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The History of Roller Skates

Roller skates were invented in 1735 by a Belgian man named John Joseph Merlin. He famously introduced his wheeled shoes at a London party, where he crashed into a mirror. Then in 1819, a man named Monsieur Petitbled patented the roller skate – but his version had only three wheels and no way to turn! Then James Leonard Plimpton reinvented the wheel design. He patented a four-wheeled roller-skate that allowed skaters to turn as needed. The first public skating rink opened in 1866, but in the early 1900s, the pastime’s popularity declined. However, it was reinvigorated when waitresses at drive-ins began wheeling meals to customers. Roller skating’s popularity peaked in the 70s and 80s, but it has been making a comeback as of late.

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