On 10 April 2020 at 17:12 | updated on 12 April 2020 at 11:49

Robert John Tyers (Great Britain) - Pioneer of inline skating

Robert John Tyers (Great Britain) - Pioneer of inline skating

Robert John Tyers revolutionized inline skating with his model Volito. Down to the present day, this model remains a source of inspiration...

By  Alexandre CHARTIER

Biography of Robert John Tyers

Robert John Tyers is from London (Great Britain). We do not know exactly his birth date nor the date of his death. He was probably born in 1802 and dead in 1868.

Illustration: The Volito - the famous skate of Tyers

The Volito skate of Tyers

Tyers: an innovative thinking visionary

Le brevet de Robert John Tyers

On April 22, 1823, the fruit seller applied for patent No. 4782 for his inline skate "Volito" ("I voltigiere" in Latin) made of wood and metal.

An "apparatus to be attached to boots ... for the purpose of traveling or pleasure."

The model consists of five wheels of different sizes. The middle wheel is the largest and towards the ends the wheels get smaller and smaller. That's the principle of "rockering". Not all wheels have contact with the ground at the same time. This construction simplifies the stability in the corners, but also reduces the overall stability. In order to secure the foot to the skate, holes were milled into the sides to pull straps around it. A point under the heel should help to fasten the shoe of the skater.

You may notice that the conception of nowadays ice models were inspired by Tyers' skates. They also already had brakes on the heels and stoppers on the toe. It can be said that Tyers was not very far from today's models 200 years ago!

The wooden platform is screwed to a frame of metal (iron, steel, tin) or other metals. The wheels are made of brass, melt, other metal or other similar materials.


Présentation du patin de Tyers en 1824


The first rink for roller skaters

In 1823 in Windmill Street in the northern center of London Tyers opened the oldest skating rink (Nieswiszki 1991).

An extract of the Declaration of Robert John Tyers on the filing of his patent:

"I, the said Robert John Tyers, do hereby declare, that the nature of my said invention, and the manner in which the same is to be performed, are particularly described and ascertained, in and by the Drawing hereunto annexed, and the following description thereof; that is to say: My said apparatus consist of, what I term, my Volitos, or substitutes for the skates ordinarily used upon the ice ; these being mounted upon wheels, and are therefore capa ble of being used upon land, in a similar manner to skates upon the ice, to perform the various evolutions and move ments peculiar to the art of skating.For this purpose, it is requisite, that only a single line of wheels should be affixed to each Volito, and that in the centre of it; and also, that the middle wheel should be rather larger, or greater in diameter, than those on each side of it ; and that the adjoining ones, again, should be rather larger than the next to them, and so on to each ex-* tremity of the Volito ; or that, in case of the wheels being all nearly of the same size, they must be so placed, as that their lower parts, or edges, may all touch a line, which may be a portion of a circle ; and also, that one wheel in each should be placed under, or nearly under, the heel of the person using them. In order, however, to explain more fully the nature and construction of my said invention, I shall refer to the Drawing. "

Source : The Technical repository, published by Thomas Gil (patent-agent) - pages 295-297 - Date of publication: 31.12.1823 


A photo of the Volito - Robert John Tyers



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Released  on 10 April 2020 - Read 7865 times

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Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !

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