THE art of skating is known to be an ancient one, as is proved by the findings of old “bone” skates in excavations in England and elsewhere, and engravings and paintings show us that the art was already practiced as early as the fourteenth century.
Skating as a sport was also encouraged by the founding of clubs and associations early in 1742 was founded the Edinburgh Skating Club. It was a hundred years later that a club was organized in London, which obtained the privilege of a piece of the lake in Regents Park for skating. This club had a membership of one hundred and 70 members, of whom 20 were ladies, and whose object was the skating of figures exclusively in the English style.
America soon followed the example of England by founding the Philadelphia Skating Club in 1849, and the New York Skating Club in 1863. At this time the art was already at a high level of perfection in America, skating clubs being formed in various cities, and even the then existing models of skates were improved.
In 1868 a meeting of skating experts was held in Pittsburgh, Pa, at which a Championship Medal was established, which Callie Curtis won. Jackson Haines own special figure, the spin on bended knee, was even then found in a American work on skating, The Skaters Text Book, published in New York in 1868. About the same time that this enthusiasm was felt in America the Neva Skating Association was founded in St Petersburg by some Englishmen, from which the St Petersburg Skating Club was eventually formed.
In July, 1865, the Cercles des Patineurs was founded to meet at the Bois du Boulogne in Paris, by the Marquis de Mornay, Prince J. Murat, Prince dHenin, the Marquis de Castelbajac, Count de Saint-Priest, Viscount 0. Aguado, and others. In August, 1872, a Nouvelle Societe, whose Charter was modified and prolonged in 1885, was arranged, the governors being practically the same.
The following were the members of the Skating Committee: the Duc de la Force, the Count de Saint-Priest, Baron de Soubeyran, Henry Blount and R. Hennessy.