The earliest known instance of ice-skating occurred back in 1000 B.C. when primitive civilizations constructed simple skate blades from animal bones. The bones were strapped to the foot using leather or twine, designed to help the wearer travel across frozen lakes during the cold winter months. As time went on, mankind embraced the future of ice-skating with the advent of steel blades.
Metal blades helped revolutionize the sport, but it took several decades for ice-skating to transform into the recreation we know today. In 1848, inventor E.V. Bushnell fabricated the first pair of ice skates with a blade clipped directly to the boot. This allowed the wearer a better range of motion across the ice, as there was less risk of the boot coming detached from the blade and causing injury. Bushnell’s early skate model helped bring the sport to the mainstream, where it is still popular. As shown in the infographic below, today more than 180,000 individuals belong to skating clubs across the United States, offering an enjoyable pastime for children of all ages.