"Volito" In-line Roller Skate

Description
Before the invention of indoor rinks, ice skaters turned to the Volito when they needed to practice and didn't have access to ice. This in-line skate consisted of a wooden sole, a single row of five wooden wheels, and a curved iron bar at the front that served as a rudimentary brake. What made the Volito superior to other models, however, was the unequal size of its wheels —larger at the center and smaller at the ends. This simple modification allowed the skater to execute turns more easily.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
roller skate
Date made
1823
maker
Tyers, Robert John
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 12 in x 3 in x 3 in; 30.48 cm x 7.62 cm x 7.62 cm
Place Made
United States
ID Number
CL*64.1040
catalog number
64.1040
accession number
270696
subject
Sports
Roller Skating
recreational
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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