Roller skating began around the middle of the 18th century, when an unknown man in The Netherlands made a pair of skates with wooden wheels.
Most likely, the inventor fashioned the skates so that he could practice ice-skating techniques during the warm months.
The first pair of roller skates offered for sale appeared in Belgium in 1760. But it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century, when metal wheels were introduced, that roller skates began to offer a ride that was smooth and comfortable enough to make the pastime of roller skating truly popular.
The first public roller-skating rink was opened by James Plimpton in 1866, in Newport, Rhode Island.