Roller skates were popular long before the disco-ball rinks of the 80s. Roller skates in the Victorian period were wheels attached to a board that would then be strapped to one’s regular street shoes. Having wheels strapped to one’s feet that may or may not become unstrapped and snap your ankle, may seem terrifying. But that’s not what Victorians were worried about.
They were worried about sex.
Love-seeking Victorians’ every move was monitored by their stiff elder counterparts, and to engage in any sort of exchange with a member of the opposite sex was nearly impossible. Enter rollerskating. It was way to engage in public with the opposite sex, and *gasp!*, touch them! The BBC goes so far as to report rollerskating as a mini sexual revolution. Can you imagine the poor, shocked Victorians?