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The History of Roller Skating Rinks

January 14, 2014 Comments Off on The History of Roller Skating Rinks

Today, roller skating is a popular trend among teenagers. This is something that teenagers of all generations have been enjoying.

Many people also see skating as a sign of display of strength and energy. Roller Derby is a popular sport among girls. However, how did roller skating originate in this world. Let us step back in time and find out.

Origin of roller skating:

Though roller skating started gaining popularity in 1970s, the concept of roller skating had originated in 1863 when James Plimpton invented roller skating rinks. Originally, people roller skated at home. Roller skates received their first official patent in 1819, as  Monsieur Patibledin attached a wood sole to a boot that was fitted with four metal rollers.And within 20 years, roller skating rinks began to pop up. Plimpton himself is credited with opening the first roller skating rink in New York City.

In 1884, roller skating rinks introduced the use of pin ball bearings. Pin ball bearings made roller skates roll smoother and skates weigh less. Englishman J. Gidman had filed the patent for this idea 30 years earlier in 1852.  Gidman spent these 30 years trying to get roller skates ball bearings mass produced.

Rise of roller skating trend:

After World War II,  there was a drastic boom in roller rinks across the United States. Having a roller skating birthday party became something of a rite of passage for American children in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The trends of roller skating could also blend with other popular trends. The Disco craze from popular 1970s culture resulted in the rechristening of roller rinks as roller discos. Later on, the single wheel skates were invented. These new design in skates, made it a style statement and are believed to be till date.

Relation between roller skates and ice-skates:

In 1979, roller skates found its roots being tied back to ice skating.  Two hockey playing brothers, Scott Olson and Brennan Olson, discovered an antique pair of roller skates.  These early skates were a pair of the original design before Plimpton‘s design.  The wheels were inline.  The innovative brothers took the once popular design and began to update it.  Using modern materials such as polyurethane wheels rubber stopper affixed to the rear of the frame, the inline skate was revived.  They attached the inline frame to a hockey boot and gave birth to what would soon be known as the roller blade.


After reading the rich history of roller skates, we bet you can’t wait to head over the nearest skating rink. And with our special package for skating rinks, it will make the experience even more enjoyable.

Which historical facts in this article amused you most. Post your comments and tell us.


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