Roller skating has been a beloved pastime for both kids and adults across generations. Did you know that the first use of roller skates dates back to a London stage performance in 1743? John Joseph Merlin is credited with inventing the first roller skates while living in London in 1760.

Roller skates even had a role to play during World War II, as the U.S. considered using them to transport infantry in Europe, although this idea didn’t come to fruition.

In the United States, roller skating gained popularity in 1935. However, it was in the 1970s when skating rinks playing disco music were introduced that roller skating truly became a sensation. Some of you may recall those heavy metal skates that could be adjusted as your feet grew. But do you remember the metal object that many skaters used to wear around their necks?

Images of this copper-colored object have been circulating on social media, prompting guesses that it might be a bottle opener or a tool of some sort. Surprisingly, it is actually a skate key – an important accessory for anyone who owned roller skates before the 1970s.

Using the skate key, skaters could adjust the size of their skates by fitting it into the back of the pair. To ensure they wouldn’t lose the key while skating, most people would wear it around their necks.

Skate keys hold such significance in roller skating that there have even been songs written about them. They were an essential part of the roller skating experience, allowing skaters to enjoy their favorite pastime to the fullest.

If you have memories of skate keys and roller skating, we would love to hear your stories! Visit our Facebook page and share your skating experiences with us. And don’t forget to spread the joy by sharing this nostalgic memory with others.