Roller-skating has had a shaky history. Do you know the first thing that happened when John Joseph Merlin strapped on his newly-invented roller-skates? He crashed into a mirror in front of all his friends (he’d been trying to impress them at a party by roller-skating while playing the violin—a bad plan if you haven’t practiced first!). Wow your own friends with these fun facts about roller-skating (no bruises necessary).
5 Fun Facts about Roller-Skating
- The first recorded wedding on roller-skates took place in 1912 in Milwaukee. Hattie Baldwin and W. McGrath started a trend; today, hundreds of couples have said “I do” in skating centers around the world. And even more have shared dances on roller-skates after the main event.
- Trucks weren’t always around. In fact, skaters couldn’t turn until James Plimpton invented the roller-skate truck in 1863. Thanks, Mr. Plimpton!
- Everybody loves roller-skating! Beyoncé hosted her 21st birthday party at a roller-skating rink in her hometown. Prince had a pair of famous roller-skates, and celebs like Cher have also been photographed taking turns around the rink. Even the Amish love to roller-skate!
- About 12% of indoor skaters hit the rink more than 100 times each year. 20% go between 31 and 99 times annually.
- Serving food on skates isn’t a thing of the past. Carhops may feel like a relic of the 50’s and 60’s, but some restaurants still serve up carside service on roller-skates. In fact, Sonic hosts an annual Skate-Off to test the mettle of its restaurant’s carhops.
What are your favorite roller-skating facts? Share them with the Skateland team the next time you’re here!