Collector. The Table Tennis. Ron Crayden Founding Member Table Tennis Collectors Society. Winter 2008

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1 The Table Tennis Collector 47 Winter 2008 Journal of the Table Tennis Collectors Society Ron Crayden Founding Member Table Tennis Collectors Society In this issue... Ron Crayden Retrospective page 2 Great Shots page 3 Newspaper Research by Steve Grant pages 6-8 Gerald Gurney Postcard Update page 9 Fact or Fiction 2 + New Discoveries pages Auction Action pages Meet the Members: Jean Devys of France pages Philatelic Update pages Classic Barna Rackets pages Heavy Metal: Preview of the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 page 24

2 The Table Tennis Collector No.47 Winter 2008 Editor: Chuck Hoey, Curator ITTF Museum, Switzerland The power of the internet... a little promotion, and a milestone is reached. Over 1 million pages of our journal have been downloaded!! This proves that we have a broad audience of readers who enjoy the history of our colorful sport, and doubtless many more collectors have been created. I will do my best to continue to improve each issue. Yes, it is hard to believe, but Americans were once a powerful force in Table Tennis. Our Great Shots features some of America s world class stars at a recent reunion in New York. Ruth Aarons, America s only World Singles Champion, and Jimmy McClure had to watch the reunion from above. Steve Grant continues his remarkable series of research articles, this time focusing on ball pick-up devices. Meet the Members introduces master philatelist and long-time Table Tennis journalist, Jean Devys of France. Heavy Metal takes an early look at pins for the Beijing Olympic Games, and our friend Gerald Gurney shows some unusual postcards. The Book Corner features a fine work by the late Ron Crayden of England, a Founding Member of the Table Tennis Collectors Society. Our Dutch friends have produced yet another update to their ever popular Philatelic Pages. Your Editor has investigated the history of celluloid and how a ball is made, along with a retrospective on the classic Barna rackets, and also filed a Fact or Fiction postscript on the origins of the pimpled rubber bat.. Lastly Auction Action reports the latest trends in TT memorabilia. Ron Crayden: It is with deep regret to report the loss of one of our founding members, Ron Crayden of England. Ron was not only a talented international player, but also an outstanding team coach and captain, prolific author and collector par excellence. Besides many awards that Ron won, his collection included over 400 books on table tennis. His outstanding book, The Story of Table Tennis - the first 100 years was published in 1995, and is often consulted by your Editor. This book is featured in our Book Corner, page 21. Table Tennis Illustrated #65 has a great 4-page review of Ron s career. From the Editor This is the eighth issue of the Table Tennis Collector series to be published by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Museum. I am pleased to continue the following innovative policies: 1. Free subscriptions 2. Full color production 3. pdf downloads via the Museum website: 4. Free classified ads 5. An increase to 4 issues per year 6. A 50% increase in content, to 24 pages An announcement with links to each issue will be ed to all members as soon as the downloads are available. Contact the editor if you are having any diffiulties with the download and we will work out a solution best for your system configuration. I want to stress the continuing need for articles from the membership for publication in our journal. With active participation the journal can become more educational and diverse, reflecting the interests of our global membership. Publishing schedule: Spring issue: May 1 Submit articles by April 15 Summer issue: August 1 Submit articles by July 15 Fall issue: Nov. 1 Submit articles by Oct. 15 Winter issue: Feb. 1 Submit articles by Jan. 15 Copyright Notice Because of numerous abuses in the past, previous permissions are now cancelled. If you want to use ITTF Museum images, you must now apply for permission in writing & agree to the ITTF Museum copyright policy. Use of such images requires the following caption credit, clearly readable and immediately adjacent to each image: Copyright ITTF Museum All Rights Reserved If such images are used on the internet, then the museum website address must be an operational clickable hot link that when clicked transfers to the ITTF Museum website. Reminder: Submit your membership details to the editor: 2

