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History of Rollerskating

Posted by Aurora Tights on
History of Rollerskating

Rollerskating has increased as a hobby. In line skating has increased in popularity during the pandemic. In line skating is back again. There are serious physical benefits too. It builds muscles, its low impact and its good for your heart. Roller skating has been a staple in history for the past 300 years and it will always come back in style. Lets skate off into history down below to find out more about it. 


(Joseph Merlin)

Famously, the arrival of roller skates was ushered in by John Joseph Merlin. He was attending a masquerade party in 1760. As London instrument maker and inventor, he was excited about his newest invention. His invention was a pair of metal boots with wheels attached. So excited, that he skated in the room playing a violin. And he crashed solidly in a expensive mirrored wall. He is now known as the father of roller skating. 


Rollerskating started in the 18th century as part of performing arts. Roller skating was performed in theatres and plays to simulate the act of ice skating. You had to skate in straight lines back then (like with ice skates) because it was hard to curve your body. 

(Plimptons roller skating model)

(James Plimpton)

It was called the quad skate. The rollerskating design was 2 wheels in the front and 2 wheels in the back. The design was so good it warranted a public skating rink in New York. In the 1880s, the rollerskating industry boomed and became a massive hit. It was because the United States was mass producing skates. In 1902, a Chicago public skating rink was created and boasted over 7,000 people at opening day. 

Roller skating is still popular to this day. It gained a lot of resurgence in the pandemic when people had to seek exercise outside of public gyms and studios. Skating is popular in California, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Washington DC and Florida. If you don't want to do it alone, there are rollerskating groups and even roller derby groups that compete. Search your local area and get your skate on. 


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