Like so many other inventions we think of as new, the first ones were invented and used long ago. I can only imagine what funny looks the folks wearing them got as they rolled down the street or sidewalks. I'm sure a lot of people had to do a double take!
Photo via Scientific American
Wheel skates look somewhat like regular inline skates, except that the wheels are much larger, up to the size of bicycle tires. They are seen as a cross between an inline skate, a ski, and a bike. Recently, a company called Chariot Skates said they had come up with something unique—the Chariot wheel skates. According to the company, wheel skates are “revolutionary new skating product[s].” Revolutionary? They do at least revolve. New? No. The first wheel skate was made more than 142 years ago.
It even featured in the March 19, 1870, issue of Scientific American magazine. Made by Thomas Luders from Olney, Illinois, and called a “pedespeed,” the wheels then were much smaller, measuring around 36 centimeters (15 in) in diameter. Luders also said the skates could be used by anybody, irrespective of their physique. He himself was a large, heavy man, and he claimed he could use them for two straight hours without getting tired. Another version of wheel skates, appearing in 1923, had its tires on the inside of the foot rather than outside. (Other than the size of the wheels, the main improvement made by Chariot Skates is the small tire at the back of the bigger tire for increased stability.)
If you want to see the modern version, YouTube has some video of them. Just look for wheelskates. I guess the old saying is true...what goes around, comes back around!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. How about some sausage and biscuits?