It is largely anecdotal, but legend has it that water slides may have originated around the time of the Ancients (as early as the 7th century B.C. by the Assyrians) which would coincide with the invention of modern irrigation systems and specifically the Roman-style aqueduct. Supposedly, laborers working on the construction of aqueducts learned that they could return to the lower levels of the aqueduct by actually riding in them. This concept allegedly also applied to the somewhat more modern logging industry, whereupon loggers built flumes to transport logs to the sawmill as well as to transport themselves. As swimming pools became popular in the United States in the early 20th century, it didn't take long for enterprising construction professionals to begin incorporating this concept into the recreational consciousness of Americans.
The typical residential pool slide has come a long way since the ubiquitous Aqua Slide n Dive of the 1960's and 1970's.
The Aquaslide n Dive, which was a pool owner's only option for many years.