CLOSE

9 Figure Skating Moves From a 1921 Ice Skating Manual

Uncertain on the ice? Try learning how to skate from a book. Swedish figure skating master Bror Meyer’s 1921 instructional manual, Skating with Bror Meyer, is a thorough manual on the sport, illustrated with photos of Meyer performing the moves he describes. He used a cinematograph—an early motion picture camera—to catch his body's position at each stage of the movement. 

In the 1920s, skating wasn’t as vertically focused as it is now. Skaters spent more time on figures—intricate loops traced on the ice that show off a skater’s precision. (Figures are no longer required in competitions.) However, Meyer still demonstrates basic jumps, like the axel, the loop, and the salchow (though now skaters perform double, triple, and even quadruple rotations of these jumps). Here are nine moves he shows his readers how to perform. 

1. FOUR WAYS TO START SKATING FROM A RESTING POSITION

"'Commencing from rest,'" Meyer writes, "means, as regards forward edges, that the free foot, with which the push off is made, is not allowed any preliminary stroke, and as regards the backward edges, that the impetus must only be obtained by a quick rotation of the body. The tracing foot must also take up the edge without any preliminary movement on the ice. Learn to start from rest equally well on each foot."

2. THE AXEL

This move is named after Axel Paulsen, a Norwegian ice and speed skater who first performed the jump in the 1882. "From the outside forward edge to the outside back of the other foot, requiring one and a half revolutions," Meyer writes.

3. THE SALCHOW

Another move named after the first person to perform it, Swedish skater Ulrich Salchow. "Outside forward three with jump from the back inside edge to the outside back edge of the other foot, necessitating a complete revolution," Meyer writes.

4. THE SWEDISH MAZURKA

This move has both preliminary steps—"Right forward outside, left forward inside (crossed behind), right back inside (crossed in front), left forward outside, right forward inside (crossed behind), left back inside (crossed in front), right forward outside, left forward inside (crossed behind), right back inside (crossed in front)"—and main steps, which begin at number 14 (on the right): "Left forward outside, right forward inside (crossed behind), left back inside commencing at about spread-eagle position, right back outside, jump from the left toe (crossed behind) and describe a half revolution to the left, alighting on the right toe, and repeat the main steps."

5. AN INSIDE FORWARD DOUBLE-THREE

Meyer instructs the skater to "Commence on a strong inside forward edge and do not make the first curve too large. The first turn is identical with the plain inside forward three. After this turn, the rotation of the shoulders is slowly continued, and the unemployed leg (which is now behind) is brought forward shortly before the second turn is to be made, so that this turn is skated in the same manner as the plain outside back three. The skater should stand erect at the first turn with the unemployed foot under great control and not too far away."

6. AN OUTSIDE FORWARD SPIRAL

"The body should be strongly inclined forward with the back well hollowed, the unemployed arm making a continuous line with the unemployed leg," Meyer writes. "The spiral is completed by raising the body and spinning on the toe of the skate."

7. A ROCKER JUMP

This one seems easy enough: "Outside back to outside forward."

8. INSIDE FORWARD AND INSIDE BACK COUNTERS

This move, according to Meyer, starts "in the same manner as for the inside forward eight, the shoulders are rotated with the curve, and at the same time the unemployed foot is moved slowly forward, passing close to the tracing foot. When about two-thirds distance through the first curve, the shoulders commence to rotate against the curve and the inclination of the body is lessened, care being taken that the edge is not lost. Just before the turn the unemployed foot is brought back to the tracing foot, and after the turn is at once pushed quickly forward and held slightly inside the print. The turn comes by the contrary rotation of the shoulders together with a quick movement of the unemployed foot, and is made on the front part of the skate. After the turn the shoulders are approximately square with the print, the unemployed foot is first rigid in advance, and then passes backward in the ordinary way as for inside back edge. With the turn the weight of the body is thrown into the new circle. The tracing knee, which is somewhat straightened before the turn, becomes well bent immediately afterward and is gradually straightened as soon as the skater has established firmly the inside back edge."

9. THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPINS

Spin one is "The common two-foot spin and the cross-foot spin," with both feet on the ice. "The two-foot spin on the flat of the skate must first be learnt, in order that the skater may accustom himself to the rotation of the spins," Meyer writes. "In this as in all other spins, the employed knee must first be well bent in order to assist the balance before attaining an erect position. The arms should be outstretched, and then during the spin gradually brought to the sides to increase the speed of the rotation."

