The earliest skates (c.9th cent.), made of bone, were found in Sweden. Wooden skates with iron facings appeared in the 14th cent. Skates made entirely of iron were introduced in the 17th cent. Steel skates, with straps and clamps to fasten them to the shoes, were sold in the 1850s, and later came the skate permanently attached to the shoe. Skating has long been a means of travel in countries with long, cold winters, such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and especially Holland. There are references to skating in English books as early as the 12th cent. By the 18th cent. skating was not only a means of travel but also a well-established sport. European colonists introduced it early into America and Canada.
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