I recently received my December 2016 copy of Scientific American and there’s a reference to ice skating from back in 1866. It is found in the end-pages that briefly review select stories from 50, 100, and 150 years ago.
Here’s the mention:
1866 - Ice Skates for Fun
“That skating has become a fashionable exercise, is evident form the following statements as to the materials consumed during the present year, on one skate factory at Worcester, Mass.: two tons of brass, 5,000 gross of screws; 50,000 brass thimbles, 1,000 pounds of German silver, nearly six tons of rosewood, and ten tons of steel, worked up by 35 men and women into 25,000 pairs of skates.”
Besides being the longest run-on sentence I’ve read outside of undergraduate papers, I find the mention of rosewood curious. I suspect that most skates in 1866 were strap-on affairs. A brief Google search for old skating pictures hints that might have been the case.
I thought this was fun to come across in a science magazine. Doing research into the skates of the time shows skating is no longer as popular as it once was.