The second spin is the "one-foot spin," while the third is the Jackson-Haines spin, "perhaps the most difficult of all spins, but at the same time is probably the most effective and necessitates the greatest practice," Meyer writes. "Special attention must be given to the commencement, which must come from a strong edge with a good body inclination."

Read the book at the Internet Archive

[h/t: Public Domain Review]

All images by Bror Meyer via the Internet Archive // Public Domain

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Lists
12 Solid Facts About New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain
iStock
iStock

On May 3, 2003, the craggy rock face known as New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain tumbled to the ground in spectacular fashion. For a landmark that had been in the state's DNA for generations, its collapse was like a death in the family to some. The day after it fell, people left flowers at the base of Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch State Park as a sort of funeral tribute, and plans were immediately launched to create a longer-lasting memorial. So what was so great about the Old Man of the Mountain, pre- and post-crumble? Read on for the stone-cold facts.

1. THANKS TO NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, THE OLD MAN WAS ALSO KNOWN AS “THE GREAT STONE FACE.”

Although not explicitly named, it’s widely believed Hawthorne based his 1850 short story "The Great Stone Face"—which was set in an anonymous state that happens to look like New Hampshire—on the Old Man. At that time, the mountainous figure was already a tourist draw to the Granite State. Hawthorne described it as an “enormous giant, or a Titan,” with a “broad arch of the forehead,” a long-bridged nose, and having “vast lips.” Eventually Hawthorne’s nickname stuck, along with other loving titles like “Old Man” and “the Profile.”

2. THE "FACE" WAS ACTUALLY A SERIES OF LEDGES.

These granite cliff ledges, 40 feet tall and 25 feet wide, when viewed from the north at certain angles looked like a jagged face. Hawthorne corroborated this, writing in “The Great Stone Face”: “If the spectator approached too near, he lost the outline of the gigantic visage, and could discern only a heap of ponderous and gigantic rocks ... Retracing his steps, however, the wondrous features would again be seen; and the farther he withdrew from them, the more like a human face, with all its original divinity intact, did they appear."

3. HE COULD HAVE BEEN 12,000 YEARS OLD.

An 1856 postcard of The Old Man of the Mountain
Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The Old Man was first discovered and recorded in 1805 by road surveyors Francis Whitcomb and Luke Brooks, which put the landmark at nearly 200 years old by the time it fell. But it likely first formed when water inside cracks in the granite bedrock froze and thawed following the retreat of glaciers about 12,000 years ago. (This freezing and thawing process was what hastened its eventual collapse.) According to geologist Brian Fowler in a research report by the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, the lower ledge—or chin—of the Old Man is assumed to have fallen first. Once that support was gone, the rest of the rock fell in formation.

4. CANNON MOUNTAIN WAS SO NAMED BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE ANTIQUE ARTILLERY.

The Old Man jutted from a cliff in Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, within Franconia Notch State Park. Originally named Profile Mountain, it took on a new name since its granite dome resembles a cannon from select vantage points. There are even three sub-peaks, nicknamed “The Cannon Balls.”

5. SOME OF THE STRONGEST SURFACE WINDS EVER IN THE U.S. WERE RECORDED ON TOP OF CANNON MOUNTAIN.

The gusts measured 199.5 mph on April 2, 1973. While impressive, they were likely even higher since 199.5 mph was the limit of what the researchers' instruments could record at the time. The highest surface wind gust in the U.S. still belongs in-state, though, with New Hampshire's Mount Washington recording 231 mph winds in 1934.

6. A SERIES OF TURNBUCKLES AND IRON TIES WERE PLACED WITHIN ITS FACE TO KEEP IT TOGETHER.

By 1916, as it became clear the Old Man might not live forever, the first efforts to protect the rock formation were made. By the 1920s, a crack in the Old Man’s "forehead" was clearly noticeable, and residents who were worried about its safety used chains, turnbuckles, and iron ties to keep the crack from separating. Many of those metal rods used to hold the Old Man together were still attached to the mountain years later.

7. THE STATE EVENTUALLY SPENT A SMALL FORTUNE TRYING TO SAVE IT.


Julius Hall, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

In 1957, the New Hampshire state legislature passed a $25,000 appropriation for the necessary repairs to slow the Old Man's deterioration. These steps included quick-drying cement and steel rods meant to fill in and fortify cracks. The rocky Band-Aids were maintained every summer.

