Do you love to roller skate? Skating is a popular activity that has been around for generations, but many people who enjoy skating don’t realize just how long this activity has been part of our culture.
Often when people think about roller skating they think of the good old days of the 1950s or maybe the heyday of roller disco in the 1970s. However, the history of roller skating is actually much longer.
The Early Days of Roller Skating
The first known use of roller skates was in 1743! The skates were used in a London play, but unfortunately the inventor of these skates was lost to history. He may not have been the first, but John Joseph Merlin gets to take credit as the inventor of roller skates since he was the first recorded inventor. The skates he created in 1760 were very primitive by today’s standards, and were basically inline skates using small metal wheels.
Throughout the 19th century inventors continued to tweak and fiddle with the design, ultimately creating a number of types of skates, from quad skates (what most people think of as a “basic” roller skate) to inline skates, and even single wheeled skates. (Unsurprisingly, unstable and hard-to-maneuver single wheeled skates have not caught on with the general public.)
America started mass-producing roller skates in the 1880s, which opened the activity up to far more people than it had previously been available to. In 1884 roller skate design was revolutionized when Levant M. Richardson patented a design using steel ball bearings in skate wheels. The design of quad skates has remained basically the same ever since, though skate companies have continued to improve on the design, making modern skates much easier and more fun to use!
Now that you know the history of roller skating, it’s time to get in on the fun! Skating is timeless and your whole family is sure to have a great time when you come to Champion Skate. Visit our Warren, Ohio skating rink today to join the legacy of roller skating!
Photo via Wikipedia