Revisiting The Jackson Haines Story

Photo courtesy Wien Museum

One of the most important figures in skating history is without a doubt Jackson Haines. I took a deep dive into his story on the blog eight years ago and in the years since have made several small updates and shared little tidbits of newly uncovered information here and there. 

There has been much speculation over Jackson Haines' story - rightly so - and I thought it might be really interesting to take a look at what key pieces of information primary sources reveal about his birth, final months and death. What better way to do that than let the writers for newspapers of Haines' time speak for themselves...

Photo courtesy Västergötlands Museum

JACKSON HAINES' DATE OF BIRTH

Laibacher Zeitung (Ljubljana), October 31, 1867

Jackson Haines, the famous sledge shoe dancer, who this evening will perform in our social theater, is an American by birth, born the son of a respected merchant in New York on October 4, 1838, therefore 29 years old. Already at the age of 12 he was a skilful skater. Until he was 18 he was a celebrity among the admirers of this winter fun in America. However, his carriere as an artist dates from September 7, 1859, when the day of his debut in Wallacquer Theater in New York on saloon skates (parlor-skates). This first debut was no less unfortunate, as the second, after two years of study in 1861 on the most elegant theater in New York, the Winter Garden... The third attempt as "Le Novice" at the Bowery Theater was successful. Ninety evenings he danced to full houses with the greatest applause... Haines' achievements were significant. In Russia... he received 3 medals and the emperor handed over him personally a precious diamond ring. He produced also before the crowned heads of Sweden, Denmark and Prussia. He danced on the stage in Sweden and Denmark 100 times, including 8 times in the opera and 24 times on the ice. At his last presentation in the royal club in Stockholm the King decorated him in front of the assembled court with the royals.

Åbo Underrättelser (Turku), November 19, 1872

Among upcoming entertainments must also be remembered Jackson Haines' performance on ice today, an entertainment for which we have to thank the change in the temperature, which has again dropped below the freezing point... The 'skating king' is truly a king in his art. But he has also not achieved this astonishing skill without study, work and adversity. He was born on December 4, 1838, in New York, where his father, who is still living, is a wealthy businessman and skilled skater. Already as a child, the son distinguished himself as one of the foremost skaters in New York, and took such an interest in this sport that he decided to seriously dedicate himself to it. He invented a kind of parlour skates and on these he made his debut in 1859 at a theater in NewYork, but without particular success. After that he withdrew again, studied physics and plastic arts and only appeared on stage in New York in 1861. At the first performance his success was complete, but the following evening, unable to restrain himself, he plunged into the orchestra.

Hämäläinen (Hämeenlinna), March 4, 1875

The dashing son of free America has appeared on theater stages with skates on his feet and flew in as if the ancient Hermes, who sent the word from father Zeus to the worlds. Looking at the smooth movements of his lithe limbs, the suppleness of his beautifully formed body, brought to mind those bright pictures from the legends of Hellas and the games of Olympia. Mr. Jackson Haines [performs] on his skates, as if he had wings in his shoes, and it is truly amazing how well he makes his treacherous feet obey the more complex notes of the music. Last Sunday night, he first appeared in a woman's dress and after the masquerade he appeared as a dreamy creature, flying softly and seductively in the eyes of the onlookers, who still did not know exactly where he was. However, his skates were not of the same quality as those used on the ice; but we hear that he also has ice skates and that he lives on them just as smoothly as on permanent. His [roller] skates are built on rubber wheels, they are 4 or 5 pennies size on each foot. Mr. Jackson Haines was born in the city of New York in 1838. Already at the age of 12, he tried his skills in the theater of his hometown, where some kind of play had been prepared for him, but at the beginning he had no more success than many other great artists. A few years later, he managed to please and delight the audience, so that he dared to go to Europe, to show his skills. Among other things, he became very popular with the king of Sweden, Charles XV.

Jackson Haines in the 1855 New York State Census (top) and 1860 United States Census (bottom) 

Takeaways: While Haines' age in Census records suggest that Haines was born a year later (in 1839 or 1940) I find these newspaper articles more credible. It is interesting how the newspaper from Ljubljana (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) gives the birth date of October 4, 1838 while the Finnish article also gives a birth date of the 4th, but in December. The fact these articles are so detailed - the first even giving the exact date of his first performances - suggest the writers likely interviewed Haines. Perhaps the descrepancy in months came down to a mistranslation or typo, but it's worth noting that someone as well-travelled as Haines would have had papers with his birth date so I don't think these dates are simply "out of the blue". 

JACKSON HAINES' FINAL PERFORMANCES

Finlands Allmänna Tidning (Helsinki), January 27, 1875

Skating king Jackson Haines has arrived here, accompanied by two other talented skating artists, Messrs. [E.T.] Goodrich and [Callie] Curtis, both Americans and natives of Chicago.

Hufvudstadsbladet (Helsinki), February 5, 1875

Mr. Jackson Haines gives his first representation on Sunday at 3 pm on the ice on the pond in Kaisaniemi Park.


Hufvudstadsbladet (Helsinki), February 10, 1875

Great skating presentation will be given tomorrow in Kaisaniemi Park by the skating king Jackson Haines in association with his American successors to the throne Goodrich and Curtis, who have now arrived in the city.

Åbo Underrättelser (Turku), February 13, 1875

Skating king Jackson Haines and the famous American skating artists Goodrich and Curtis, who are currently performing in Helsinki, will also appear on our stage at the beginning of March.

