Have you ever wondered where roller skating came from? Deptford Skating and Fun Center located in Gloucester County, New Jersey, would love to answer this question for those interested in honor of National Inventor’s Month!
Roller Skate Inventors
- Unknown Belgian Inventor- The first noted invention of a ‘land skate’ was recorded in history in the early 1700’s; however, the inventor’s name was not noted. The roller skates this fellow created were called, “Skeelers” which he made by nailing wooden spools to strips of wood and affixing them to his shoes.
- Joseph Merlin (1760)- Noted as the creator of inline skates, Mr. Merlin’s invention of metal wheeled boots weren’t the smash hit he’d hoped for when he crashed into high society at a London Masquerade while wearing them.
- Monsieur Petitbled (1819)- This Frenchman was the first to patent his roller skates. His roller skates were again inline skates (many inventors of the time used ice skates as their model) that had wood sole attached to the bottom of a boot, fitted with two to four rollers made of copper, wood or ivory.
- James Plimpton (1863)- This clever American inventor designed ‘modern’ roller skates that had four wheels aligned two by two. This allowed skaters to turn on a smooth curve and even skate backwards (something not possible before) which greatly increased the popularity of land skates.
Roller Skating Today
Over the years roller skates have improved vastly (thank goodness!) since the time of their inception. From the change to pin ball-bearing wheels to the invention of plastics in the 1960’s, the roller skate has made major advances in a relatively short time period.
Popularity of roller skating surged in America during the Great Depression as a ‘cheap’ source of transportation and entertainment. The roller sport steadily grew in popularity over the years, but took another huge leap in the 1970’s and 1980’s as Hollywood put the public’s focus on skating rinks and roller sports. Today we look at roller skating as a great form of exercise, entertainment, and as having some awesome, fast-paced sports (roller hockey, roller derby, artistic skating, inline speed skating, etc.).
Are you in the mood to skate now? Come check out why roller skating is our passion at Deptford Skating and Fun Center! Join us for one of our great themed skate sessions or book a roller skating birthday party with us! We have everything you need to have a skatastic time, so come see why this sport has been fun for all ages for many decades past!
Questions or comments? Please contact DSC today! Also, please follow us on Instagram @deptfordskatingandfun.