Chicago Skates Timeline
- 1905- The Chicago Roller Skate Company was founded by brothers Ralph and Walter Ware in Chicago, Illinois.
- 1907- “Model-A” was the first four-wheel Chicago Skate with a steel footplate and ball bearings.
- 1918- After a hiatus during World War I in which the CRS plant switched to manufacturing propeller bolts for the military, skate-making resumed and a new $75,000, 40,000 sq. ft. plant was built at 4408 West Lake Street in West Garfield Park, Chicago.
- 1920’s– Chicago Roller Skate Company takes advantage of the heyday of roller rinks with its development of its first ever Rink Style Leather Boots.
- 1930’s- Chicago Roller Skate Co. started producing steel wheels with rubberized tires for safer outdoor skating.
- 1940’s- While the momentum of the ’30s was brought to a full stop in the early ’40s by World War II, the Chicago Roller Skate Company was back to full power by the mid to late 1940’s. The rolling portion of the wheels, which had often been made from maple in early models— now featured a fiber/plastic construction in the new No. 78 SPL design.
- 1950’s– As the Chicago Roller Skate Company approached its 50th anniversary, they were the largest manufacturer of roller skates in the country and leading ambassadors of the skating pastime that an estimated 20 million Americans participated in. The company had 200 employees churning out 3,250 pairs of skates per day—broken down into 1,500 pairs of outdoor/sidewalk skates, 1,000 rink skates, and 750 “shoe skate outfits.” With four wheels on each skate, that comes out to 26,000 wheels every day, in various diameters—some still made from the classic maple, others from steel, rubber, wood composition, fiber, plastic, or aluminum.
- 1960’s– Chicago Roller Skate Company is the first skateboard parts supplier in America, selling axle- holding trucks and wheels from its roller skates to a Hollywood surf shop called Val Surf. Gordon Ware continues to push progression when he personally designed and patented one of the first hockey-style / in-line roller skates.
- 1970’s– Disco revives the Roller-Skating Rinks! Chicago Roller Skate Company introduces high performance urethane wheels specifically designed for enhanced dance and rhythmic rink skating.
- 1980’s– The birth of mainstream Inline Skating. After receiving licensing rights from the Wares, Scott Olson’s product, the Rollerblade, would see great success and take outdoor skating to a new extreme.
- 1990’s– National Sporting Goods acquires Chicago Roller Skate Company, reengineers and rereleases the Chicago Skates Classic Rink CRS400 Series Skates and the Chicago Skates Deluxe Rink CRS800 Series with enhanced performance in the same traditional sleek look and style.
- 2000’s– Chicago Skates introduces a full line in youth and adult inline skates that hit the streets right after the turn of the century.
- 2010’s– In an effort to help young children learn to inline skate, Chicago Skates develops a 2 in 1 Adjustable Inline Training Skate Combo Set where the young child can start skating with two training wheels, like a traditional quad skate, in the back and two inline wheels in the front. As the child grows and gains confidence and balance, the two back wheels move inline to become a standard 4 wheel inline skate.
- 2020s– Chicago Skates partners with Reggie “Premier” Brown to create “The Lifestyle” Skate to be released in Fall of 2022!