In an effort to do some exercise (gasp!), I’ve just treated myself to these:
So, watch out streets of Nottingham, I now come with wheels! (And probably not very good balance or speed control!)
But did you know that the first pair of rollerskates was patented in 1760? They weren’t very popular, apparently, though I don’t think I’m surprised – I doubt they’d be safe with all those petticoats and lack of ankle support!
Unfortunately, their lack of popularity is probably the reason there don’t seem to be any surviving 18th century examples. Instead you’ll have to satisfy yourself with this pair from circa 1880:
I wonder what the 18th century pair looked like, whether they were strap-ons like the 19th century ones (which will always remind me of the blue, yellow and orange Fisher Price Velcro-on skates I had as a kid)
Or were they were like normal 18th century boots or shoes with wheels on the bottom… Or, how about bucket top boot skates, anyone?