Roller skate:Union Hardware Roller Skates

Union Hardware1948-49

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Many an inventor has attempted to develop roller skates: the first recorded instance occurred in the late mid-18th century. Roller skating--atop a platform with a wheel in four corners--became a happy pastime of the 20th-century suburbs. In the 1960s, the Chicago Skate Company offered a roller skate with all wheels lined up at the center of the platform. This skate attempted to offer on land the speed and maneuverability of ice skates. The Chicago company's skates were not successful, but they inspired a Minnepolis ice hockey player. Scott Olson picked up a second-hand pair of the skates in 1979 and made some modifications to them, including a heel brake and improved wheels. The budding company Olson began became Rollerblade, Inc., the most recognized manufacturer of roller skates. "Rollerblading" caught on among America's exercisers and exhibitionists in the 1980s and 1990s.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Roller skate:Union Hardware Roller Skates
  • Creator: Union Hardware
  • Date Created: 1948-49
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: wheel, recreation
  • Type: Outdoor Play
  • Medium: metal, leather, foam rubber, fabric, paint, cardboard
  • Object ID: 113.58
  • Credit Line: Gift of Gloria Kaplan