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Who Made That Trampoline
Jun 23, 2018

The early trampoline

Since time immemorial man has had a desire to fly, or at least be airborne, which is how early prototypes of trampolines probably came about. During the Middle Ages, people used something called “The Leaps”, which consisted of a thin board placed over two stands on either end. By jumping on it, the spring “action” would send the person into the air, which added a different element to their show.


Its popularity grew and because it required very little assembly, performers were able to travel with it and incorporate it into their act. “The Leaps” was soon replaced by the springboard, a contraption with a board that was fixed to the base with a hinge for added movement. The idea behind the springboard was that a person could jump on the free end, while the secured bit allowed for more spring. This catapulted the performers into the air, and it was soon incorporated into tumbling and acrobatic shows.


We still use springboards today, but they’re called diving boards and are used to toss people into swimming pools rather than into crowds or onto dirt covered circus floors.


Even with their “springiness”, these devices have little resemblance to the modern trampoline. The closest thing, however, would have been an adaptation of the trapeze net by a fellow called du Trampolin. Apparently, he took the net that was used as a safety device at the time, tweaked it here and there, and reduced the size to create a propulsion-and-landing device that he called a “trampoline”.


While other fads have come and gone, trampolines have stood the test of time. In fact, they seem to have grown in popularity with trampoline parks popping up all over the place. It seems whether you’re young or just young at heart, the appeal of bouncing up and down is undeniable, and it’s not just fun, it’s good for you too.

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