Tuesday, April 13, 2010

George Nissen, 1914 - 2010

George Nissen, the inventor of the trampoline, is dead at 96.

George Nissen with a friend

He invented it at the age of 16 in his garage in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1930.
Nissen was a high school gymnast and swimmer. He first called it a "bouncing rig." While traveling as an acrobat and gymnast with a small troupe through Mexico, he heard the Spanish word for diving board (trampolin), added an e on the end, and called it the trampoline.

When I was a little kid (about 5 or 6), our neighbors (2 teen aged girls) had a trampoline. I hung out there as often as I could get away with it. I loved playing on the thing, and the girls were very kind and gave me iced tea and cookies on those rare occasions when I got tired on the thing. I was never a very athletic kid, but bouncing around on a trampoline was loads of fun (and in those days, loads of injuries, but I still loved it).

It was fun in 1952 (The one I played on in the early 1960s looked a lot like this one)

It's still fun for kids.

It's fun for teenagers (in this case, rich celebrity teenagers, Mary Kate Olsen and Stavros Niarchos III)

Kids and goats together!

Foxes love it!

"Each leap brings us closer to God!" "Catch me God!"

May George Nissen take a bounding leap up into glory! Thanks for everything!


An Elephant on a Trampoline:

Thanks to susan s.!


Unknown said...

I wonder who created this crazy device! I especially love the foxes on the trampoline! I giggled my way through that video!

susan s. said...

Thanks, CL! I never knew. Oh, did you see this one? Fake and funny. I think I would feel like this. Just not as able bodied!


Counterlight said...

susan s.,

That's so amazing that it's getting posted.

susan s. said...

Like I said it's partly fake... as in computer generated, but what an image!

JCF said...

I'm struck by the similarity of this post, to your "Frisbee" post of just a couple of months ago... [Inventors of Fun, returning to their Source?]

Counterlight said...

Why yes, it is like the frisbee post. Works for me.

I will probably do the same when the inventor of the Slip and Slide passes on to Wham-O! Valhalla.