Pictures to Go: Roller Skating Roundup

Safety first for this Miss, Washington, D.C. August 8. Equipped with bumpers fore and aft, 4-year-old Betty Buck is taking unnecessary chances as she tries her first pair of roller skates. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1936 August 8. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.33490

Safety first for this Miss, Washington, D.C. August 8. Equipped with bumpers fore and aft, 4-year-old Betty Buck is taking no unnecessary chances as she tries her first pair of roller skates. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1936 August 8. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.33490

When I think about roller skating as a kid, I remember fun Friday nights at the skating rink with friends, pop music and treats at the snack bar. There was the joy of going fast, and the occasional wipe out from going a bit too fast.  Not a problem for 4-year-old Betty Buck, since the caption for this charming photo states she is “equipped with bumpers fore and aft” and has adopted the motto of “safety first” as she learns to skate.

People of all ages have enjoyed roller skating for well over a century.  Take a roll down memory lane through the following images from the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections.

Having fun at rollerskating rink of Savoy Ballroom. Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Russell Lee, 1941 April. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8c00687

Having fun at rollerskating rink of Savoy Ballroom. Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Russell Lee, 1941 April. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8c00687

District of Columbia - glimpses of life at the national capital - a fashionable roller-skating rink. Wood engraving after a sketch by Miss Georgie Davis, 1880. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b06974

District of Columbia – glimpses of life at the national capital – a fashionable roller-skating rink. Wood engraving after a sketch by Miss Georgie Davis, 1880. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b06974

Roller skating, Nov. 8, 1910. Photo, George Grantham Bain Collection, 1910 Nov. 8. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.31937

Roller skating, Nov. 8, 1910. Photo, George Grantham Bain Collection, 1910 Nov. 8. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.31937

Patin-bicyclette -- Richard-Choubersky. Poster by PAL (Jean de Paléoloque), 1890s. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g13915

Patin-bicyclette — Richard-Choubersky. Poster by PAL (Jean de Paléoloque), 1890s. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g13915

 

 

[Two women's league roller derby skaters leap over two who have fallen] Photo by Al Aumuller from New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, 1950 March 10. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c33382

[Two women’s league roller derby skaters leap over two who have fallen] Photo by Al Aumuller from New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, 1950 March 10. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c33382

Enjoy ice roller skating. Poster by J.P., N.Y.C. W.P.A. Art Project, between 1936 and 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b49025

Enjoy ice roller skating. Poster by J.P., N.Y.C. W.P.A. Art Project, between 1936 and 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b49025

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One Comment

  1. Jeff Diver
    January 21, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Featured on page 132 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection 1885 is Miss Georgie Davis’s drawing above and a brief glimpse into the life of Miss Carrie Gilmore, a rolling skating star of the Victorian era in America.

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