1896 The Road Skate Co RITTER SKATES
THE ROAD SKATE Co
271 Oxford St. London W
The skates were sold by the Road Skate Co of Oxford Street, and the company also issued a booklet – free of charge – on ‘Road Skating’ which purports to give ‘every information on the subject.’
‘Road Skates’ were the ancestors of roller skates. They were invented by Mr. Ritter, a Swiss, who was foreman at the original Napier Works at Vine Street, Lambeth, London, where (later) the first Napier motor-cars were made. The Ritter skates were popular around 1897/ 1898, and several well-known cyclists, notably M. S. Napier, Walter Munn, and A. Hoffman, formed a club and skated on the road every week-end. When last heard of (1929) Mr. Ritter was in business as an engineer in Paris under the name of Ritter and Smith, 35 Rue Batignolles. (These premises are now occupied by a hair salon ‘Caroline Coiffure’).