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Figure Skating: Topics in Chronicling America

A guide for researching the topic of "figure skating" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


The Sun, November 21, 1915, Fifth Section Lithogravure Supplement, Image 57. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Daring curves, twirls, loops and leaps! A new dance on ice is introduced by American skater Jackson Haines, who flies across the ice with fantastic speed and grace. His style takes off in Europe, but meanwhile, figure skating is deemed a lost art in America until its reintroduction to New York society decades later by Irving Brokaw. A place to see and be seen, ice rinks across America become packed with fashionable ladies and gentlemen of all ages. Charlotte, celebrity ballerina on ice, dazzles at the Hippodrome and a figure skating mania spreads across the nation. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1864 - 1874 American skater Jackson Haines astonishes audiences worldwide with a new, balletic style of ice skating; he eventually becomes known as the Father of Figure Skating.
1907 - 1912 America lags behind Europe in organized figure skating.
February 1912 The International Skating Club is formed under the leadership of Irving Brokaw, fueling a revival of public interest American figure skating.
1915 - 1917 A figure skating craze sweeps across America, celebrity skater Charlotte stars on Broadway, and there are not enough rinks or skates to meet demand.