Roller skating first appeared in the 1700s, when it was used as a form of exercise. In 1875, roller skating became a popular spectator sport and was seen at carnivals and fairs. 

In the early 1900s, roller skating rinks started appearing in public parks. 

By the 1940s, roller skating had become a mainstream activity and there were more than 1,000 rinks in the United States. 

During the 1960s, there was a decline in popularity due to safety concerns and increased interest in other sports.

What is a roller rink?

The roller rink is typically made of hardwood or concrete and is used for roller skating or inline skating. Among them are roller hockey, speed skating, roller derby, and individual recreation skating.

In addition to being located in indoor facilities, roller rinks can also be found outdoors.

For the roller rink size, It is common for skating centers to measure under 14,000 square feet (1,300 square meters) or more than 21,000 square meters (2,000 square meters).

Who Invented Roller Rink?

James Plimpton was a Massachusetts businessman who was the man who invented roller rinks.

His invention of an improved roller skate in 1863 led to a boom in popularity throughout the late 19th century, especially in the cities along the American east coast, who benefited greatly from this development.

The First Roller Rink

In the beginning, people were skating at home, but within the next twenty years, businesses devoted to the activity began to spring up. 

Plimpton himself opened a roller skating rink in New York City, and he is usually credited with its opening.

The Earlier Roller Rinks

There was a wide range of sizes and types of roller rinks in the early days, both indoors and outdoors. 

The majority of them were wooden platforms that were sometimes used both as dance floors and ballrooms. 

Although roller skating was mostly a phenomenon in eastern cities, some enterprising individuals toured the Midwest and South with wagons loaded with roller skates. They rented skates and used whatever locally available surface was available to impromptu rinks, often in conjunction with circuses or carnivals.

Roller Rink Boom After World War 2

Following World War II, roller rinks exploded across the country. 

In the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, roller skating birthday parties became something of a rite of passage for American children. The 1970s were a period of significant changes for roller rinks in the United States.


My name is Patricia Toh. I was born in the southen of China but I live in Hawaii. I work as a translator. I love skating. But in the future, I’d like to try yoga too."

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