Ice skating had already swept the city in the mid-1800s. But a few decades later, city residents took up a new recreational craze: skates on wheels.
“Throughout the eighteen-eighties and much of the nineties roller skating was the principal pastime of citizens of every age and condition—business men went to work on skates, and skating parties were much in vogue among the fashionable,” writes Herbert Asbury in his 1929 book All Around the Town.
“Several leading citizens and public officials seriously advocated equipping the police force with roller-skates, contending that a patrolman could then easily overtake a criminal,” Asbury states.
Tags: All Around the Town, Cosmopolitan rink, fads in the 1880s, Herbert Asbury, Ice skating in New York City, recreational fads in New York, roller rinks in New York City, roller skating in the 19th century