3 Great Shots: Historic Photographs (l-r) Sol Schiff, Dick Miles, Lou Pagliaro and Marty Reisman. Standing in the background is Dean Johnson, who prepared the report below.. Table Tennis Legends Reunite On Sunday, October 14th, Dick Miles and his wife, Mary hosted a small gathering of legendary table tennis players of the 1930s, 40s and 50s at their apartment in Manhattan. The "legends" group included Sol Schiff, Marty Reisman and Lou Pagliaro. For more than 3 hours, the group recalled the days when they and other American table tennis players competed successfully on the world stage and defeated the world's best including world champions Victor Barna, Richard Bergmann, Johnny Leach and Bohumil Vana. One of the highlights of the afternoon was a good natured, humorous exchange between Marty Reisman and Sol Schiff. The lively discussion centered on "finger-spin" serves in use in the 30s - and around their 1949 Nationals semi's match during which a controversial "delay" occurred after the first game while Marty repaired his racket. Before the afternoon's get-together concluded, however, they buried the hatchet and shook hands. The 30s, 40s and 50s was a time when table tennis captured the imagination of the public - both here and abroad - when tournaments and exhibitions drew excited crowds of thousands to large venues and elegant, up-scale hotels and top players enjoyed the celebrity of entertainers and athletes. To honor the oldest member of the group - 90-year old Sol Schiff - Dean Johnson presented a slide show profiling Sol's career. In a 4-decade career as a player, Sol Schiff probably won more National titles than any other American, beginning with the U.S. Nationals in He led the 1937 Swaythling Cup team in Baden, Austria with an heroic 21-1 record, including wins over Bergmann, Barna and Vana. In 1937 he was in the top 3 in world rankings. In 1938 he won the World Men's Doubles with Jimmy McClure. Between 1933 and 1966, Sol won hundreds of titles in singles, doubles, mixed doubles and seniors in both the U.S. and Canada. Following his career as a player, Sol served for 10 terms as president of the USTTA and was a tireless International Ambassador for the sport. Lou Pagliaro won the U.S. Nationals 4-times - in 1940, 1941, 1942 and, at age 33, in He was a semi-finalist in the 1947 World Championships in Paris, defeating Barna, Andersson, Urchetti, Amouretti, and Ehrlich before losing to Sido, who lost to Vana in the final; which earned Pagliaro the distinction of becoming the first American man to reach the semi-final of the World Singles Championships. Dick Miles, winner of the U.S. Nationals a record 10 times, was a member of the 1948 Swaythling Cup team; with a record of 10-0 he defeated the entire English team - Victor Barna, Johnny Leach and about-to-be World Singles Champion Richard Bergmann, as well as the entire Hungarian team of Josef Koczian, Ferenc Sido and Ferenc Soos, all of whom were already or were soon to be World Singles or Doubles Champions. In London, in 1948, Dick, and his partner Thelma Thall "Tybie" Sommer won the World's Mixed Doubles title. Dick was also a semi-finalist in the 1959 World's in Dortmund, Germany. In 1947, at age 17, Marty Reisman won both the Juniors and the first of 3 Men's titles at the Canadian Nationals. Marty is also a 2-time winner of the U.S. Nationals (1958/1960). But his most memorable achievement was winning the English Open in 1949, defeating Dick Miles in the semis and 5-time World Champion Victor Barna in the final. In the 1949 World Championships in Stockholm, Marty defeated Ivan Andreadis 3 straight in the quarters but lost to twice World Champion Bohumil Vana in the semi's. Pagliaro, Reisman and Miles are the only American men to ever reach the semi-final of a World Singles Championship. 3

4 Reflections on Celluloid and the Making of the Celluloid Ball Chuck Hoey, Curator ITTF Museum with Thanks to NITTAKU in Japan C ellulose, Camphor, Parkesine, Xylonite... just what do all those scientific words have to do with Table Tennis? In this article we will examine the history of celluloid and the development of the celluloid ball. Research has not yet discovered when the first celluloid ball was made and who made it. Our distinguished colleague Steve Grant has found an American ad for such a ball as early as The fact remains that the introduction of the celluloid ball to the game of Ping Pong in 1900 sparked an international craze as the game became a huge success. It is said that the seeds of invention stem from incentive and markets. In the 19th century the need for a synthetic substitute for costly natural materials such as ivory and silk became a driving force for inventors. Let s meet the key personalities behind the invention of celluloid. Alexander Parkes of England developed a form of synthetic ivory known as Parkesine, which earned a bronze medal at the 1862 World s Fair in London. Parkseine was made from cellulose, the primary structural component of green plants, treated with nitric acid & a solvent. However, his product warped and cracked easily, and Parkes was not able to solve the problem on an industrial scale, and his company closed in The manager