Mattresses turned big business. Bouncing employees. And moon walking. You might not know it, but the history of inflatables is almost as much fun as the inflatables themselves. Before you rent our sophisticated, crowd-pleasing inflatables and party services, enjoy these fun facts about one of the most fun event activities around.
Thank some slacking employees for your inflatables.
Playing isn’t usually encouraged on the job. However, it was the antics of some overenthusiastic employees that gave John Scurlock the idea to build inflatables in the first place.
It was 1959, and Scurlock was experimenting with inflatable covers for tennis courts. At one point, his employees began to jump on these covers. Scurlock, upon observing their fun, began to wonder whether it would be possible to create an inflatable floor just for fun.
Today, his initial idea has turned into the world of inflatables. And it never would have been possible without some creative and fun-loving employees.
Inflatables equal mattresses?
Inflatables nowadays are pretty sophisticated pieces of equipment. And they come in any size and shape you can imagine. Castles and dragons, anyone? How about monster trucks or slides? The sky is the limit, but it wasn’t always that way. The earliest inflatables were more like inflatable mattresses.
In fact, they were inflatable mattresses, except instead of being used for sleeping, they were used for jumping and playing. Facilities would be lined with these mattresses, where people could run and jump and enjoy a bouncy experience. Walls and windows were not added until years later.
Jumping on the bed, then, was actually encouraged when an inflatable was around. No wonder they have always been the epitome of fun for kids and adults alike. Even from the get go, inflatables were perfectly designed to tap into the enjoyment of doing something that normally isn’t “allowed.” Who knew inflatables could be such a symbol of rebellion?
Inflatables had an out of this world nickname.
Michael Jackson might be famous for his moonwalk dance moves, but in the early days of inflatables, anyone could moonwalk. “Moonwalk” was the name given to jumping on inflatables because the experience was supposed to feel like walking in the reduced gravity of the moon. In fact, one inflatables facility was named Space Walk because it gave people the moonwalk experience of inflatables.
Safety took time to develop.
Today, inflatables are extremely safe recreational devices. They boast careful supervision, appropriate air flow, weight and occupant limits, and more. When set up and used properly, they offer a fun experience that is also intended to protect participants from accident and injury.
Safety features, however, took time to develop. When first invented, inflatables were simply mattresses on the floor. They did not come with safety instructions or other precautionary features.
The first safety feature to be added to inflatables was a top to keep participants from falling and to protect them from jumping into other participants on other inflatables nearby.
Later, walls, windows, and air circulation were added for additional safety and comfort. Over time, safety regulations were passed in the United States and the UK, making inflatables safer than ever before.
Don’t worry, though: Safety features haven’t detracted from the fun that inflatables offer. Unless, of course, you think human bowling, obstacle courses, and castles are simply no fun.
Inflatables make great fundraising activities.
If you’ve rolled your eyes at the thought of making money for your favorite cause with inflatables, then consider this: One of the very earliest uses of inflatables was as a fundraising device. Over in the UK, students began to use a variety of inflatable devices, like bounce houses and slides, to raise money.
Bounce houses and other inflatables are often considered the purview of children. However, even in the beginning, they were incredible fun for grown ups too, and they were used to great effect to raise money for a good cause. Doing good and having fun: That is a combination that still works today.
For almost 60 years, inflatables have been delivering fun for kids and adults alike (those employees enjoying the inflatable tennis court covers weren’t kids, after all). Today, this fun is available in more forms and more conveniently than ever before.
If you want to take advantage of inflatable fun, reach out to Big Bounce Fun House Rentals. We build on the fun history of inflatables to offer you the latest inflatables experiences for your next event, whether that be a birthday party, a fundraiser, a corporate event or any other get together.