History of Skating 101

roller skates skating rinkSince you’re all getting back into the swing of things at school, we thought we’d host a little history lesson of our own. But we won’t be talking about world wars and economic booms, we’re talking about SKATING! What else!?

First thing is first when diving into the history of roller skating. We have to talk about the first pair of roller skates! While I’m sure there were plenty of people attempting to “walk on wheels” to pass the time, the first KNOWN roller skate was invented by Joseph Merlin, a known violinist and violin maker, around the year 1760. As the story goes, Merlin was scheduled to perform at the Carlisle House Mansion in Sofo Square, London. It was a masquerade party and Merlin wanted to impress the crowd by playing his violin while gracefully rolling around the stage on his newly invented skates. Everything was smooth sailing until his skates sent him crashing into an expensive mirror. He not only broke the mirror and his violin, but his pride as well. Needless to say, his SMASHING performance didn’t stir up the attraction to skates he was hoping for.

While you might assume these first skates were made with quad wheels on two axils, much like what the average skating rink rents out, Merlin’s original included in-line metal wheels. Maybe he should have gone for a more stable base first!

We’ll be sure to fill you in on other fun skating facts and invite you to pick our brains with any questions you might have! Now, take this information and impress your friends! Gosh, you’re smart!

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