of the Parkesine company was Daniel Spill, who pursued his own efforts after Parkes failure. Spill made minor changes to the manufacturing process and founded his own company in 1869, patenting his product under the names Xylonite or Ivoride. Table Tennis collectors will recognize the name Xylonite, derived from the chemical term pyroxyline (nitrocellulose), and TT balls were advertised under that name. Parallelling the British efforts in the 1860s, John W. Hyatt of Albany, NY experimented with cellulose nitrate, hoping to win a reward of $10,000 for a successful ivory substitute for making billiard balls. However, the balls sometimes exploded when they collided, due to the volatile nature of the chemicals. Can you imagine such an early version of a celluloid ball for Table Tennis - one might have had a truly explosive forehand! Together with his brother Isaiah, Hyatt continued experiments and in 1870 patented a pressurized process using cellulose nitrate and camphor to produce a material that Isaiah named celluloid in Their early results had flaws, and when used in dentures there was a strong camphor taste. Nevertheless they continued refining the celluloid to a consistent quality, and they licensed companies to produce a variety of celluloid consumer goods, such as combs, collars, cuffs, fans, piano keys, cutlery handles, trinket boxes, dolls and toys. Spill reacted to the success of Hyatt s celluloid by filing a series of lawsuits, claiming he had the patent for this material. But the Hyatts were able to demonstrate that their product was produced by a different chemical process, though both involved the use of camphor. A U.S. Supreme Court judge eventually ruled that Parkes was first to patent the use of camphor in the process of producing artificial plastic from nitrocellulose, so Spill had no grounds for suit against Hyatt. NITTAKU of Japan has produced high quality Table Tennis balls for many years. They have kindly provided an interesting series of photographs that show in detail the main steps in the production of a celluloid ball. Millions of balls are produced annually, yet at several steps they are handled one-by-one! The process begins by cutting the raw celluloid sheets into circular pieces, which are then softened in a water (70%) and alcohol solution. The softened circles are then pressed into a half-sphere mold, and then dried for two days. The molding of the half spheres is accomplished in 90 C water Next the edges of each half-sphere are trimmed, one piece at a time: The trimming of the edges, one-by-one. The next step involves machine measurement of each ball for thickness, and separation of the balls according to like thickness. 4

5 The half spheres are prepared for joining by measurement Half-spheres of the same thickness are then joined together by glue to form a whole sphere. At this point the spheres are not yet perfectly round. The second molding process creates perfectly round balls & smooths the connection seams. Next the balls are again weighed and separated, then polished in batches by weight using special polishing stones, resulting in a uniform ball weight. The balls are then cleansed of any polishing residue, followed by checking each ball for cracks. The half spheres are joined together with a gluing process. The balls are then stored in large mesh bags and dried for one week in a climate controlled room. Then the balls are weighed, one-by-one, to within one-hundredth of a gram. and the balls are separated based on their weight. Crack checking, one-by-one, under light. The balls then proceed down a spiral path and fed onto a long slope. Those that fall off early into separating bins become 1- star or 2-star quality, suitable for training; the balls that roll straight to the end are 3-star best quality. The balls are then stamped with logo and star rating and packaged. Voila! Weight checking, one-by-one Next the balls are placed in a roller and the surfaces are cleansed using a special polishing agent. After the polishing step, the balls are rinsed to remove residual polishing powder. At this stage the balls are then placed into molds and made perfectly round, and the join line is made smooth. The balls are then returned to the drying room for one month. The final roll to determine quality star rating. Bins are positioned under the slope to sort the balls; the last bin catches the 3-star balls In the 1930s a 3-piece ball was produced under the brand name of Meteor. I have many examples of this ball, and they appear to be well-made, indeed they were advertised as stronger than the 2-piece ball. But I have always wondered just how they were made - it must have been a more complicated, and thus more expensive process than described above. Perhaps the patent reveals some of the manufacturing details. The 3-piece ball persisted for a few years but did not survive. 5

