Do You Know The History Of Trampolines As Exercise Equipment ?
By Jeb Taylor
The manufactured trampoline, as we know it today, was
created by two men, George Nissen and Larry Griswold.
Around 1935, Griswold, then the assistant gymnastics coach
at the University of Iowa, and Nissen, a tumbler on the
University of Iowa gymnastics team, "made regular jaunts to
Bloomington, Illinois where numerous circus people had
their winter homes.
Among them were the "Flying Wards", some of the finest
trapeze performers in the world. Griswold and Nissen worked
out with them at the local YMCA, and frequently helped them
make or mend their large trapeze nets. Nissen remembers the
hours they spent in the basement of the YMCA, threading the
long cords of the nets, using large javelin-head needles.
This experience was one of several that led them to the
idea of creating a trampoline.
One day, with the help of the wrestling coach at the
University of Iowa, Griswold and Nissen bolted together an
angle iron frame. A piece of canvas, in which they had
inserted grommets along each side, was then attached to the
frame by using springs. This was the first trampoline.
Since Nissen was still training for tumbling, they decided
to move the trampoline to a YMCA camp where he was an
instructor. There, during his free time, Nissen used it for
his tumbling training. Immediately, he found that the
children loved it. This was the first realization that the
trampoline could be more than a piece of equipment to use
when performing, or seriously training. It was something
that many others could enjoy.
In 1942, Griswold and Nissen decided to formalize their
small operation of making trampolines. They created the
Griswold-Nissen Trampoline & Tumbling Company, and history
But where does the name "Trampoline" come from? "El
trampolin" means diving board, in Spanish. George Nissen,
the co-creator of the competitive style trampoline, heard
the word on a performance tour in Mexico in the late
1930's. He liked the sound of it, and decided to Anglicize
the spelling and call his bouncing rig a Trampoline, a term
he later registered as a trademark.
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About The Author
Jeb Taylor is a fitness guru. He works out on all exercise equipment he thinks will help him. Along with bikes and jogging, Jeb loves bouncing on a trampoline as a fun way to fitness.