xoxoxoBruce Friday Apr 15 11:47 PM
Apr 16th, 2016: Roller Skates
In 1971, Melanie sang the double entendre laden…
Legend has it he introduced his invention by skating into a ballroom playing his violin, but hadn’t figured out the steering
and stopping yet. He promptly crashed into a mirror, smashing his violin, and nearly killing himself.
Inline skates designed to work like ice skates during periods of warm weather, were invented by Louis Legrange of France
in 1849. They had the same problem of being hard to steer and stop
In 1863, James L. Plimpton in Massachusetts, patented the forerunner of the modern roller skate. Safer and easier to
use than existing versions, which were little more than wheels attached to rigid boards, his "rocker skate" allowed skaters
to steer simply by leaning left or right. This quad wheel skate is the type everyone thought of when Melanie sang,
although the clamp on skate that used a key was passé by the 1970s.
The first inline skate patented in the US was in 1953, by Ernest Kahlert of CA. They were used by Olympic skaters and
hockey players for summer training. They weren’t available to the general public until Rollerblades hit the market in 1987.
Now, the whippersnappers won’t understand Melanie’s dirty lyrics.
Diaphone Jim Saturday Apr 16 12:11 PM
Great foresight providing built-in splints for the inevitable broken ankles.
infinite monkey Saturday Apr 16 12:24 PM
My mom's name was Melanie. I had that roller skate song on a 45 when I was a kid. She was named after Melanie from GWTW, but still when I hear that song I get weepy. My mom rocked.
lumberjim Saturday Apr 16 12:37 PM
A kid bit me once when I was 5 because I wouldn't let him try my skates. They fit over your shoes and you used the key to tighten them. Metal wheels. One tiny piece of gravel, and down you go.