Roller skating has been a cherished pastime for both children and adults across generations.
The inception of roller skates dates back to a London stage performance around 1743, with credit often given to John Joseph Merlin for his claim to the invention in 1760 while residing in London.
Even during World War II, roller skates found a unique role when the U.S. considered using them to transport infantry across Europe as a fuel-saving measure, though this idea never materialized.
In the United States, roller skating gained popularity as a pastime in 1935, and the craze reached new heights in the 1970s with the introduction of skating rinks playing disco music.
If you belong to a certain age group, you likely recall the robust metal skates that could be adjusted to accommodate growing feet. However, there’s a metal object associated with these skates that may have slipped from memory – a peculiar item that many skaters used to wear around their necks.
Pictures of the object with a copper hue are circulating on various social media platforms, sparking speculation that it might be a bottle opener or a tool of some sort.
In reality, it is a skate key, a crucial tool for anyone who used roller skates before the 1970s.
Roller skates were secured to shoes, and their size could be customized using the skate key.
This key was inserted into the back of the skates, and it was common for individuals to wear it around their neck to prevent loss while skating. The significance of the skate key is underscored by the fact that songs have been composed about this essential piece of skating equipment.
Do you have any memories of skate keys? We invite you to share your skating stories with us on our Facebook page.