6 Collectibles from the Early Era... As Seen through U.S. Newspapers of the Day Part IV: Follow the Bouncing Ball by Steve Grant (USA) O ur journey through early U.S. newspaper archives looked most recently at sets and rackets from the ping pong craze, including some luxury and artistic equipment, in Issues 45 and 46. In this Part IV, we examine the era's balls, ball retrievers, and tables. If you come across an early lone celluloid ball, it may actually predate the game. According to the Brooklyn (NY) Eagle in January 1902, the "distinctively English game...actually owes its existence to the American invention of the celluloid ball, commonly sold in the streets here half a dozen years ago." Indeed, one can find newspaper mention of these balls as far back as 1888, Early celluloid ball with though they were probably very thick seam. ITTF Museum light with protruding seams. Collection The new game caught on so quickly that ball manufacturers were caught flat-footed. In January '02, the Chicago Tribune reported that "Chicago is suffering from a cruel famine - a famine of ping-pong balls. It is a famine that even riches will not ameliorate, for...not one of the precious ping-pong balls is offered for sale." Said one store owner, "We have one man who does nothing but stand at the telephone," telling desperate callers that no balls are left. "We're thinking of loading a phonograph to answer the 'phone. It would save the salary of a man." (Such technology was actually under development at the time.) It was reported that bad playing tempers were worsening the supply imbalance. In that regard, one widely syndicated article in 1902 explained how to restore a damaged ball by dipping it in hot water, making a bulge pop back out. "One British factory is now turning out six tons of ping pong balls per week," according to the Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard in April '02. From the Brooklyn Eagle that month: "One reason why American merchants are compelled to purchase supplies of ping pong balls from British manufacturers is because they are not able to produce the xylonite spheres in an absolutely round form. The British maker guards this secret and as a result exports great quantities of the balls to the U.S. The demand is such that no balls are kept in stock." The men's finalists at the Abraham & Strauss store tournament in May '02 were a bit disappointed with the softness of the balls. "These are all right for the ordinary run of players," wrote the New York World, "but for men with a fast serve a hard ball, such as the best English makes, is necessary for good results." Jaques & Son, the owner of the Ping Pong name in Britain, was a ball source for Parker Brothers (which owned the U.S. rights to the name), as evidenced by a lawsuit still going through the courts in 1905 in which Jaques sought payment from Parker for 1,000 gross of MATCH ping pong balls, having already been paid for 5,250 gross, according to court records. Balls became more available and less expensive as 1902 went on. Going back to December '01, Wanamaker's had advertised them in the Trenton (NJ) Times at 50 a dozen, with expensive covered balls at 30 each. The same store in April '02 in the NY Times offered American balls at 35 a dozen; imported, 40 ; covered, $1.35. Macy's in May advertised balls from France for 24 a dozen; from England, 36 cents. In September Loeser & Co. in the Brooklyn Eagle offered "Imported English Halex Balls" for 36 a dozen. Its October ad described Halex as "famous" and "much heavier than the ordinary ball." While celluloid balls were key to ping pong's success, they were a chore to chase around and often disappeared under and behind home furnishings. At one New York dinner party, "the women were too tight laced to pick the ball from the floor when it fell and the men were too lazy," reported a correspondent for the Colorado Springs (CO) Gazette in April Solutions were put forth. "In regard to balls that get under the furniture, a dachshund or a weasel trained to retrieve the lost balls will be a great convenience," expressed the Buffalo (NY) Express in May. From the humor page of the Racine (WI) Journal in September, entitled "She Took Him": "He's a fine retriever, miss." "But I don't want a hunting dog." "Aw, he don't fetch birds. He retrieves pingpong balls." Should the chosen mammal not cooperate, an ad In the Shops column in the NY Times in May provided an alternative: "No more ping-pong knees if one is willing to spend 40 or 50 cents for a retriever. Picking up the balls is delightful for exercise, but in warm weather if one still clings to the game undue activity must be eliminated. The retrievers do much to help in this matter of elimination. There are two kinds. One is a square wire cage at the end of a long wooden handle to scoop up the ball, and the other retriever is a rubber cup, also at the end of a handle, which picks the ball up by suction." Ayres ball pick-up tube Army Navy catalog.. Steve Grant Collection 6

7 The New York World also mentioned two retrievers that month: "One is a steel cage contrivance with steel springs, where rubber has hitherto been used. A ball can be got out of any corner with this and the steel springs won't break as did the rubber. Another is a variation of the rubber cup scheme. One cup is placed at the end of the stick, the other on a bent wire extending from the other end. This can be introduced almost anywhere." "Retrievers or Pick-ups, all-wire, 50 cents." That store advertised retrievers at only 10 cents in October. An observer from St. Louis saw his first ping pong game at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel ping-pong parlor. "Those boys that run around picking up the balls with long sticks reminds me of chicken stealers," he said, according to the NY World in September '02. "That's what chicken stealers use to get a grip on the necks of the broilers. They could make a great hit by training dogs to get the balls." Slazenger Ball Lifter From the Steve Grant Collection: Left: Jaques ball pick-up device, c.1902 Right: French ball retriever, from a Tennis de Salon set, c.1902, with rare striped balls. "The craze over ping-pong...has resulted in a flood of applications pouring in upon the patent officer," said the Oshkosh (WI) Northwestern in September '02. "...Most...now being filed are for 'pickers-up,' a device...for removing the ball from corners and places where one does not care to use the hands." From the Cedar Falls (IA) Gazette in January 1903: "The chief need of the ping-pong player - some method for picking up, without stooping, the balls that drop from the table - has at last been filled by an inexpensive bit of apparatus which has recently been introduced in the East. It is a slender stick, which may be kept under the table like the 'bridge' used in billiards. At the end of the stick is a deep cup of soft rubber with a bell-shaped mouth, just a trifle larger than the celluloid ping-pong ball. It is only necessary to 'jab' the ball and it comes up without fail on the end of the stick." From the Popular Science column in the April 25, 1903, Summit County (Colorado) Journal, captioned "For the Use of Stout Ping Pong Players," the accompanying drawing is explained as follows: "When the older members of the family seek amusement with the game of table tennis, it generally falls to the lot of the children to chase the balls and pick them up off the floor, but if there are no children and the members of the party tend toward obesity the game is robbed of its sport and is bound to be postponed until some more auspicious time. An English inventor has produced the appliance which we here illustrate, which will enable one to pick up the balls, without any exertion, from under furniture, in corners, against a wall or in any other awkward position. The earliest retriever mention I found was in the Oswego (NY) Times in March '02: "A great convenience for players in quite general use in England is a ball picker-up or retriever." Abraham & Strauss in April was advertising retrievers at 24 cents, 39 cents, and 98 cents, unspecified as to style. Macy's that same month advertised "Ball Lifters, with spring clamps, 39c; with net, 66c." Siegel Cooper, in June in the NY World, had Unusual step-by-step ad for a ball picker-up, made by the Gilson Novelty Works, Ottawa. ITTF Museum Collection A hotel on the other side of the country thought it had a different solution. The San Francisco Call reported in May '02 that the Hotel Mateo has a specially made table, covered with red felt. "The crowning feature is the rim of wood, two inches high, which keeps the balls from rolling off so easily." [Ed: This is reminiscent of the Foster set from 1890.] A London equipment maker said in September 02 that he expects ping pong to remain popular. From the Kingston (Jamaica) Gleaner: "There will be improvements, of course. I am already making tables with ball pockets, and today a gentleman has been in to inquire the price of cord netting, which he proposes to erect around his tables to keep the balls, as it were, within grip. Many customers complained last year of the bother and discomfort involved in diving and searching for balls. To obviate this, we are selling patent screens, which will fold up and can be easily stored away." More now on the topic of tables: "...there are tables with a covering such as is used on billiard tables," said the Atlanta Constitution in March '02, "but on these a large covered ball is used and stringed rackets. The beginner usually prefers the uncovered board, but many of the better players are taking to the covered table." 7

