Sport: History on Wheels

Joseph Merlin inspected the little metal wheels on his shoes, tuned his violin and shoved off on his rolling, novelty entrance to Mrs. Corneily's masquerade in Soho Square, London. He raised his bow and rolled forward. He found that he could not steer. Neither could he stop. He screamed. Two seconds later, Mrs. Corneily's £500 mirror was in splinters, the fiddle was matchwood, and Merlin was bleeding like a pig. Thus, in 1760, the sport of roller skating was born.

Last week the first history of the sport was published: Roller Skating...

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