Answer Man: Which came first, ice skating or roller skating? | Local News

Q: Which came first, ice skating or roller skating?

A: Ice skating began centuries before the invention of roller skating.

A 2018 article on ice skates by Laura Poppick for the Smithsonian Magazine says that “our ancestors have been jostling on the ice for at least 3,000 years.”

The invention of roller skates, on the other hand, dates back to the 1700s, when people started attaching wheels to ice skates and shoes.

Poppick’s article indicates that the first bone skates – usually made from the shins of cattle and horses – were found in flat, humid regions of Hungary, Scandinavia, Germany and elsewhere.

“While modern bladed skates only move forwards and backwards, bone skates are flat and can slide in any direction,” the article states.

“In modern skates you have this blade and you do a kind of scissor-like movement and you push yourself, you propel yourself by pushing your leg to the side,” says Hans Christian Küchelmann, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Groningen. . in the Netherlands cited in the article. “But you can’t do that with the bone skates.”

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For centuries, ice skates were the only way for some people to get around in the winter.

“In 15th-century Holland, the most common way to travel during the cold months was on skates, says Federico Formenti, a sports physiologist and scientist at King’s College London who has studied the evolution of ice skates,” indicates the item. “The networks of canals the Dutch built to power watermills and irrigate farmland in the summer became frozen highways for thousands of people in the winter.”

According to a Wikipedia article, roller skates probably appeared as props on a London stage in 1743. The article states that the first “roller skate” was introduced in 1760 by Belgian inventor John Joseph Merlin.

An article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica states that early roller designs “were derived from ice skating and usually had an ‘in-line’ arrangement of wheels (the wheels formed a single straight line along the bottom of the skate). In 1819 Mr. Petibled of Paris received the first patent for a roller skate.

The first practical roller skate was designed in 1863 by James Plimpton of Medford, Massachusetts.

Plimpton “broke away from the inline construction and used two pairs of parallel wheels, one near the heel of the boot and the other near the front,” the article states. “He attached the pairs of wheels to the trunk using elastic carts called trucks. This construction was first known as a “rocker” skate (and is now known as a “quad”) because it allowed the skater to move easily on the skates in order to smoothly navigate turns. and perform other maneuvers.

The innovation sparked the first major recreational roller skating craze in the United States and Western Europe, where rinks were built in towns and cities, the article said.

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