February Artifact of the Month
Artifact: Women’s Speed Skates Accession #: 2013.31.01 Year: c. 1960s Description: The origin of speed skating (and indeed skating in general) can be found over a thousand years ago in Northern Europe, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. Very early on, ice skating was viewed as an opportunity for sport and recreation. In the 1500s, a skate with an iron blade was designed in Britain. This eventually led to the first official speed skating race in 1763. The steel blade was later designed in North America in the 1800s, where speed skating became very popular. Speed skating later made its appearance in the Olympics in 1924. These skates are made from black leather, with the blade protected by a leather covering. They were used in the 1960s, the same time period that women’s speed skating first appeared in the Olympics.