Hämäläinen (Hämeenlinna), February 25, 1875

Friday, February 26, 1875 at 7 pm. First appearance of skating artist Jackson Haines... Large skating potpourri is performed by Herr Haines. Drillén's Operetta's in 1 act. 

Sunday, February 28, 1875 at 7 pm The second performance of Ice Skating Artist Jackson Haines. Lord Dundreary performed on skates by Herr Haines.


Åbo Underrättelser (Turku), March 9, 1875

First appearance of skating artist Mr. Jackson Haines. Wednesday, March 10, 1875 at 7 pm... Rika Morbror, comedy with song in 2 acts. Large Potpourri, performed on skates by Mr. Haines.

Björneborgs Tidning (Pori), March 10, 1875

Enjoyment of a more unusual kind. According to a letter to the editor, the world-renowned skating artist Jackson Haines intends to come here towards the end of this month to give some performances.

Åbo Underrättelser (Turku), March 19, 1875

Sunday, March 21, 1875 at 7 pm. This is the last performance of skating artist Jackson Haines.


Sanomia Turusta (Turku), March 25, 1875

Skating artist Jackson Haines, who arrived in our city with the Swedish theater company here, has shown his great magic to an admiring audience, first in the theater room, then on the ice in Kupittaa Park.

Björneborgs Tidning (Pori), April 7, 1875

The skating king, Mr. Jackson Haines, has arrived in town. The freezing weather that prevailed yesterday should unfortunately put an obstacle in the way of his performance on the ice. With this experiencing right now, the audience has the opportunity to see his art in the theater today.

Björneborgs Tidning (Pori), April 10, 1875

A large part of the audience was certainly also attracted by the opportunity to see the "skating king", Mr. Jackson Haines, who performed these evenings and, despite the extremely unfavorable conditions for his art that our theater offers, was received with stormy applause. Mr. Haines gives in the morning a representation on the ice below the warehouse.

Björneborgs Tidning (Pori), April 14, 1875

A comedy in 2 acts, will be performed at the Pori theater. After the masquerade, skating dance. - And finally: Savoyard boy, skating dance. Note! Note! This is the last time as Skating King Mr. Jackson Haines steps in front of the audience in Pori. Friday, April 16th.

Vasabladet (Vasaa), April 24, 1875

The "King of Skating," Mr. Jackson Haines, has arrived in town, and tomorrow, Sunday, will make his debut on our city in Mr. Ernst's salon. People are already crowding for places, and before the evening you will absolutely no longer be able to get an entry card for any price. Unfortunately, as our city celebrates a musical chapel, it seems to be quite impossible for the famous artist to give a performance here on the ice, where one hoped to see him perform.

Vasabladet (Vasaa), May 29, 1875

The skating king, Mr. Jackson Haines, was to be given a presentation here on the 9th; however, nothing came of it. On the journey here from Jakobstad, he caught a cold and fell ill with pneumonia, which still keeps him confined to bed. A breakthrough to recovery must have already occurred, but there seems to be little hope that he will be able to perform for a long time, at least we will be denied the pleasure of seeing him on stage.

Åbo Underrättelser (Turku), June 2, 1875

"On the journey from Jakobstad, Haines caught a cold and fell ill with pneumonia, which still keeps him confined to bed. A breakthrough to improvement must have already occurred, but there seems to be little hope that he will be able to perform for a long time, at least we will have to deny ourselves the pleasure of seeing him on stage."

Södermanlands Läns (Södermanlands län), June 9, 1875

Skating king Jackson Haines fell ill with pneumonia on the journey from Jakobstad to Gamlakarleby. From the last mentioned city, the 23rd last May: A break for the better must have already occurred, but there is little hope that he will be able to perform for a long time.

Takeaways: This timeline of performances calls into question the long-standing narrative that Haines was travelling by sled from St. Petersburg, got caught in a snowstorm, became gravely ill and was brought to Gamlakarleby (Kokkola). He arrived in Finland in January of 1875 and gave numerous performances, both on rollers and ice, the months preceding his death. These articles do confirm that Haines' final (cancelled) performances were to have taken place in Pori and that he became on the jurney from Jakobstad. Vasaa, Jakobstad and Gamlakarleby (Kokkola) are all in the same part of Finland.


JACKSON HAINES' DEATH

Björneborgs Tidning (Pori), June 23, 1875

The skating king Jackson Haines has, according to private information, ended his earthly career this morning in Gamla Karleby.

