History and Story Behind Inventions: Roller Skates

About the story behind the invention of roller skates, history and biography of inventor Dr. James L. Plimpton.

INVENTION: Roller Skates

INVENTOR: Dr. James L. Plimpton, U.S.

YEAR: 1863

HOW INVENTED: Plimpton, of Medfield, Mass., designed the 1st skates using 4 small wheels on each skate. He made $1 million from his patent for these wooden skates. In 1866, Everett H. Barney, of Springfield, Mass., invented and patented a metal clamp to fasten the shoes of the skater to metal roller skates.

In 1920, Barney's company was bought out by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

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