Find Ways to Improve Things

Is there a “failure” in history that you can turn into a success?

In 1760, an Englishman named Joseph Merlin dressed himself for a costume ball. Eager to amaze the crowd by gliding around the ballroom while playing his violin, he fastened wheels to his shoes. The wheeled shoes were almost impossible to steer and Merlin rolled right into a mirror, shattering it.

In 1863, inventor James Plimpton of Medfield, Massachusetts, attached the wheels to a foot plate and put a rubber spring between the front and rear axles, thus allowing steering. People have been zooming around on roller skates ever since.


Content courtesy of the Ah Ha! Discovery Deck, developed by John Cronin at the ipCapital Group to help inventors solve real-world problems.

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