Ever wondered who Invented Jumping Castles?
Well it seems Jumping Castles were invented by mistake. The first inflatable structure was designed in 1959 by John Scurlock from Shreveport, Louisiana. He was experimenting with inflatable covers for tennis courts, when he noticed his employees enjoyed jumping on the covers. Well he figured, that since these” tennis covers” were so much fun to jump on, then why not start makings inflatable structures for adults and children to use for parties. The first generation inflatables, where simply large inflatable mattresses, with no walls, so they were certainly fun to jump on, but were vevy unsafe. The units were called “space pillows”, cause it you felt like you were bouncing on the moon, as you jumped on the inflatable.
In 1968, his wife, Frances, started the first inflatable rental company. In 1976, the company up-scaled, and started to produce and sell Jumping Castles for others to hire out. These were hired to children’s events such as birthday parties, school fairs and company picnics.
In 1986, their son, Frank Scurlock, opended up the first all inflatable indoor play park called “Fun Factory” in Louisiana. In 1987 Frank opened a second play park in Memphis Tennessee called “Fun Plex”.
Frank was trying to further improve the inflatables, so In 1967, he added an inflatable top was added for rain protection. The units were called “space walks”. The units kept rain off, but because they were enclosed, there would get too hot and stuffy in the long hot summer days.
In 1974, a new design with inflatable columns and with netting sidewalls. This new product line was called “Jupiter Jump”. Many of these new units had designs of animals, like giraffes, horses, elephants, etc, so this new range of inflatables were called “Inflatable Zoos”. If you look around on the web, you can still find lots of these old “Inflatable Zoos”, still available for hire.
These are modern designs that are used in today’s jumping castles. Frank was quite the innovator, and kept try new ways to further improve, and enhance the jumping castle. In th e early 1990’s created the first commercial inflatable water slide, calling it the “Aqua Tunnel”. So, it was in America that Jumping Castles were invented and enhanced over the years.
Now jumping castle hire is one of the most popular choices for birthday parties, social gatherings, local sporting club, churches and schools. We infact have most of castles made in the USA.
We hire out 8 different American Jumping Castles. They are found in our 5 in 1 Combo Jumping Castles page, these castles are from the Ninja Jump Company, based in Los Angeles.