The History of Roller Skating

You love to roller skate, but do you know much about its history? Most people don’t! Check out some of these important moments in skating history.

  • 1743 – The first appearance of roller skates! They were created for a stage show in London.Roller Skates
  • 1819 – The first skate design was patented. It was sort of a primitive inline skate; basically an ice skate with wheels instead of a blade. This design had little maneuverability, but skaters loved it!
  • 1857 – The first public roller skating rinks opened! Can you believe that Rollerland is just one of a long line of skate centers going back over 150 years?
  • 1863 – James Plimpton invents the four-wheeled turning roller skate, which we call the quad skate today. The two pairs of side-by-side wheels made for better turning, balance, and agility. We still use a very similar design today! Toe stops were patented in 1876, and polyurethane wheels were created in the 1970s.
  • 1880 – The beginning of mass production of roller skates, opening the door for even more popularity. Newspapers described “rinkomania” in the 1880s and 1890s. Folks were wild for skating!
  • 1992 – Roller hockey makes its way to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona as a demonstration sport. Twelve nations entered teams of ten each, and Argentina took home the gold medal, followed on the podium by Spain and Italy.
  • 2004 – The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association was founded as a governing body for roller derby. The male counterpart was formed in 2007. Today there are thousands of derby clubs across the country!  

Be a part of history. Join us at Rollerland Skate Center for tons of fun this summer!

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