Harry C Lee Traveler?

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Avles, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Found a Harry C. Lee "Traveler" at the thrift store the other day-- anyone have any info on the company or the racquet? I couldn't find much online, just an ad for a similar (but not quite identical) racquet from the 1930s. The art-deco font that "Traveler" is written in makes me think this might be from around then as well.

    Unfortunately someone decided to write her name in permanent marker on both sides of the throat. It's still a pretty snazzy-looking old racquet though...
     
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  2. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

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    Harry C Lee was a sporting goods store in New York with it's own line of tennis rackets.
    Until 1930 all rackets had a slot in the shaft near the handle, like the Snauwaert Caravelle used to have.
    The Traveler is not mentioned in any catalog so you maybe on to something. If it's not slotted, it's from after 1930.
    The latest model known is from 1955.
     
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  3. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Hannah19! No sign of a slotted shaft, so it must be one of the later ones.
     
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  4. Mike_G

    Mike_G New User

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    I can help you with some background information about the Harry C. Lee Company. (Tennis and Golf) My father worked for them for 50 years and ran the company in later years ( although not an owner). The “Traveler” was one of several of their models which I am guessing was introduced and named by my father in the 1950’s Their top models were the “Dreadnaught Driver “ and the “BAT”.
    They had a retail store and factory at 10 Warren St in NYC and occupied several floors in the building. The building was an icon in the area in that it had a 8-10 ft Tennis Racquet that hung above the entrance to the store. The Harry C Lee brand was associated with several top players in the early 1900’s and then again in the mid to late ‘50’.s My dad and HC Lee company supported and sponsored Althea Gibson from her early days playing in NYC parks up through and including her US National and Wimbledon championships. When Ms Gibson turned pro , a she endorsed a Harry C Lee racquet which carried her name. Her auto-biography mentions Harry C Lee company and my dad. I still have many of the HC Lee racquets including several used by Ms Gibson.
     
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  5. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Welcome to "Classic Racquet Talk" Mike, what a great first post!

    It would be great to see some photos of your HC Lee racquets, especially some of Althea Gibson's, if you get the chance at some point please?
     
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  6. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    wow.

    Althea.
     
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  7. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Wow, Mike - Welcome, and thank you for that background information. So cool to have you here as a resource. If that building could tell stories...
     
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  8. jerrym

    jerrym New User

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    Althea Gibson's racket

    Hi,
    I am a french tennis coach and I am writing a book about the winners of the french Open do you know the name of the model of the racket used by Althea Gibson during the french Open in 1956? Many Thanks. JCM
     
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