Kamis, 03 Februari 2011

RollerBlades - Then and Now

Rollerblades have evolved from the traditional roller skates which had four wheels to provide a good body balance to the user. These were designed on the lines of the traditional single-blade ice skates. This foot wear has had a somewhat long and winding road to the present day shape. One can trace the history of the rollerblades right from the 17th century till the 1980s when they were designed in their present form.

Historical Timeline of rollerblades:

1700s - The first roller skates were developed by an unknown Dutchman who decided to go ice skating in the summer when there is no snow. Ice skating has always been the mode of moving around the numerous frozen canals in the Netherlands. This unknown inventor redesigned the traditional ice skates and added wooden spools to strips of wood and attached them to his shoes. These newly invented dry land skates were called Skeelers.

In 1760, a London instrument maker and inventor, Joseph Merlin, set out to impress the people in order to promote his museum. He went to a masquerade party wearing one of his new inventions - a pair of metal-wheeled boots. With an aim to add more pizazz to the ensemble, he went there playing his violin. But unfortunately for him, the huge ball room was lined with wall length mirror. There were no breaks on his boots and the poor fellow banged right into the glass wall, breaking his violin on the way.

1800s - In 1818, for the first time, roller skates were used by the premier German Ballet Group known as the Der maler oder dei Wintervergn or The Artist or Winter Pleasures in one of their plays.

1819, Monsieur Petibledin was given the first patent for a roller skate in France. He had designed a pair of roller skates that had wooden soles attached to the bottom of the boot. The rolling wheels which numbered in either two or four were made from either copper, wood or ivory and formed a straight line under the wooden sole.

Another patent was issued in 1823 for Rolito which was a shoe with five lined wheels at the bottom. This is perhaps the first design which resembles the present day roller skates. The only difference is that the skates today can follow even the curved path.

The year 1863 saw the invention of a new kind of roller skates designed and invented by an American, James Plimpton. His design had two parallel sets of wheels, one pair under the ball of the foot while the other pair was placed under the heel. These wheels were made of boxwood and mounted on rubber springs. This was the pioneering lead towards the modern day roller skates which also made navigating the twists and turns easier.

In 1884, the pin ball-bearing wheels were invented that made rolling all the more easy as well made the skates lighter.

1900s - In the 1980s, two Minnesota brothers and hockey players, Scott and Brennan Olsen discovered an older in-line skate in a sports goods store and thought the design would be apt for their off-season hockey training. They brought it home and made changes in the original skate. They used polyurethane wheels, attached the skates to ice hockey boots, and added a rubber toe-brake to their new design. They improved upon the skate and introduced it in the market as Roller Blade which became the new name for inline skating.

In 1984, Minneapolis businessman Bob Naegle Jr, purchased this fledgling company and it was renamed Rollerblade, Inc. It offered a comfortable skate with a reliable and easy to apply brake that took the people by storm.

Thus, the journey of the roller blade which started as roller skates in the 17 century has had many twists and turns and is now a roaring industry with people all over the world going for roller skating as a sport or as a hobby.

For more information on rollerblades and Timeline of rollerblades please visit our website.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5934001

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