Nya Dagligt Allehanda (Stockholm), June 25, 1875

Jackson Haines attended the midsummer evening in the Finnish town of Gamla Karleby with the wish on his lips to be buried in Stockholm. Born and raised in North America, known and known in most European states, celebrated everywhere, he loved Sweden most of all countries and Stockholm most of all cities. There he wished to live, there to die. Jackson Haines had well-to-do parents, who wanted to make him a well-to-do wholesaler. He was put in an office. . . but the ice and the skating rink drew him with marvelous power. The office stool burned his feet, which were made to walk on steel-clad shoes. Soon noticed in Boston and New York among the skating youth, he ended up outshining every member of those cities' skating clubs. Little by little he came up with the idea that skating should and could develop into a branch of the imitative art, standing on a par with dance. He developed and applied more and more this thought; and no one, who has seen him perform in advertised shows on the ice, should be able to deny that his movements in beauty, softness and grace at least rivaled the best performances of any dancer. His skating numbers - when they did not consist of comic scenes - were on; as carefully calculated, studied and practiced in advance as a ballet number. In them, Ban always described specific figures, which he himself drew in detail on the paper and for which he sought out a suitable melody, the time signatures of villages regulated the length and quantity of the steps. Consequently, he did not like to appear in public without the accompaniment of music. We have had the opportunity to see his drawings at some point, representing houses or landscapes, but usually regularly recurring curvilinear ornaments, like Valenciennes lace or rich embroidery. Only a few spectators felt that Jackson Haines went to such lengths to achieve the greatest possible beauty in movement of the men's shoe body, but no one will overlook that he won his goal. The "skating king" was between 30 and 40 years old at the time of his death, which was caused by inflammation of the lungs. (D.N.)


Åbo Underrättelser (Turku), June 26, 1875

Skating artist Jackson Haines, who in our time was seriously ill in Gamlakarleby, is still there and will never be able to resume his former profession.

According to private information received in Pori, BT reports, Jackson Haines, passed away on the morning of the 23rd.

Dannevirke (Denmark), June 30, 1975

Skating king Jackson Haines died on the 23rd from pneumonia in the Finnish city Gamla Karleby. His last wish was to be buried in Stockholm, which he preferred to all other cities. As is well known, he was born in North America and was the son of wealthy parents, who early on put him in a trade apprenticeship. But the skating rink drew him to it with an irresistible force and power, and he made it his mission to [elevate] skating to its own art form on a par with dancing... He appeared at a number of theaters in the new and old world; also in Copenhagen has he let himself be seen several times.

Wiener Zeitung (Vienna), July 1, 1875

In Gamlakarleby the well-known skater Jackson Haines, suffering from pneumonia at the age of 35.

Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt (Vienna), July 2, 1875

In Gamlakarleby died the ice skater Jackson Haines known, also in Vienna by his extraordinary productions to the ice still in the best memory, of a lung inflammation at the age of 35 years.

Ölandsbladet (Borgholm), July 8, 1875 

Jackson Haines, the well-known "skating king" passed away on Midsummer's Eve in Gamla Karleby in Finland. Shortly before his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in Stockholm.

Wiener Theater-Chronik (Vienna), July 9, 1875

Noted skater Jackson Haines, who a long ago also went by the name of Cornac Jones, died in Gamlakarleby in Finland of pneumonia at the age of 35. His colleague Adacker is the owner of a Tivoli in Munich.

Takeaways: There is more than enough here to safely confirm that Jackson Haines died in Gamlakarleby on June 23, 1875. What is perhaps most curious is the last clipping, from the "Wiener Theater-Chronik". The name Cornac Jones (likely a stage name) is mentioned. That name doesn't show up anywhere in Austrian newspaper archives but he most certainly did give exhibitions with Leopoldine Adacker. The article from "Nya Dagligt Allehand",, which was republished in several Finnish newspapers, is of great interest as it mentions the fact he sketched out his skating programs on paper. 

Jackson Haines' passport application from July of 1864, which includes his handwritten signature

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of the figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html.

Japanese Technical Firsts Under The IJS System

Yuzuru Hanyu. Photo courtesy Andy Miah, shared via Creative Commons license, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

When the IJS System was introduced, it was a 'wiping of the slate' in a way. Never before had jumps been evaluated individually by a technical panel to determine their cleanliness. Today we'll take a little look at some more recent history - the first Japanese skaters to land each triple or quadruple jump in senior ISU Championships held under the IJS System. 

Sōta Yamamoto and Shoma Uno. Photo courtesy Chika Ezechi, shared via Creative Commons license, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

JUMPING FIRSTS UNDER THE IJS SYSTEM

Solo and combination jumps receiving a 0 or positive GOE were considered when compiling this data. In cases where multiple skaters successfully landed the same jump in the same competition, the starting order was used to determine which skater achieved the jump first.


Element

Olympic Games

World Championships

Four Continents Championships

Triple toe-loop (men's)

Daisuke Takahashi (2006, free skate)

Nobunari Oda (2006, short program)

Daisuke Takahashi (2005, short program)

Triple toe-loop (women's)

Kanako Murakami (2014, short program)

Miki Ando (2005, qualifying round)

Yukari Nakano (2005, short program)

Triple Salchow (men's)

Daisuke Takahashi (2006, free skate)

Daisuke Takahashi (2005, free skate)

Kazumi Kishimoto (2005, free skate)

Triple Salchow (women's)

Shizuka Arakawa (2006, free skate)

Miki Ando (2005, qualifying round)

Yukari Nakano (2005, free skate)

Triple loop (men's)

Daisuke Takahashi (2006, free skate)

Nobunari Oda (2006, qualifying round)

Kazumi Kishimoto (2005, free skate)

Triple loop (women's)

Akiko Suzuki (2010, short program)

Miki Ando (2005, qualifying round)

Yoshie Onda (2005, free skate)

Triple flip (men's)

Daisuke Takahashi (2006, free skate)

Daisuke Takahashi (2005, qualifying round)

Kensuke Nakaniwa (2005, free skate)

Triple flip (women's)

Miki Ando (2006, short program)

Fumie Suguri (2005, qualifying round)

Yoshie Onda (2005, short program)

