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Who Invented Trampolines?

George Nissen, an American gymnast and diver, is credited with the development of the modern trampoline. Inspired by the safety nets used by circus acrobats, Nissen envisioned a device that would allow gymnasts to perform aerial maneuvers and practice their skills with reduced impact.

The trampoline, as we know it today, was invented by George Nissen and Larry Griswold in the 1930s.



In 1936, Nissen and his coach, Larry Griswold, built the first prototype of the trampoline using a metal frame and a stretched canvas. They initially called it the "bouncing rig" and experimented with different materials and designs to improve its performance. They soon recognized the potential of their invention not only for gymnastics training but also as a recreational activity.

Nissen further refined the trampoline design during his studies at the University of Iowa, where he studied physical education. In 1942, he patented his invention and started manufacturing trampolines commercially.

During World War II, the U.S. Navy recognized the potential of trampolines for training purposes, and Nissen's company, Griswold-Nissen Trampoline & Tumbling Company, supplied the military with trampolines for pilot training and physical conditioning.

Over the years, trampolines gained popularity worldwide, and Nissen continued to innovate and promote the sport. He organized trampoline exhibitions, founded the International Trampoline Federation (now known as the International Gymnastics Federation Trampoline Gymnastics Technical Committee), and advocated for trampolining as an Olympic sport.

George Nissen's invention revolutionized the world of gymnastics, fitness, and recreational activities, bringing joy and physical benefits to countless individuals. His contribution to the development and popularization of the trampoline remains significant and enduring.