8. THE CARETAKERS’ MAINTENANCE ROUTINES WERE METICULOUS.

One longtime caretaker, Niels Nielsen, took great pains to keep the Old Man clean since 1965. Nielsen would spray bleach on the rock face and in its cracks, then carefully remove moss and lichen in an effort to prevent cracks from spreading further. He would even clean out the Old Man’s ear with a garden hoe. When Nielsen retired, he passed the job on to his son, David. The face continued to be groomed until its collapse.

9. NIELS NIELSEN SAW THE OLD MAN AS A GIFT FROM GOD.

According to Yankee Magazine, Nielsen was rather enchanted by the rock formation. “I had sailed around the world as a merchant seaman, yet I had never seen anything like the Old Man," he said. "I don’t believe anyone can be up there and not feel the presence of God."

10. BUT EVEN NIELSEN KNEW IT MIGHT FALL SOME DAY.

Nielsen was asked by Yankee what would happen if the Old Man ever fell. “The Lord put him here, and the Lord will take him down," Nielsen replied. Research concluded its collapse was natural—that the freezing-thawing process and subsequent erosion over time caused its downfall.

11. YOU CAN STILL "SEE" THE OLD MAN.


Rob Gallagher, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The image of the Old Man has lived on as a state emblem since 1945, appearing on highway signs, on the back of drivers licenses, and on the reverse of the state quarter. But residents weren’t done with honoring the now-deceased rock face. At Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza and Historic Site in Franconia, special viewfinders and steel “profilers” at vantage points near Profile Lake offer a glimpse of what the formation used to look like.

12. THERE’S EVEN AN OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN FLOWER.

Old-Man-of-the-Mountain, or tetraneuris grandiflora, is found in the Intermountain Regions and Rocky Mountains in states like Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. It’s sometimes called an alpine sunflower and got its common name from the wooly hairs that cover its leaves.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Take a Closer Look at the $17 Billion 'Holy Grail of Shipwrecks'

Feast your eyes on these new images of the treasure among the wreckage of the Spanish ship San José, often called the "holy grail of shipwrecks." When it sank on June 8, 1708, it was carrying gold, silver, jewels, and other precious cargo worth roughly $17 billion today. Now, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is revealing the major role it played in the 2015 expedition to find the San José.

The three-masted, 62-gun Spanish galleon exploded and sank at the hands of the British during the War of the Spanish Succession. It was carrying its riches to the Colombian city of Cartegena to finance the war. Archaeologists had been trying to find the San José for decades before it was finally located on November 27, 2015, during an expedition organized by Colombia, Maritime Archaeology Consultants (MAC), and WHOI. The multibillion-dollar treasure, which still sits nearly 2000 feet below the surface of the ocean near Cartegena, is just now being revealed.

WHOI's autonomous underwater vehicle REMUS 6000 was responsible for finding the elusive wreck. REMUS has been with the project since the beginning: The machine created the first side-scan sonar images of the site. After that, REMUS journeyed to a point 30 feet above the site and captured high-resolution photos of the ship's distinctive bronze cannons, which are engraved with dolphins. REMUS's documentation of this defining feature allowed scientists to positively identify the wreck as the fabled San José. (Thanks to whoever had the idea to put dolphins on the cannon in the first place.)

WHOI also released REMUS's photos of the wreckage, which show details of the horde, including ceramics and those famous cannons. "This constitutes one of the greatest—if not the biggest, as some say—discoveries of submerged patrimony in the history of mankind,” Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said back when the treasure was discovered.

The San José's treasure is the subject of a legal battle for ownership between Colombia and U.S. salvage company Sea Search Armada, which helped look for the wreck. In 2011, four years before the San José was even found, the court ruled that the booty belongs to Colombia, but the dispute is ongoing. Because of the legal drama, the exact location of the wreck remains a government secret.

Below, check out the newly released pictures for a closer look at cannons, teacups, and other ceramics.

cannons from the San Jose
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

pots from the San Jose
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

teacups from the San Jose
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

REMUS 6000
REMUS 6000
Mike Purcell, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


A mosaic of images taken by the REMUS 6000 depicts the whole site.
A mosaic of images taken by the REMUS 6000 depicts the whole site.
Jeff Kaeli, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios