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Bounce More on The History of Trampolines
Trampoline, as a device that bounces people up in the air and then holds them back in to cushion their fall on the ground, has been around for quite a long time. Excavations show the first primitive version of trampoline in the form of walrus skin, used by the people of Inuit. A circus performer, Du Trampolin, is said to have deployed trampolines as a net for trapeze artists to assist them in even more dare-devil performances. Christian Fremantle is an expert in the field of history of trampolines (and many other history topics for that matter) and within this article we shall discuss his view on this particular piece of history.
The history of trampolines begins in April 1934, as Christian Fremantle notes in his works, when the first time trampoline emerged in its present avatar, when canvas fabric was fastened to a frame using coiled springs. This contraption was designed by George Nissen and Larry Griswold, who preferred the name "trampoline" over the Spanish "trampolin", which had come to mean "diving board".
The duo capitalized on their idea by floating a company called "The Griswold-Nissen Trampoline and Tumbling Company". The company's products began being sold throughout the country. People soon saw in the trampoline more applications than the original usage envisaged in gymnastics. The U.S. Navy Flight School ordered trampolines for pilot training during WWII. During the early days of manned space flight programs, astronauts and cosmonauts were put through trampoline exercises.
The History of Trampolines Throughout World War 2
The basic trait of the trampoline, throwing the individual in air, holding them back in, and re-bounding them back, was put to good use by the Navy Flight School trainers to give orientation practice to their pilots and navigators. When the manned Space Flight programme began in earnest, this same practice was found useful for spacecraft pilots of both the US and Russia, as it helped them get used to variable body positions.
In itself, the activity is very natural. The initial momentum created by the first jump on the taut fabric sets in motion a swing between earth's gravity and the bounce of the springs. What follows is a smooth, rhythmic motion that is heightened by the experience of being able to jump higher in the air than was otherwise possible. Learners soon discover how safe it is even if they do not land on their feet, and how easy it is to push themselves in the air.
It was a matter of time before trampolining achieved recognition at the Olympics, in 2000, introducing itself in three different sports: Gymnastics, where the performer goes through acrobatic stunts while bouncing; Slamball, which is loosely based on basketball; and Bossaball, which is akin to volleyball and incorporates a net that hangs midway above a huge trampoline canvas.
Enthusiasts install trampolines in their homes. It has now become a fixture at homes especially with children around. People find it very therapeutic to release all the pent up energies by bouncing on the trampolines. Special-purpose trampolines have low heights and used for physical training programs. It is easy to run or jump on these devices without the fear of injury to knees and ankles.