FROM THE ARCHIVES: 125 Years Ago

Norwich roller hockey team 1890.

Norwich roller hockey team 1890.

The first ice hockey was played at Norwich in 1909; however, roller skates are mentioned in the Reveille “Barracks and Parade” (quotes heard around campus) section as early as 1884: “A cadet after his first trial on roller skates: ‘I [fell] down myself only three times, but someone pushed me down seven or eight times.’” The sport of roller hockey originated in 1878 at the Denmark Roller Rink in London, and became popular in America soon after. The photograph, at right, of the Norwich team in uniform (including knitted caps with pompons) was likely taken around 1890 by Alonzo Harlow, who had a photography studio in Montpelier. In those days before cars, one has to wonder, did they skate all the way to Montpelier? – D.L.W.

This photo is part of Norwich University’s digital archives collection. To view more like it, visit archives.norwich.edu.

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