The following extract from the chronicle of the Wiener Eislaufverein (the Vienna Skating Club), 1906, describes the sensation, which he made:
It was on January 16, 1868, that placards announced to the, followers of skating that ‘he celebrated American Ice Dancer, Mr Jackson Haines, would give an exhibition at the rink of the Vienna Skating Club. The programme contained four numbers; a march, a valse, a mazurka and a quadrille.
This performance of Haines, and those which followed, may be said to have been instrumental in founding the Vienna Skating School, which, in turn, proved the beginning of that system now known as the International Style of Skating.
Surprise and astonishment were universal at Hainess first performance. Although but of middle height and slim in build, he was capable of performing the most prodigious efforts of strength. His strokes seem to have been taken without effort, and his turns were as rapid as lightning, so that the spectator was compelled to look most intently in order not to lose the movement of the figure. At the same time his movements were so closely in harmony with the music that in the opinion of those that watched him, not even the most expert dancer on the stage could surpass him in the poetry of motion. His jumps and pirouettes on the ice have rarely, if ever, been equalled.
As proof of his devotion to the art, he is said to have practiced for nine years his spin on bended knee; and up to the 1910 no other skater had succeeded in finishing the figure by skating a triple spiral out from the centre of rotation. It was a peculiarity of Haines that in the execution of his whirls he invariably lost his cap, which he picked up from the ice without stopping, and while on a large backward curve. At the finish of his performance, while on a simple backward edge, his position was such that he touched the ice with his fur cap, which he took off to bow to the spectators; when, after frenzied applause, he again appeared he skated out on a tremendous curve or spiral, which, with consummate ease and crossed arms, he maintained to the end, standing at the finish of it motionless as a statue.