Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: ALL SKATE!

As a kid I loved going to the local roller skating rink. I would have lived there 24/7 if I could. I couldn’t get enough. Sadly, I was a child with little to no money, so I was able to only go occasionally. I would go with my sister and my friends. I skated every minute I could. Was I an awesome skater? Not even close, but I had fun, fun, fun. 

Until recently, I never really thought about when roller skating began. The 70s? The 60s? The 50s? If you guessed the 40s, give yourself a gold star. That would be the 1740s.

In 1743, a London stage performance had the first recorded use of roller skates. These early roller skates were inline style with the wheels taking the place of the blades on ice skates. These skates worked well to simulate ice skating on a stage where having a large, frozen pool of water would be difficult.

I always thought that inline skates came after the four-wheeled side-by-side ones. But apparently they came before, in the middle of, and after.

In 1760, Belgian John Joseph Merlin invented a primitive inline skate with metal wheels. They were hard to steer and had no braking ability. (No brakes! Were they crazy?)

In 1818, roller skates made an appearance on a Berlin ballet stage.

In 1819, Frenchman M. Petitbled had the first patent for an inline roller-skate design. They weren’t very maneuverable, straight ahead or a wide, sweeping turn. (So people were using these early inline skates for seventy-five years or so before someone patented one of them?) Regardless of patents, people loved skating. Inventors worked for the next several decades to improve roller skates.

Having gained popularity, the first public roller skating rink was opened in London in 1857. (With skates that were difficult to turn and stop? I’m a bit surprised.) 

In 1863, James Leonard Plimpton designed the first turning, duel-axel, four-wheeled skate, a pair of wheels side-by-side in front and in back, often referred to as a quad-skate. (I guess because the early inline skates had only two wheels.) By shifting a skater’s weight from one side to the other, the skater could turn. (Now we’re talking.) These proved to be such a success that the first U.S. public roller skating rink opened in New York City in 1866 by Plimpton himself.

In 1876, the toe stop was patented. Skaters could now stop by tipping the skate forward onto the toe. (Now, we’re talking. I always used my toe stop a lot.) 

In the 1880s, America mass-produced roller skates and public rinks were popping up everywhere. People loved this form of entertainment and exercise.

In 1900, an inline skate with two wheels was patented by Peck& Snyder Company.

In 1902, 7,000 people attended the opening of the Chicago Coliseum public rink. (That would have been very crowded. I think I would have waited for a less busy time.)

In 1911, Paris hosted a 24-hour roller skating endurance competition. (That could have been fun.)

Various forms of roller skating and roller skates have come and gone over the decades; in rinks, on the streets, inline, quad, skates you could strap to your regular shoes. In recent years, there were even regular shoes with a wheel in each heel so a person could walk or roll. Inline skates became very popular in recent decades, but the quad-skates are making a comeback.

Whether inline skates or quad-skates, people have loved skating for over 250 years. I never would have guessed roller skating went back so far.

I tried inline skates as an adult but didn’t like them. I felt as though my ankles were too weak or something. I prefer the old fashion quad-skates. But then inline skates are even more old fashion.

Did you roller skate as a kid? Do you still? Do you prefer inline or quad?

Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures 
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

Mother-to-Be’s Amish Homecoming... Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms?
(Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughters series released January 1, 2019)

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in  town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

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