#MuseumWeek #PlayMW Pop Wheel Shoes


Who better to talk about ways that you can play in a museum than Sheila Knox, the Head of our Education Department!  We asked Sheila to pick a pair of shoes that she felt exemplified the spirit of #PlayMW. 

Everyone needs shoes to play in. These 1978 Pop Wheels by Omnia/C of Italy look like so much fun! They combine the ‘70s fashion for platforms with the fad of roller-skating. The platform gives some space to hide the wheels, and when you are ready to really move, just pull the metal knob on the side and off you go.

Roller skates had an auspicious beginning. Inventor John Joseph Merlin debuted the first patented pair at a fancy masquerade party in 1760. His made his grand entrance on the skates playing a violin. Turns out, he was more skilled at inventing than skating. He promptly crashed into an expensive mirror, breaking it, the violin, and causing himself serious injury.

Since then, roller skating’s popularity approached the level of ‘craze’ several times in Western culture: in the last quarter of the 19th century, in the 1930s/40s, the 1970s/80s, and with inline skating in the 1990s.  Currently, there is an inline skating craze in Kenya, where many of those 1990s skates have ended up for resale. ‘Wheeled’ footwear continues to give playful fun and pleasure to many.

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