The Incredible History of Roller Skating

roller skatingMoms and dads, before you bring your kids to Skate World Center in Tallahassee for our awesome summer special, tell them about the history of roller skating! This allows you to combine fun and learning. Check out the interesting history of roller skating:

1743 – Roller skates were first used in a London stage performance. However, what wasn’t recorded was the inventor of this roller skate!

1760 – John Joseph Merlin is credited as the inventor of the roller skate, but these skates were not like the skates we skate with today. They were very archaic.

1819 – A Frenchman named Mr. Petitbled patented the roller skate design. Although this was an impressive feat in the 1800’s, this design did not boast maneuverability.

1857 – Less than a century after the first roller skates were seen on a stage, London opened its first public roller skating rinks.

1863 – Finally, a man named James Plimpton improved the roller skate design. The quad skate was designed with four wheels, two in the front and two in the back. This new design increased maneuverability immensely which warranted the first public skating rink in New York City.

1876 – Thanks to the toe stop invention in 1876, skaters enjoyed easy stopping while racing around the rink.

1880’s – This decade is credited as the first roller skate “boom” period, as roller skates were finally being mass-produced in the United States.

1902 – A public skating rink was opened in Chicago, Illinois, and opening night saw 7,000 people!

1979 – If you’re a rollerblade lover, you likely know of the Olson brothers. Scott Olson launched the company Rollerblade, Inc. in 1979!

1983 – The love of roller skating spread to the White House when President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Roller Skating Month.

1993 – To increase safety for roller skaters, Rollerblade Inc. developed Active Brake Technology.

Now that you’re up to speed on the history of roller skating, we want you to race around the rink at Skate World Center! Check out our summer schedule and head to the rink today.

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