Q I have a pair of shoe roller skates with wooden wheels. There is a metal plate on the bottom with the number ”5” and ”Chicago Roller Skate Co., Ware Bros., Pat. Aug. 15, 1914, Made in U.S.A.” What can you tell me about them?

A Ralph and Walter Ware bought The Chicago Roller Skate Co. in 1905. Their brother, Robert, joined the business in 19091. Roller skating was a popular pastime and Chicago had several roller rinks. Skates with wooden wheels were made to skate on the wood floor in roller rinks. The company also made racing skates, clamp-on skates for skating on sidewalks, parts for skates, lawn sprinklers, and a few other products. Your shoe skates were probably made between 1914 and 1920. The company was bought by National Sporting Goods in the 1990s. Vintage shoe skates like yours sell for under $200.

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