The trampoline was first used in the eighteenth-century by circus tumblers but it became an American craze in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.
Used initially as an exercise apparatus in high school gym classes, trampolines quickly began to appeal to members of the general public who wanted to be able to jump, bounce, somersault, backflip and at least temporarily defy the bounds of gravity.
The trampoline is believed to have been invented by Bill Sorenson in his California basement. The initial model was made of a heavy piece of canvas stretched taut across a metal frame and attached with heavy springs. Some people bought kits for as little as $50.00 and assembled their own in their backyards while others visited trampoline parks which sprung up all over the country.
The trampoline craze cooled off during the summer of 1960 due to the heat and to safety concerns as numerous neck and back injuries occurred. Every now and then, however, trampolines stage a minor comeback, most recently as an exercise tool for aerobic workouts.