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Joseph Merlin a Belgian mechanic and maker of musical instruments created the first pair of roller skates In May 1770 Merlin went to London as director of Coxs Museum in Spring Gardens and exhibited several of his pet Projects an organ a pianoforte and a harpsichord Merlin also had examples of his work in his home on Oxford Street where he displayed his unique invention the roller skate He created a pair of skates contrived to run on small metallic wheels At a party he was not able to control his velocity and went flying into a mirror which instantly shattered to pieces and wounded him severely Although he did not pursue work in his area other inventors produced some roller skate models most with in-line wheels to imitate an ice skating blade After this accident roller skating was not seen again until 1790 when a Parisian metal cutter invented a wheeled skate called patin-a-terre ground skate However it took twenty-five years or so for this unique skate to gain recognition In Berlin in 1818 roller skates were first used in the premier of the ballet Der Maler oder The ballet called for ice skating but because it was then impossible to produce ice on stage roller skates were used The first patent for a roller skate was issued to a M Peti- bled in France in 1819 This skate was made of a wood sole and fitted two three or four copper wooden or ivory rollers arranged in a straight line Because the rollers were of uniform size and alignment it was impossible for the skate to move on a curved line In London in 1823 Robert John Tyers patented a volito In the British patent office the volito was described as an apparatus to be attached to boots shoes and other covering for the feet for the purpose of traveling or for pleasure The volito was five wheels attached in a straight line
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