The History Of Quad Roller Skates


Roller skates didn't just become popular because of Tik Tok, roller skating has actually been around, well since before you were born. Delve into this history lesson of quads and the quadets. 

You probably remember at some point in your life going to the roller rink with friends during the week days, everything was so easy then. You would meet your date on Tuesday evenings to hold hands and eating pizza with a vicarious pleasure. Well the nausea is coming back because QUADS are back and here to stay. 

Over 250 years ago, the first roller skate was a converted ice skate that never really gained traction. The first designs of roller skates looked similar to this:

Back in 1863, a New York City furniture dealer named James Leonard Plimpton attempted to re-designed the roller skate with 4 wheels on each side, known today as quads. 

Mr. Plimpton designed the 2 by 2 quad roller skate to not be attached to the sole of the boot of the skate but rather to the pivot, making it easier to turn with the skates. 

In 1866, Mr. Plimpton redesigned the quad skates with leather straps to secure the foot in the new brace of the skate. Not only did James Leonard Plimpton make the first quad but he also founded the New York Roller Skating Association making roller skating a community recreational hobby for him/her/they/them. Instead of selling his roller skates, Mr. Plimpton rented the quads for quality and quantity purposes. 

The Roller Skating Association made the first skating rink in the United States in 1866 at a resort hotel in Newport. Plimpton continued to prosper because of his invention and in the 1870's, he toured the skating rinks around the country and offered lessons, soon becoming wealthy. Mr. Plimpton lost most of his weath due to somewhat over 300 patent lawsuits.

This 1908 patent by James Leonard Plimpton was granted for improvements to the control of roller skates.


Over the next 50 years since Mr. Plimpton designed the first quad, roller skating became a huge hit all over the world. A British newspaper is on record for using the word "rinkomania" to describe the overwhelming craze of roller skates.

Over the 18th, 19th and 20th century, roller skates were not only used for exercise but also for socializing and creating a community (remember going to the roller skating rinks when you were younger? Well now they are back in style!). Also roller skates were used as stage acts dancing, disco, 1992 Olympics (with roller hocky) and even fast food restaurants had their servers riding them. 

Quad roller skates may have gone away since our youth but they are back and here to stay <3.