Triple Lutz (men's)

Daisuke Takahashi (2006, short program)

Daisuke Takahashi (2005, qualifying round)

Kensuke Nakaniwa (2005, free skate)

Triple Lutz (women's)

Shizuka Arakawa (2006, short program)

Miki Ando (2005, qualifying round)

Yoshie Onda (2005, short program)

Triple Axel (men's)

Daisuke Takahashi (2010, short program)

Daisuke Takahashi (2005, short program)

Nobunari Oda (2006, short program)

Triple Axel (women's)

Mao Asada (2010, short program)

Mao Asada (2009, free skate)

Mao Asada (2008, free skate)

Quadruple toe-loop (men's)

Yuzuru Hanyu (2014, team event short program)

Daisuke Takahashi (2008, free skate)

Daisuke Takahashi (2005, short program)

Quadruple toe-loop (women's)

none

none

none

Quadruple Salchow (men's)

Yuzuru Hanyu (2018, short program)

Yuzuru Hanyu (2014, free skate)

Daisuke Murakami (2015, short program)

Quadruple Salchow (women's)

none

none

none

Quadruple loop (men's)

Yuma Kagiyama (2022, team event free skate)

Yuzuru Hanyu (2017, short program)

Yuzuru Hanyu (2017, short program)

Quadruple loop (women's)

none

none

none

Quadruple flip (men's)

Shoma Uno (2018, short program)

Shoma Uno (2017, short program)

Shoma Uno (2017, free skate)

Quadruple flip (women's)

none

none

none

Quadruple Lutz (men's)

none

none

none

Quadruple Lutz (women's)

none

none

none

If you found this information interesting, have I got the book for you! "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" includes a table that is identical to this one, but highlighting international firsts, of which Japanese skaters play an important role. 


You will also find chapters on the waltz jump, toe-loop, Salchow, loop, flip, Lutz, Axel, backflip and pairs throws, side-by-side jumps and twists and plenty of other interesting data and material. The foreword is written by 1962 World Champion Donald Jackson, the first skater to land a triple Lutz jump in competition. You can get your copy in Kindle E-Book, paperback or hard cover editions on Amazon.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of the figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

Black History Month 2023

 

February is Black History Month in Canada! Skate Guard celebrates key milestones of black and brown people in figure skating with extensive timelines from Canada and around the world and a required reading list of past stories featured on the blog. 

You can find all of the Black History Month content by tapping on the top menu bar of the blog or clicking here. For an extensive timeline of American firsts not listed here, pull out your copy of the February 2022 issue of "Skating" magazine.

You can also check out Skate Guard's Black Lives Matter Pinterest board, for photographs, newspaper clippings, videos and more. 

To nominate black and brown skaters to the Skate Canada Hall Of Fame, click here

Free Book Promotion

From now until January 31, the Kindle E-Book edition of "A Bibliography of Figure Skating" is available through a special promotion for a free download on Amazon. 

Download your free copy of this fascinating catalogue of figure skating books and magazines and leave an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads!


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The 1962 European Figure Skating Championships


On February 27, 1962, Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm survived a failed assassination attempt. Fifty four miners in Yugoslavia weren't so lucky - they perished in the Tito Coal Mine collapse. The atmosphere was much lighter at the indoor Patinoires des Vernets in Geneva, Switzerland, where spectators hummed Joey Dee & The Starliter's new hit "The Peppermint Twist" on the first day of the European Figure Skating Championships.

  

The venue's surface was two hundred and thirty feet by one hundred and thirty and the rink had room for upwards of twelve thousand spectators. The event was the first major ISU Championship since the Sabena Crash the previous year that claimed the lives of the entire U.S. figure skating team. Three of the defending champions, Alain Giletti of France and Doreen Denny and Courtney Jones of Great Britain, had moved on from the competitive ranks, opening the door for new winners in the men's and pairs events. Let's take a look back at how things played out!

THE MEN'S COMPETITION


Two time European Champion Karol Divín of Czechoslovakia, competing in his first European Championships since 1959, narrowly defeated France's Alain Calmat five judges to four in the school figures. Divín had a massive thirty three point lead after the first four figures but botched his fifth, the change loop. Malcolm Cannon of Great Britain won the change loop, while West Germany's Manfred Schnelldorfer took the sixth, the back paragraph bracket. After all six figures were performed, Divín's lead was decimated to only ten and a half points and a small majority of ordinals.

Left: Karol Divín. Right: Malcolm Cannon. Photo courtesy "Skating World" magazine.

The tables turned in the free skate when all but Italian judge Ercole Cattaneo had Alain Calmat - who had the skate of his life - first in that phase of the competition. Cattaneo gave first place marks to East Germany's Bodo Bockenauer. Bockenauer actually defeated Divín in the free skate, but he was so far back in the figures that he could only manage sixth place overall. Divín took the silver; Manfred Schnelldorfer the bronze. A pair of Austrians, Peter Jonas and Emmerich Danzer, were fourth and fifth. Danzer's program included a triple Salchow attempt. Great Britain's Robin Jones and Malcolm Cannon, placed seventh and twelfth. Schnelldorfer had to be the unluckiest skater in Geneva. In the weeks leading up to the event, he injured his foot in Frankfurt and his back in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. When he took to the ice for his free skate, there was a problem with his record and his music was played at a tempo so fast he never would have been able to keep up with it.

