Wood racquet manufacture

galain

Hall of Fame
Does anyone know if, during the wood racquet era, the wood used for the frames was specifically felled for racquet manufacture, or did most of the racquet companies back then have other interests in wood (like ski's perhaps, or baseball/cricket bats) and racquet manufacture was an offshoot of this?

Or did the racquet companies buy their wood from lumber yards just to make frames?

I was watching an old Borg vs Laver match last night and the thought struck me.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Does anyone know if, during the wood racquet era, the wood used for the frames was specifically felled for racquet manufacture, or did most of the racquet companies back then have other interests in wood (like ski's perhaps, or baseball/cricket bats) and racquet manufacture was an offshoot of this?

Or did the racquet companies buy their wood from lumber yards just to make frames?

I was watching an old Borg vs Laver match last night and the thought struck me.
It’s of an earlier vintage but, according to Jeanne Cherry, the 19th century racket manufacturer Stanley Morrison & Co sold a limited edition racket called the “Gladstone”. It was so named because it was made from ash trees cut down for this very purpose by the erstwhile Prime Minister and logger sports enthusiast himself on his estate at Hawarden.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
I'm not sure of specifics; but it was a LOT easier to source various species back in the 60s and 70s...not uncommon for a racket to contain 4 or more varieties of laminations for play, strength and aesthetics .
Rossignol had been in the wood ski business long before they acquired the Cragin-Garcia wood racket facility in Van Buren in the 70s and the various woods used in the last years of wood racket manufacture seemed to be fairly plentiful. Perhaps the quantity used for rackets paled in comparison to that of furniture making/home construction, etc.
Bancroft may have been ahead of the "sustainability" curve with their use of bamboo in rackets in the 60s and 70s ;)
 

galain

Hall of Fame
Interesting isn't it, to think that trees could have been felled for the express purpose of making tennis racquets. I really don't know if this is the case but it's kind of startling to think about.
 

Mclud

New User
Hi, a modern production of tennis rackets based on sustainable materials like differents sorts of wood is an extremely intereresting idea. Modern tolerances, design and knowhow of wood construction challenges could yield a tremendous product. The tennis racket of today is far from sustainable when it comes to materials. Look the Prince woodie, Head Vilas and so on. No one (except a marketing rally from Lacoste a few years ago) has given it a try. Just my humble opinion.
 

galain

Hall of Fame
Hi, a modern production of tennis rackets based on sustainable materials like differents sorts of wood is an extremely intereresting idea. Modern tolerances, design and knowhow of wood construction challenges could yield a tremendous product. The tennis racket of today is far from sustainable when it comes to materials. Look the Prince woodie, Head Vilas and so on. No one (except a marketing rally from Lacoste a few years ago) has given it a try. Just my humble opinion.
i thought Pro Kennex were onto a good thing with their Core series of frames that had a wood spine, but they never seemed to take off. The Core 1 #6 was a very sweet racquet.
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
I knew about their field hockey sticks, probably bought four over the years for my daughters. I had no idea they also made cricket bats, rugby balls and netballs. Of course, you don't see a lot of cricket, rugby or netball in the States. Those are nice looking racquets.

Edit: I just saw that they've been making real tennis racquets for quite some time. I've seen a court at the Hall of Fame, but I wouldn't think there'd be much of a market for those.
 
Top