1. An 18th-century American businessman named Timothy Dexter faked his own death to see how people would react. About 3,000 people attended Dexter's mock wake. Dexter did not see his wife cry, and after he revealed the hoax, he caned her for not grieving his death sufficiently. 2. English inventor Joseph Merlin designed the first roller skates for a masquerade party in 1760. Not bothering to practice, he smashed into a wall-length mirror upon entrance.