Pedal Skates: The Coolest Ride on Wheels Through History

  • by

Roller skating’s popularity has fluctuated with each passing decade, with roller discos fading away in the 1980s and roller-blades making a resurgence in the 1990s.


Yet, pedal skates have consistently been hailed as the epitome of cool transportation for the modern era. The Atlantic notes that Charles A. Nordling from Suisun, California, secured a patent for this innovative twist on traditional roller skates in August 1913. Nordling’s invention aimed to minimize the skater’s effort by using pedal action to rotate the wheels, thus eliminating the need for excessive physical exertion. This design significantly reduced the likelihood of skaters dragging their feet or needing to lift the skates off the ground, facilitating higher speeds.

The U.S. Patent Office has the patent drawing for Nordling’s pedal skates.

Nordling’s pioneering patent laid the groundwork for the development of future mechanical roller skates, including the self-propelled roller skate by Hyman Suroff in 1983 and Zygmunt Piotrowski’s step action wheel skate in 1991.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.