Fun in Nebraska: The National Museum of Roller Skating

Although I was super busy at nationals this year, I was able to get in a quick visit to the National Museum of Roller Skating.  It is actually (as far as I am aware) the only museum in the world that is dedicated to roller skating, and it is located in the back of the building that houses the offices of USA Roller Sports (USARS).

In the heart of Lincoln, NE…

Picture heavy post – take a peak inside the museum after the break!

Just inside the door – wall of skating memorabilia!
An old proficiency test medal.
If you follow the signs and walk to the back room in the building you will find the museum and all the wonders it contains.  Of course, there are a lot of really interesting old skates:
A really old inline skate.

The skate on the left was used as part of a costume in an opera – the dancers were supposed
to be “ice skating”which is why the metal part looks like an old ice blade.

Ah, chivalry.
Plimpton’s “rocker skate” – adding rubber cushions allowed the skate to curve and create edges.
This led to increased popularity of roller skating and the first real skating boom.
Crazy skates – steam power and stilts!
The wood wheels are just a little before my time…

And some other skating related artifacts:

Celebrating the organ music that defined a generation.
An old skate case.

Some people decorated them with stickers.

And others had fantastic engravings.
Back in the day each rink had their own sticker.
These were quite collectable by skating enthusiasts.
The museum celebrates all types of skating:
Speed skating…
Roller hockey…

Even roller derby (then & now)!

And now, for my fellow seamsters, seamstresses, and sewistas, the fun stuff – skating appropriate clothing throughout the years…

Skating in the early years…
I actually really like the top and the long skirt – though it must have been difficult to skate in!
Also, check out the poor dude in background – hilarious!
Check out those puffy sleeves!
Slightly shorter skirts, but I bet those hats created a lot of drag!
Those hemlines keep climbing!
We want shorter skirts!

And now for some actual garments presented by the museum:

Dress worn by Natalie Dunn in the “contest of the century.”
I love the simple elegance of this dress.
This dress was worn by a contestant in a beauty pageant.
So 1980s it’s not even funny.
Tara Lipinski’s national champion dress and skates
(before she went completely to ice and won Olympic gold in 1998).
A modern-day dress – totally covered in rhinestones!
A picture of costumes from the Skating Vanities – a 1940s traveling roller skating variety show.
My favorite!  Another Skating Vanities dress…
The beadwork is beyond stunning.

So, are you ready to go skating yet?  Just remember – safety first!

You can see these and many more skating artifacts, costumes, and artwork at the museum.  If you should ever find yourself in the middle of Lincoln, Nebraska with a few extra hours of time, you should totally check it out for yourselves!

Location: National Museum of Roller Skating
4730 South Street
Lincoln, NE 68506
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 9am-5pm, CST
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3 thoughts on “Fun in Nebraska: The National Museum of Roller Skating

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