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retrowagen
01-18-2010, 09:11 PM
Found this interesting prewar Wilson at a thrift store the other day. I recalled (darned photographic memory) that none other than Bud Collins treasured this model as his first tennis racquet, borrowed from a girl over a summer. He wrote about it in World Tennis magazine, in 1984. "Citizen Cane had his Rosebud, I had my Onwentsia." If someone can put me in touch with Mr. Collins, I'll gladly re-unite him with Onwentsia.

It seems to be a lesser model in the Wilson line-up, although the graphics are interesting and nicely done, with gold lettering outlined in black. From all I can gather from my meagre research, the magical-sounding name,"Onwentsia," might pertain to a country club in Illinois? And wasn't Wilson Sporting Goods out of Illinois as well?

The grip is of wide plastic or synthetic strip directly over wood. The wood seems to be not the hardest of woods. The butt cap (as it were) is quite primitive by modern standards. And it appears the the racquet's shoulders had some sort of facing on them, now unglued but with stubborn remnants gone. The ancient gut string is also interesting to study. I won't be hitting any balls with her.

http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/retrowagen/Closet/onwentsia_1.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/retrowagen/Closet/onwentsia_2.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/retrowagen/Closet/onwentsia_3.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/retrowagen/Closet/onwentsia_5.jpg

pshulam
01-19-2010, 03:52 AM
I won't be hitting any balls with her.
Why not? Worry that it might break? See how it feels .. it might be pleasantly surprising.

retrowagen
01-19-2010, 11:40 AM
Why not? Worry that it might break? See how it feels .. it might be pleasantly surprising.
I won't hazard a try for the same reason I wouldn't attempt to drive an original-condition vintage automobile on 70-year-old tires across town. In this case, it is just too cool to study the uneven string with its coagulations of proteinatious stuff, than chance it for a few hits to hear them pop. A racquet like this is far less of an artifact with new string in it. It'd be like putting new rims and tires on a Model T, and then parking the car in a museum... just wrong.

When I get the urge to hit with some lumber, I grab a Maxply Fort with decent string.

max
01-20-2010, 11:20 AM
You're right. Onwentsia is a CC in Illinois. Wilson's still based in Chicago.