Just like your favorite story, roller skating has a unique and interesting tale to tell. Dating back to the 1700’s, roller skating has transformed and grown exponentially since its first years. Lucky for us, we are living in an age where roller skating safety and having fun are both very important! Discover the interesting history of roller skating (and a few fun facts):
- 1760 – Before America officially declared independence from England in 1776, John Joseph Merlin created a very primitive set of inline skates. (Supposedly, Merlin wore his skates to a masquerade party. But, because he was not a good skater, he crashed into a large mirror and got very hurt!)
- 1863 – It took over 100 years for roller skates to finally be designed that had impressive maneuverability. Before James Leonard Plimpton designed the quad skate in 1863, many men had designed other skates that could only be used if going forward. Fortunately, Plimpton’s new design revolutionized the roller skate.
- 1902 – A public skating rink was opened at the Chicago Coliseum in 1902. By the early 1900’s, skating was a fascination among Americans, and over 7,000 people attended opening night at this public skating rink! This was not the first skating rink to surface, however. Rinks all over the world, including in England and Brussels, were opened decades before this one.
- 1993 – Dating back centuries before, safety had always been an important aspect of the roller skate design. In 1993, Active Brake Technology was invented and implemented to increase safety for the skater. This revolutionized skating increased its popularity even more.
Roller skates continue to improve and exceed expectations. If you’ve never given this fun activity a chance, you need to try it today! Head to Wheels Skate Center for a good time. Check out our schedule.