Photo courtesy Elaine Hooper, BIS Archive

One unusual judging discrepancy were the marks given to Soviet skater Valerii Meshkov. The Hungarian judge had Meshkov third in the free skate, while no other judge had him higher than ninth. There was no Soviet judge on the men's panel in Geneva, but there were most certainly Soviet officials in attendance.

THE ICE DANCE COMPETITION

Photo courtesy Elaine Hooper, BIS Archive

After fourteen couples danced the Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Kilian and Tango, France's Christiane and Jean Paul Guhel earned four first place ordinals to Great Britain's Linda Shearman and Michael Phillips' one. The Swiss judge - preferring to stay neutral - tied the two couples. In the free dance, the Swiss judge tied Shearman and Phillips with Czechoslovakia's Eva Romanová and Pavel Roman. The Italian judge had Shearman and Phillips first, the French judge had the Guhel's first and the rest voted for Romanová and Roman. By two ordinal placings, the Guhel's narrowly defeated Shearman and Phillips to take the gold. Despite winning the free dance, Romanová and Roman were only able to  move up to take the bronze over Great Britain's Mary Parry and Roy Mason, who had defeated them in the compulsories. It was the first time ever a British couple didn't stand atop the European podium.

In her book "Figure Skating History: The Evolution Of Dance On Ice", Lynn Copley-Graves recalled, "The free dance attracted 8,000 (3,000 more than for the ladies' final!). The Guhel's earned a 5.3 and some 5.4's in an elegant but not overwhelmingly difficult program with a cha-cha section. Eva Romanová and Pavel Roman... [Dennis Bird thought they] were 'easily best in the free,' incorporating unusual touches in a program that 'looked like pair skating without the jumps'. Howard Bass thought the top three couples were "virtually inseparable in quality"... Ann Cross and Len Williams had neat footwork a la Len Liggett, but their personalities did not come across. The crowd cheered for Györgyi Korda and Pál Vásárhelyi, twelfth, who skated a Csárdás - a national Hungarian dance of passionate character and changing tempo. They excited the audience and paved the way for incorporating folk dances in the free dance, causing [Dennis Bird] to remark, 'The adaptation to the ice of other national dances from Eastern Europe or Spain would be a welcome variation in the somewhat limited programmes seen at present". Royston Sidley thought the judges were too generous with Eva and Pavel, but NSA roller Gold Test Judge Ralph Hullah preferred them over the British. 'The Czechs ... did skate, and we did get some rhythmic undulating edge running from them, instead of all that prancing up and down on toe-rakes we had to suffer from others... For the first fifteen seconds [Shearman and Phillips] didn't cover more than a square yard of ice - they just pranced up and down on their toe-rakes. How the referee knew when to start his stop-watch is beyond me, because normally it is started from the first edge to be skated . . . later the man practically knelt on the ice while the girl went into orbit around him. This to me wasn't free dancing.'"

THE WOMEN'S COMPETITION


Karl Schäfer watching his student Helli Sengtschmid practice her figures in Geneva

Defending European Champion Sjoukje Dijkstra earned five first place ordinals in the figures, while the British and Czechoslovakian judge placed Austria's Regine Heitzer first. Heitzer won two figures, the forward loop-change-loop and the backward paragraph bracket. Dijkstra was no stranger to Switzerland. Though she spent much of the year training in England, she'd often practice in Davos during the winter months with her Swiss coach Arnold Gerschwiler.

Video courtesy Frazer Ormondroyd

In the free skate, seven judges again had twenty year old Dijkstra first. This time it was the British and French judges who had her second. Both had Austria's Helli Sengtschmid, first in the free skate. Some felt that Sengtschmid gave the performance of the evening. One reporter from "Le Nouvelliste" remarked, "By her admirably rhythmic program, by the daring of her figures and her natural grace in the eyes of the public, [she] surpassed the title holder."

Sjoukje Dijkstra and her father. Photo courtesy Dutch National Archives.

Despite the four second place ordinals (two in figures and two in free skating), Dijkstra was still unanimously first overall. Heinz Maegerlein noted, "In contrast to the previous year in Berlin, this time she also skated a glamorous [program], interspersed with high single and double jumps and was balanced and [performed a] difficult combination of steps."

Photo courtesy Elaine Hooper, BIS Archive

Regine Heitzer, Karin Frohner and Helli Sengtschmid occupied places second through fourth. Great Britain's two entries, Diana Clifton-Peach and Jacqueline Harbord, finished fifth and ninth. A young Gaby Seyfert, competing in only her second Europeans, placed twelfth and Tamara Bratus (Moskvina) was nineteenth.

THE PAIRS COMPETITION



Twelve teams, including defending Champions Marika Kilius and Hans-Jürgen Bäumler, vied for gold in Geneva. The event marked the ISU's first experimental trial of a two-program format. Sonia Bianchetti Garbato remembered, "The free program [was performed] twice on consecutive days, with the first performance being marked closed - that is with no marks displayed. The result was calculated but not announced. The draw of the starting order for the second performance was based upon the result of the first, with the better pairs placed skating in the last group. The second performance was marked open in the usual manner, but the final result was based upon the combined marks for both performances." Dennis L. Bird recalled that the first round of competition "was virtually a series of exhibitions, lacking the zestful atmosphere of public marking, and skated before a small and unenthusiastic audience." The fact that the couples were kept in the dark over the results of the first round in the twenty four hours between skates undoubtedly psyched some of them out.


