Who Invented Roller Skates?

John-Joseph Merlin, a Belgian inventor, invented the roller skates. The inventor was not a well-connected man so his invention largely went unnoticed in 1760. It was considered merely a pastime by his contemporaries and still it is not included in the Olympics, although it was considered for the 2012 Olympics to be held in London.

A German ballet Der Maler (or die Wintervergn Ugungen), which means The Artist (or Winter Pleasures) in English, made the public aware of the existence of roller skates on a wide scale. The ballet included a skiing scene and it wasn’t possible to produce ice on the state so the artists used roller skates. That was year the 1818.

Roller skatesThe following year, a Frenchman Monsieur Petibledin, made some changes in the original invention and got it patented in his name. By 1857, some cities in Europe had opened up special places, where one could skate. The invention of ball-bearings and their use in roller skates was an important improvement. In 1979, polyurethane wheels were invented and this made the roller skate tyres more suitable for hard surfaces.

The year 1983 witnessed the invention of roller blades. Roller blades are roller skates with four wheels in line instead of being parallel. Since then, more companies have been investing in this invention make them lighter and more user-friendly and the top brands include: K2, Riedell, Tour, Corr etc.

Category: Inventions

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