Throughout history, roller skates survived as a form of viable transportation, sport, leisure, and a favorite childhood memory. The first pair of skates, however, is a far cry from the chic and speedy boots and blades worn today.
Ice Shoes for the Cavemen
Worn more than 5,000 years ago, cavemen first began to sharpen animal bone. As they travel through the cruelty of the weather, they finally thought of strapping these to their feet with the aid of thick leather, helping them traverse the frosty ponds of old. The new-found ice shoes allowed them more efficiency when migrating, hunting, and running away from vicious carnivores.
Eighteenth Century: It Started with a Bang
In 1759, a rather audacious man from Belgium crashed through a priceless mirror at a grand ballroom masquerade party on boots with metal wheels, and while playing a violin. Then, an inventor from Pennsylvania developed a skating clamp that eliminated the need for leather or rope to lash skates to the boots. This design was the basis for more modern designs, evolving into tube skates in the early 1900s.
Nineteenth Century: Sharpening the Saw
In 1819, a man by the name of Monsieur Petibledin patented his rendition of the roller skate. But as it turned out, his lacked the swiveling design that would allow it to turn on corners. Hence the design was augmented by James Plimpton of Massachusetts, providing solutions for corners and curves. He called it the “rocking” skate in1863. This new feature allowed it to evolve into the popular quad-style roller skate.
Eventually, the first roller skating rinks were opened, and by the close of the 19th century, the iconic roller skates became a popular part of both indoor and outdoor recreation.
Contemporary Skating: Relevance to Daily Life
As the world of the affluent is always buzzing with energy, both young and old found leisure in activities, such as indoor Roller Polo. This is a form of skating hockey that took the sports world by storm in Newport, Rhode Island, popularizing skating contests around the world. Not only was it popular among enthusiasts, roller skating also entered the workplace and became a fad among barmaids and restaurant waiting staff, to the delight of patrons. It was also a thing among telephone switchboard operators to quickly pass information amongst themselves. Students also wore it to run errands and go to school.
Indeed, skating has changed the world, not only for function, but also for fun. It’s an invention that has served generations. Visit Proline Skates and experience this today.