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George Peter Nissen
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Birth: Feb. 1, 1914
Benton County
Iowa, USA
Death: Apr. 7, 2010
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA

George Nissen was a gymnast, diver, and sports pioneer. He is credited for the invention of the trampoline. His invention was inspired by watching trapeze artists bouncing off a safety net. In 1934 he created his first workable prototype from canvas and junkyard scraps mainly from strips of inner tube rubber. In 1937 with two friends, went across country and Mexico calling themselves the Three Leonardos and performing what was called rebound tumbling. George didn't like the name and changed the name to trampolin after the Spanish word meaning diving board or spring board. He trademarked the word Trampoline and opened up the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline and Tumbling Co. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. During World War Two he served in the Navy and his invention was used to train pilots in orientating themselves in the air. The most famous publicity shot was taken in New York in 1960 where George is jumping on a trampoline with a kangaroo in Central Park. Switzerland has an annual trampoline event called the Nissen Cup. The trampoline debuted at the 2000 Sydney Olympics after his workable prototype was created more than 60 years ago. George was in the audience the first night of the competition. The trampoline is a worldwide phenomenon and loved by children, young and old. 
Created by: LMEllis
Record added: Jun 17, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53807839


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