Who Invented Skating?

Man has been skating in one way or another for more than 500 years! Ice skating is much older than roller skating, since roller skating goes back only to the eighteenth century.

Wheel skates were used on the roads of Holland about 200 years ago, and we cannot really know who was the first to make them or use them. A man in New York called J. L. Plimpton invented the four-wheeled skate in 1863.

It worked on rubber pads and these were the skates that really mad this sport popular. The next development was roller skates with ball bearings. The wheels of roller skates were first made of turned boxwood, but the edges of the wooden wheels broke too easily.

Soon wheels were very popular in America until about 1910, when motorcycle and sports car races took their place. But, of course, roller skating has remained a favorite sport with young people.

Ice skating goes back beyond the sixteenth century. At that time the Norsemen bound runners made of bone to their feet and skimmed over the icy surfaces.

Iron runners were next used in skating, followed by the steel runners of today. In early days, the skate-runner was attached to the shoe. In the modern skate blade is permanently attached to the skating boot.

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