G. Herbert Fowler, On the Outside Edge

Being Diversions in the History of Skating

G. Herbert Fowler, On the Outside Edge

First published in 1897, On the Outside Edge is a clever and insightful introduction to the history of ice skating. It begins by tracing the development of ice skates from bone skates to the type of skate used in nineteenth-century England. Then, it describes the development of figure skating in Europe in the nineteenth century. Some of Fowler’s insights into the history of ice skating are stunning; he points out errors that continue to appear in histories of skating to this day.

This edition includes the full text of the original work, a new introduction, and extensive commentary that provides background information and uses the results of current scholarship to bring this work into the twenty-first century.

G. Herbert Fowler (1861–1940) was a zoologist, oceanographer, historian, archivist, skater, and skier. He wrote and edited many books and articles, the best-known of which are Science of the Sea (1912) and The Care of County Muniments (1923), and served as the British representative to the International Skating Union from 1903 to 1925.

145+iv pages, illustrated
ISBN 978-1-948100-01-4 (paperback)

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Skating in the nineteenth century
G. Herbert Fowler
This edition

On the Outside Edge
Chapter 1. Contributions to history
The bone skate, its distribution and date, an essentially Teutonic tool
The words in use for skates
Skate, Scatch, &c
Patin, Patten, &c
Skridsko, Schlittschuh, &c
Other words
Earliest mention of bone skating in England
Description of bone skates
Evolution of blade skates from skees questionable
The snow-skate probably indicates transition from bone skate to blade-skate
Early Scandinavian references; misconceptions and mistranslations
Earliest mention of iron skates
Introduction of blade-skating into England
Evolution of the English figure skate
Chapter 2. The rise of figure skating
Great Britain
The Netherlands
The rise of figure skating in England

Further reading
Illustration credits