The results tell the story of a very close competition. Kilius and Bäumler had four first place ordinals, Soviets Ludmilla Belousova and Oleg Protopopov three and West Germans Franz Ningel (Kilius' former partner) and Margret Göbl two. Less than five ordinal placings separated the top three, and Kilius and Bäumler managed to defend their title by the slimmest of margins, much to the delight of their coach Erich Zeller. Disappointingly, Valerie Hunt and Peter Burrows were forced to withdraw prior to the first program due to illness. Great Britain's only other entry, Vera Jeffery and Peter Webb, placed dead last. Webb was an accomplished speed skater.

Photo courtesy Elaine Hooper, BIS Archive

As is often the case, there was a little more to the story of the pairs event in Geneva than the results would suggest. Heinz Magerlein noted, "Göbl and Ningel were given serious prospects for the European Championships in Geneva... The first day in Geneva's new splendid indoor stadium seemed to support this prediction. The first day... because for the first time the couples fought on the ice on two days... the rating should have been secret, but it was not... Obviously, in the world of figure skating nothing can remain secret... It was clear the morning after the first skate that Göbl and Ningel would have won the title. On the second day, they lost the title because they were nervous, probably in the consciousness of being suddenly clear favourites. When the otherwise clean Franz Ningel fell [twice], the big chance was gone. Belousova and Protopopov skated best that evening, but Kilius and Bäumler won as the pair with the better average of both programs, becoming the European Champions for the fourth time."

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

The 1953 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

Jukeboxes were playing Teresa Brewer's hit "Till I Waltz Again With You" and Americans were embracing the latest food fads - the TV dinner, Kraft Cheez Whiz and Kellogg's Sugar Smacks. The year was 1953, and from March 25 to 28, the Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania played host to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.


It was the first time that Hershey played host to the U.S. Championships. Chaired by William O. Hickok IV, the event was held was held in conjunction with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the community known as the 'The Sweetest Place On Earth' for its ties to chocolate production. The Sports Arena where the event was held was located in Hershey Park and was part of the Milton Hershey Recreational Center. The ice surface was 90 X 190 feet, with seating for up to six thousand. Skaters and officials were housed at two hotels - The Hershey Hotel and Community Inn, the latter within walking distance of the Arena. 

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

At the competition, Benjamin T. Wright made history as the first USFSA certified Chief Accountant to be in charge of the accounting room. Social events included a Buffet Supper and Dance at Park Golf Club and the Judges and Officials Dinner at The Hershey Hotel. At the dance, Maribel Vinson Owen and Robin Greiner showed off their Charleston-Valentine combination and everyone performed the "Mexican Hat Dance Shuffle". But what happened on the ice that long weekend in March? Let's take a look back and find out!

THE NOVICE AND JUNIOR EVENTS



Thirteen women entered the novice women's competition and five were eliminated after the school figures. The free skating caused great division among the judges. Ultimately, five judges scattered first place ordinals between the top four women. Diane 'Dee Dee' Wayland of the Blade and Edge Club, who won the bronze, was the only one of the four to earn two first place ordinals. The gold was won by Los Angeles' Janice Marie Crappa and the silver by Carol Heiss' sister Nancy. Fourteen year old Muriel Reich of Lake Placid finished fourth. Crappa, who took an unusual fall on a spin in her free skating program, was a tiny fourteen year old eighth grade student at Mount Vernon Select School in Pasadena, California.

Barlow Nelson

Excellent free skating performances launched Barlow Nelson and Robin Greiner ahead of the winner of the novice men's school figures, Richard Swenning. Less than four points separated the top three men. Bradley Lord, who finished sixth, would go on to win the U.S. senior men's title and perish in the Sabena Crash in 1961. Robert Lee Brewer, who placed dead last, later represented the U.S. at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley. Nelson was a sixteen year old sophomore at Will Rogers High School who enjoyed sailing and developing his own films. He was the first man in history from the state of Oklahoma to win a U.S. title at any level.

David Jenkins

David Jenkins moved up from fourth (and last) after figures to win the junior men's title with a difficult free skating performance. One judge gave him a 9.5 and a 9.7. Six foot tall Guy Nick of the Lakewood Winter Club, first after figures, took the silver and Tim Brown the bronze. Jenkins, the younger brother of the reigning World Champion, was five foot four, sixteen years old and a junior at the Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado.

Rose Mary Lyons and Joseph Nowack of California won the initial round of the Silver Dance competition, but their performance in the finals dropped them down to third. New York siblings Katrine and William Neil, who narrowly lost the title the year prior, were the winners. Andree Anderson, who would go on to win the U.S. title and medal twice at the World Championships, finished dead last with partner Arthur Dammkoehler. Katrine Neil was a twenty-four year old secretary; Bill Neil a nineteen year old geology student at Union College in Schenectady.

Patricia Firth

The junior women's event was so close that the accountants had to add up each skater's total points to determine the winner. Seventeen year old Patricia 'Patsy' Firth won 1013.5 to 1010.2 over sixteen year old Catherine Machado. Mary Ann Dorsey moved up from fourth after figures to win the bronze. Georgina Sutton, the young woman who finished fourth, had ordinals ranging from third to seventh place. Seventeen year old Firth hailed from Seattle. Her older sister Mary taught skating in Toronto. Off the ice, she enjoyed ballet, Spanish dancing, opera and horseback riding. The summer after winning the title, Firth was chosen as the Good Posture Queen for the State of Washington during Good Posture Week. I love that Good Posture Week was a thing!

