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.
- Enjoy more images related to roller skating in the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division.
- Read selected articles about the early 1900s “roller skating craze” through the Chronicling America historic newspaper database.
- Watch The Roller Skate Craze, a short 1907 film clip from America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915 collection from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress.