Roller skating is a favorite pastime enjoyed by generations of children and adults. It’s hard to believe that roller skates were first used on the stage in London in 1743! John Joseph Merlin of London is credited with inventing the first roller skates in 1760. Roller skating has certainly come a long way since then!

In the United States, skating became popular as a pastime in 1935. But it wasn’t until the introduction of disco rinks in the 1970s that roller skating became a big trend. It seemed like everyone wanted to get out on the rink and sing along to the music!


Speaking of roller skating, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Remember the heavy metal skates attached to your shoes? They were popular at the time. But if you’re a skater from before the 1970s, there’s something else you might remember. This is the core of skating. This copper-colored item was an essential accessory for roller skaters. At first glance, it looks like a bottle opener or some other tool, but it’s actually a skate wrench.

A skate wrench allows you to adjust the size of your skates by fitting them behind the pair. Many people wear keys around their necks while skating so they don’t get lost. It was a small but important part of the roller skating experience.


Skate keys have become such an integral part of roller skating that songs have even been written about them! It symbolizes the times when roller skating was a favorite pastime, full of fun and memories. Do you remember the skate keys? We’d love to hear your skating stories on our Facebook page. Let’s share this great past experience with others who have fond memories of roller skates and skate keys!


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