Five teams from five different clubs competed for the Joel B. Liberman Trophy in junior pairs. With four first place ordinals, Norma McCullagh and Robert E. Goodfellow, Jr. of the the Rye Figure Skating Club were victorious. McCullagh was an eighteen year old stenographer at an engineering firm and Goodfellow a senior at Iona Preparatory School. Both had a roller skating background, and Goodfellow was a national senior champion in baton twirling!

THE ICE DANCE COMPETITION



Dancers performed four compulsories - the Three-Lobe Waltz, Argentine Tango, Kilian and Viennese Waltz - in addition to a free dance. Carol Peters and Danny Ryan of Washington Figure Skating Club managed to pull off a win but they faced stiff competition from the second place team Virginia Hoyns and Donald Jacoby of Philadelphia, who earned two first place ordinals. Carmel and Ed Bodel, fourth after compulsories, moved up to claim the bronze over New York's Phyllis Schroeder and Martin Forney. The judge from Baltimore dared to place the winners dead last in the Finals.

THE MEN'S COMPETITION

Hayes Alan Jenkins

As expected, Hayes Alan Jenkins was first after the school figures, followed by Hugh Graham Jr., Dudley Richards and Ronnie Robertson. Jenkins won the free skate and gold medal, completing the 'triple crown' or 'grand slam' of World, North American and U.S. titles. His flawless free skating performance to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" featured double Axels and double loops. Robertson rebounded to take the silver and win Oscar L. Richard Trophy with a program that featured double Axels, flips, loops and Salchows, not to mention dazzling spins. Harvard undergrad Richards took the bronze, but had two second place ordinals, and Graham dropped to fourth.


When an Associated Press photographer snapped an innocent shot of Dick Button congratulating Hayes Alan Jenkins after his win, an arcane USFSA rule in place at the time was broken. Technically, amateurs were prohibited from even having their picture taken with professionals. Nothing of consequence ever came of it.

THE PAIRS COMPETITION

Carole Ann Ormaca

Carole Ann Ormaca and Robin Greiner of Fresno, California won the senior pairs title. In "Skating" magazine, Sandy Thomas recalled, "[Their] number... sang out 'smooth' from start to finish. [They] 'work' the rink in an unusual oblique manner which is sheer pleasure to watch." Tulsa siblings Margaret Anne and Hugh Graham, Jr. finished a disappointing second after a fall, one spot ahead of Kay Servatius and Sully Kothman of Colorado Springs. The senior pairs was the only discipline at Nationals where all five judges completely agreed on their placements of every skater or couple. Ormaca was a sixteen year old junior at Roosevelt High School and Robin a twenty year old junior at Fresno State College. She loved to sew; he loved to play the piano and dance. It was the pair's first trip to Nationals together.

THE WOMEN'S COMPETITION

Tenley Albright and Hayes Alan Jenkins in Hershey

As expected, Tenley Albright her defended her national title with considerable ease. Earning unanimous first place ordinals and one score of 9.9 in her free skating, she made history as the first American woman to complete a 'triple crown' of World, North American and U.S. titles. Writing in "The New York Times", Lincoln A. Werden recalled, "After she had finished skating to the music of Offenbach's 'Fantasy', the crowd realized the importance of her triumph, the first of its kind in American annals. From all parts of the arena, waves of applause greeted the smiling girl long before the judges walked out on the ice with raised score cards that signified authentic approval in proper mathematical fashions."


Thirteen year old Carol Heiss of Ozone Park, second in figures, also skated sensationally in the free skate. Where Albright's program showcased maturity and poise, Heiss' highlighted youth and daring. Her program included Axels, a double loop and double flip. Margaret Anne Graham, a cheerleader at Tulsa University, took the bronze ahead of Miggs Dean and Kay Servatius.

Carol Heiss and Tenley Albright. Photo courtesy Hershey Community Archives.

Interestingly, the judge from Tulsa - George B. Jenkinson - had Graham ahead of Heiss and was the only judge to do so. Five foot six, seventeen year old Nancy Minneard of Akron, who finished dead last, won the Oscar L. Richard Trophy for most artistic performance. Off the ice, she collected windblown glass figurines.

The Bedell H. Harned Trophy for the club winning the most points was shared between the Los Angeles and Boston clubs after both teams tied. The Tulsa Figure Skating Club, which finished third, was only one point behind the winning clubs.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

American Jumping Firsts Under The IJS System

 
Mirai Nagasu. Photo courtesy C. Nabe, shared via Creative Commons license, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

When the IJS System was introduced, it was a 'wiping of the slate' in a way. Never before had jumps been evaluated individually by a technical panel to determine their cleanliness. 

With the 2023 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships taking place this week in San Jose, California, I thought it might be fun to take a little look at some more recent history - the first American singles skaters to land each triple or quadruple jump in senior ISU Championships held under the IJS System. 

Nathan Chen's short program at the 2017 Four Continents Championships

JUMPING FIRSTS UNDER THE IJS SYSTEM


Solo and combination jumps receiving a 0 or positive GOE were considered when compiling this data. In cases where multiple skaters successfully landed the same jump in the same competition, the starting order was used to determine which skater achieved the jump first.

