Groningen speed skates

Fig.1: Groningen speed skates, around 1870
Groningen ice skates are much alike Friesland ice skates but with a significant difference: the grain of the wood in Groningen skates follows the neck line. This implies that the wood must have had a heat treatment to match the shape of the runner blades by bending it. In Friesland the skates were sawed from planks and therefore the grain in Friesland ice skates is horizontally throughout the skates.

Manufacturer: unknown; mark: none
Technical data: total length: 42 cm; height over ice: 2.8 cm; platforms: 29 cm long, 5.5 cm wide; runner blades: 11 mm tall, 3 mm thick; weight: 220 g

Fig.2: Groningen speed skates, around 1890

These skates are much the same as in figure 1 but have brass acorn shaped finials at the far end of the necks.

Manufacturer: unknown; mark: none
Technical data: total length: 44 cm; height over ice: 3.6 cm; platforms: 30 cm long; 5.5 cm wide; runner blades: 13 mm tall, 3 mm thick; weight: 245 g including straps

In the very northeast of the Netherlands lies the province of Groningen, cramped between the Dutch province of Friesland and Germany. Not much is known about blacksmiths who made ice skates. And it is a pitty Groningen smiths did not use marks. But as most skates of this model were founf in Groningen it is generally agreed that this is a typical Groningen speed skates. The pictures underneath are from 1880 and seem to confirm this. 


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