2014 49¢ Ice Skating
Winter Fun – Booklet Stamp
On bitter winter days, a layer of thick, smooth ice covers the lakes and ponds that just months earlier offered a refreshing swim. For thousands of years, people have enjoyed skating on iced-over swimming holes in the wintertime.
Historians believe that the earliest ice skating was done over 5,000 years ago. Flattened, sharpened bones were strapped to the bottom of the feet allowing the wearer to glide over the ice. It would be centuries before steel edges would be added.
Figure skating began to develop in the late 1700s. Robert Jones’ guide, A Treatise on Skating, established formal and rigid techniques for tracing patterns in the ice that would dominate the style for many years. Then, in the mid-1800s, American dancer Jackson Haines added ballet and music to his figure skating, forever transforming the sport.
Haines’ style was not well received in the United States, but he quickly became a celebrity overseas. He traveled Europe performing to widespread acclaim. He invented the sit spin, the toe-pick, and a short, curved blade to make spins easier.
The man who revolutionized the winter pastime into one of the most popular winter sports in the world, Jackson Haines will forever be known as the father of figure skating.
Artist Janet Atkinson created the original acrylic painting on plywood that was used for the image on U.S. #4937. She chose muted colors to “create an uplifting winter image and evoke harmony and joy.”
Forever Ice Skaters, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate.
Issue Date: October 23, 2014
City: New York, NY
Printed By: CCL Label, Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure in double-sided booklets of 20
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾ X 11
The Ice Skaters stamp is one of four Winter Fun stamps that picture enjoyable outdoor winter activities. It’s part of the Holiday Celebrations series.