Element

Olympic Games

World Championships

Four Continents Championships

Triple toe-loop (men's)

Johnny Weir (2006, short program)

Johnny Weir (2005, qualifying group)

Matt Savoie (2005, short program)

Triple toe-loop (women's)

Rachael Flatt (2010, short program)

Sasha Cohen (2005, qualifying group)

Amber Corwin (2005, short program)

Triple Salchow (men's)

Matt Savoie (2006, free skate)

Evan Lysacek (2005, qualifying group)

Derrick Delmore (2005, free skate)

Triple Salchow (women's)

Emily Hughes (2006, free skate)

Sasha Cohen (2005, qualifying group)

Amber Corwin (2005, free skate)

Triple loop (men's)

Evan Lysacek (2006, free skate)

Timothy Goebel (2005, qualifying group)

Evan Lysacek (2005, free skate)

Triple loop (women's)

Sasha Cohen (2006, free skate)

Sasha Cohen (2005, free skate)

Jennifer Kirk (2005, free skate)

Triple flip (men's)

Matt Savoie (2006, short program)

Evan Lysacek (2005, qualifying group)

Matt Savoie (2005, short program)

Triple flip (women's)

Kimmie Meissner (2006, short program)

Sasha Cohen (2005, qualifying group)

Jennifer Kirk (2005, short program)

Triple Lutz (men's)

Johnny Weir (2006, short program)

Evan Lysacek (2005, qualifying group)

Matt Savoie (2005, short program)

Triple Lutz (women's)

Emily Hughes (2006, free skate)

Michelle Kwan (2005, qualifying group)

Katy Taylor (2006, free skate)

Triple Axel (men's)

Johnny Weir (2006, short program)

Johnny Weir (2005, qualifying group)

Evan Lysacek (2005, short program)

Triple Axel (women's)

Mirai Nagasu (2018, team event free skate)

none

none

Quadruple toe-loop (men's)

Nathan Chen (2018, free skate)

Jeremy Abbott (2008, short program)

Evan Lysacek (2007, free skate)

Quadruple Salchow (men's)

Nathan Chen (2018, free skate)

Max Aaron (2013, short program)

Max Aaron (2013, short program)

Quadruple flip (men's)

Nathan Chen (2018, free skate)

Nathan Chen (2017, short program)

Nathan Chen (2017, short program)

Quadruple Lutz (men's)

Nathan Chen (2018, free skate)

Nathan Chen (2017, short program)

Nathan Chen (2017, short program)

If you found this information interesting, have I got the book for you! "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" includes a table that is identical to this one, but highlighting international firsts, of which American skaters play an important role. 

You will also find chapters on the waltz jump, toe-loop, Salchow, loop, flip, Lutz, Axel, backflip and pairs throws, side-by-side jumps and twists and plenty of other interesting data and material. The foreword is written by 1962 World Champion Donald Jackson, the first skater to land a triple Lutz jump in competition. You can buy your copy in Kindle E-Book, paperback or hard cover editions on Amazon.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

You're Not Seeing Double!


The wait is over! "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating" are now on sale via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and select booksellers in paperback, hard cover and Kindle E-Book editions. If you've enjoyed reading the blog over the last ten years, I really think you're going to love both of these books!

TECHNICAL MERIT: A HISTORY OF FIGURE SKATING JUMPS


"Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" chronicles the history and evolution of figure skating jumps from a historical perspective, with chapters on the waltz jump, toe-loop, Salchow, loop, flip, Lutz, Axel, backflips and pairs throws, side-by-side jumps and twist lifts. 1962 World Champion Donald Jackson, the first skater to land a triple Lutz in competition, has so kindly written the foreword to this book.

What this book is: A chapter-by-chapter deep dive into the history of figure skating jumps, from a historian's perspective - the who, what, when, where and why.
What this book is not: The how. If you are looking for a book that explores physics or jump technique from a coach or technical specialist's perspective or a book that extensively covers the impact of changes in boot and blade design, that is not what this is.

Paperback: $24.99 CAD (Free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members)
Hard Cover: $38.02 CAD (Free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members, with a lead time of up to 2 weeks) 
Kindle E-Book: $7.99 CAD (free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers)


A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FIGURE SKATING 


"A Bibliography of Figure Skating" is the ultimate guide to reading about skating. This reference book catalogues non-fiction figure skating books and periodicals dating back to the late 19th Century, with helpful tips on tracking down hard-to-find skating literature. If you ever wonder how I do my research for my blog, want to grow your skating library or learn more about your favourite skaters, this book will prove to be a wonderful resource for you. 

What this book is: A meticulous catalogue of hundreds of skating books and periodicals - many of which you may not be familiar with.
What this book is not: A chapter-by-chapter read or a collection of book reviews.

Paperback: $19.99 CAD (Free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members)
Hard Cover: $32.17 CAD (Free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members, with a lead time of up to 2 weeks) 
Kindle E-Book: $7.29 CAD (free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers)



Nothing would make me happier than getting these books into the hands of more people... and there are two super easy ways you can help:

- Pop into your local library and suggest they add these books to their collections or visit their website and fill in a 'Suggest a Book' or  'Recommend a Purchase' form. 
- Head over to Amazon and/or Goodreads and leave honest reviews for these books or "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating".

Thank you so much for your support and I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I loved creating them! 

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html