Indeed, we can only imagine how hard the old fashioned early skateboard contraptions were to ride. Perhaps you have tried to ride such a contraption yourself? I can remember personally as a kid using old trucks off an old skateboard bought at a garage sale and attaching them to a board and rolling down a long driveway.
Of course at 7 years old you are not much of an engineer of anything you build or design, as it is generally perfected through trial and error or you crash and burn. I still remember what happened going down the driveway. I started to get the high-speed wobbles and eventually they got worse and worse and the whole thing dumped me onto the driveway and I crashed. Un-deterred I simply went back to the top of the driveway to try it again and again.
And what do they call the definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? The results were quite simple to see on my elbows and Hands. Back to adjust the trucks and use bigger nails because I had no screws and steal a little duct tape out of the garage too. Engineering indeed?
You can imagine how excited I was to get my first plastic skateboard with the urethane wheels. Of course the other kids with the more high-tech skateboards that were fully customized laughed at me, but you have to start somewhere and they also had to start with plastic boards. Where do what you think I got the old trucks and wheels to do my driveway experiments?
One of them sold them to me at his family's garage sale. You see the problem was not that the wheels or trucks were of poor quality, they worked fine on the old plastic skateboard, but not so well on a much longer board that was perhaps five times the weight.
Eventually, I figured out right away that, I had to tighten up the trucks and pay particular attention to my own balance and that helped a little until the wobbles started. Thus I can easily imagine the problems that the early kids between 1905 and 1950 had with their skateboard devices.
L. Winslow is a Technology Economic Advisor to the Online Think Tank, a Futurist and retired entrepreneur. Currently he is planning a bicycle ride across the US to raise money for charity and is sponsored by http://www.Calling-Plans.com - all the proceeds will go to various charities who sign up.