right click on the thumbnail images too, if you prefer to save the smaller image. Some browsers like the AOL browser can not be used this way to download images. Providing a link to our website if use any of the images is always appreciated. Thanks for visiting and come back soon to see even more images!

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Some Images On This Page Are Blocked Out As We Are Still Awaiting Permission From The Copyright Holders To Publish The Images.

The Evolution of Skates

Old Skates, Brusle, Paciuza, Schlittschuen, Slida
The first skates were made from the leg bones of large animals. Leather straps were slipped through holes that had been bored at each end of the bone. To this very day the word "skate" in Dutch is "schenkel" which means "leg bone". The oldest pair of skates known date back to 3000 B.C. They were found at the bottom of a lake in Switzerland.

By the 14th Century A.D. the Dutch were using wooden platform skates with flat iron bottoms or runners. The platform skates were attached to the shoe using leather straps. The skater had to use a spiked pole or staff for propulsion. The image at the top of the page is from a 16th Century engraving of a Dutch skater using wooden platform skates.

The Dutch added a narrow metal double edged blade to the wooden platform skates around 1500. This allowed them to abandon the pole and push off with one foot and glide on the other foot. This form of skating which we still use today is called the Dutch Roll.

E. V. Bushnell of Philadelphia, PA invented the first all steel clamp on skate in 1848. Jackson Haines, the flamboyant American skater, developed the two plate all metal blade shown here around 1865. By attaching the blade directly to his boots, Jackson Haines was able to dance, jump and spin his way into controversy and fame.

The toe pick or rake was added to the front of the Haines skate in the 1870's. This improvement made toe pick jumps possible. The skating world then had to wait over 40 years for another major improvement to be made to skates.

In 1914 John E. Strauss, a custom blade maker from St. Paul, MN, invented the first closed toe blade made from one piece of steel. This final major improvement to skates lightened and strengthened the skates, thereby making today's triple and quadruple jumps possible.

The World's Oldest Known Skating Image

Oldest Known Skating Image, Konståkning, Korcsolya, Kunstrijden, Kunstskøjteløb
In 1396 Lydwine (also Ludwina and Lidwina), a beautiful 16 year old girl, from Schiedam in Holland was visited by friends, who invited her to go skating. Legend says that Lydwine's friends insisted that she go skating even though she said she wasn't feeling well. Once they were on the ice Lydwine was knocked down. She broke 6 ribs and was bedridden for the rest of her life. After the accident Lydwine had visions and was given credit for performing many miracles. Lydwine was canonized in 1890 and was named the Patron Saint of Skating in 1944. This image of the fateful fall was made in 1498 by the Dutch artist, Johannes Brugman. This image provided courtesy of the SchaatsMuseum (Netherlands).

The Skating Craze of the 1850's & 1860's

The Skating Craze of the 1850's & 1860's
When the British and Dutch colonized America, they brought their skates along. The early center of skating in America was in Philadelphia. The first skating club in the United States was founded there on December 21, 1849. In the 1850's and 1860's skating became a craze in Europe and America. 50,000 people a day would skate at New York's Central Park! Thousands of people from all walks of life were caught up in the craze. Rich, poor, children, drunks, even horses joined in the madness. This image of skating at Central Park is taken from a reprint of an 1862 Currier & Ives print.

The Early Development of Hockey

Early Image of Ice Hockey, Hokej, Hockey sobre Hielo, Ijshockey, Ishockey, Jääkiekko
Although many countries claim credit for the beginnings of stick and ball games, British aristocracy and soldiers were the first to to combine field hockey with ice skates. British soldiers stationed in Canada brought the game called "shinty" with them. As many as 15 to 20 players would compete for each side. At first the game was played with a ball rather than the hockey puck of today. The first record of a puck being used instead of a ball was at Kingston Harbour, Ontario in 1860. It wasn't until the 1880's that rules (mostly borrowed from field hockey) were established. In 1885 the first league was formed in Kingston, Ontario. The Amateur Hockey Assocation was also formed in 1885. They established a rule limiting the number of players to seven per side to control the helter-skelter nature of the game. I don't think they succeeded! In 1892 the Canadian Governor General, Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston, donated a cup to be given to the top Candian team after an annual playoff. Over 100 years later the National Hockey League still competes for the Stanley Cup!

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Images From 1860 - 1930

The early skate patent image dates back to 1860. The skate ad comes from the 1902 Sears & Roebuck catalog. The other images come from the 1880's through the 1920's.

Everyday 1880's Ice Skaters Early Skate Patent Elegant 1880's Skaters

1880's Ice Skater 1902 Sears Skate Ad

1880's Outdoors Skating Scene 1920's Image of Pairs Skating


I want to acknowledge and thank the following sources for the information and images used on my Ice Skating Clipart Galore - Skating History Images page:

Ice Skating, From Axels To Zambonis © by Dan Gutman, Viking (Penguin Books) (800-253-6476), 1995, Pages 3-9. Much of the skating information on this page and the Sear's Catalog Skate Ad image came from Dan's book. The book is a wonderful source of information on skating from it's early history through the latest superstars. Although written for 10-12 year old children, the book is equally enjoyable for an adult.
Ice Skating, Steps to Success by Karin Kuenzle-Watson & Stephen J. DeArmond, © Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc. (800-747-4457), 1996, Pages 1-3. Karin is a 9 time Swiss National Champion and a former World Professional Champion. Stephen is a Professor of Neuropathology and Neurology. The book is an excellent source of information on mastering basic skating skills with more than 300 images and 50 drills for learning proper form and technique.
The Clip Art Book by Gerard Quinn, Crescent Books, 1990. This book contains over 5000 illustrations in the public domain organized into major subject groups like Leisure & Sport.
The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Fifteenth Edition (1984), Macropaedia, Volume 9, "Ice Hockey", Page 161.

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If you know of any ice skating images (excluding photographs) that are not on these Ice Skating Clipart Galore pages, please e-mail me the web address of the page with the images. If the images are not copyrighted, I'll add as many of them to these pages as I can. Thanks again for visiting. Check back often, as I will be adding more images on a regular basis.

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