Rackets 1870s - 1930s 1940s - 1970s 1980s - 2000s

The first known Lawn tennis rackets used in the 1870s were an adaptation of those used in the game of Real Tennis many having the characteristic lop sided and quite small heads. However over the next 20 years or so a more regular and specialised shape evolved for the game to the design and liking of the top players of the period. This shape held good without much change over the next 80 years.
Development was constrained by the use of wood although there are many examples of experiments with other materials including steel and aluminium at an early date not always successful or accepted. It was not until the use of the lighter weight metals in the 1970s followed by fibreglass and carbon graphite that development really took off with oversized and more powerful rackets.
Rackets are quite difficult to accurately date but this section attempts to approximate the date of manufacture of the items in the collection and shows a fascinating development and innovation in design through a century of tennis.

Rackets 1890s - 1930s 1940s - 1970s 1980s - 2000s