8 marked in white, each at $1.75." Abraham & Strauss also offered the covers, "the most practical that are made, may be used on almost any kind of a table, either square or round corners." Plus, "Table Tennis Bat Covers," at 24 cents, 29 cents, or 34 cents, designed for different bat sizes. "Ping Pong Ball Racks" were 13 cents, probably to be attached to the table. In the Brooklyn Eagle in March '02, department store Loeser & Co. advertised "Ping Pong Cloths, regulation size, 1.75 and Ping Pong Table Tops, at 9.00 each. Everyone who plays Ping Pong must have a top - as a rule the average carpenter makes a clumsy affair. These are very light." Ingersoll & Co. in the NY Times in May advertised "Ping-Pong folding tables, covered with green billiard cloth or painted, 4x8 $10.75, 5x9 $13.00." A few weeks later they cut the prices by $2-$3. By the way, this store offered the 1902 Arnold Parker book The Game of Ping Pong and How to Play It, cloth bound, free with any set purchase. Another new book, according to the NY Times in March '02, was "Ping Pong. Rules and History of the Game. 16mo. By F. Hammatt Norton. (Pamphlet.)" Parker Brothers sued that publisher (or possibly another) for unauthorized use of the Ping Pong name, according to the Salt Lake (UT) Herald in May. "R.R. Cookman, treasurer of the Webber Lumber Co., has been granted a patent right on the construction of a three section ping pong...table," said the Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel in July. "They are the most practical tables on the market, because they can be folded into a small space and are so very light." The Spalding & Co. store in October advertised a "New 'Box' Table" in the Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, regulation size for $10, which "shuts up like a dress suit case." Ball holders, attached to the table side by rubber suction cups Army-Navy catalog. Steve Grant Collection On a side note, the Portsmouth (NH) Herald in February '02 said, "In England, the regulation sets are provided with side nets, which are several inches higher than the net itself. These are used to prevent players from returning the ball into their opponents' half of the table outside of the posts." Jaques side net extender, c.1902 Steve Grant Collection A sporting goods store in the NY World in September 02 offered "a New Table - entire departure from old style. When not in use table top turns up and, pushed against wall, forms a seat. The seat has hinged cover in which to place your ping pong or table tennis." I could use something like that. Does any reader know of a single example of the era's tables saved from the firewood pile? Wright & Ditson portable table with cloth-covered top c.1902 Johnson Sporting Goods advertised table tennis outfits in the Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel in April. "We can also supply green oil cloth table covers, 7 feet by 3 feet 9 inches, with court lines Time now to put away our equipment and go out on the town. Part V in the next issue will examine the era's ping-pong jewelry, and later Part VI explores special apparel for the fashionable fanatic. Of course players need an opportunity to show off this pongwear, so Part VII will provide everything necessary for the successful ping pong party. 8

9 Postcard Update by Founding Member Gerald N. Gurney I have complete sets of the Galyon, Shakespeare, Thackeray and Fairyland cards - as well as most of the early, individual cards - all of which have been reproduced in previous issues of the Table Tennis Collector. These are all very well known, but here is a selection of cards which may be new to readers. Right: Not strictly a postcard - no print on the back. Designed by Stanley R. Flint, but to what purpose? A curiosity! Handwritten on the back is Brother James. [Ed: G.P.O.=Government Post Office] Middle: Original artwork (badly drawn), a mirror image of the familiar Lance Thackeray card, Tuck Write Away series 642.II Bottom left: The recreation room, for table tennis, chess and reading, Holmwood House, Colchester, only 20 minutes from my house. c.1930s Bottom right: The Conservatory, Green Gables. Good use is being made of a dining-table, no doubt in a boarding house or hotel. c.1920s 9

10 Fact or Fiction? Part Deux by Chuck Hoey, Curator, ITTF Museum Following up on my previous Fact or Fiction article about the origins of the pimpled rubber racket, more research has located a second patent, applied for on January 21, 1902, only 41 days later than Frank Bryan s patent, yet strikingly similar. William Laird of Ireland claimed: This invention relates to improvements in racquets used when playing the game of ping-pong or table tennis... The invention consists of a wooden racquet the face of which is covered by a resilient roughened or corrugated substance... [Ed: Above, Left to Right] Fig. 1 shows a racquet the face of which is coverd with rubber having pyramid shaped projections thereon. Fig. 2 shows a racquet with same covering on the face, but laid at a different angle thereon. Fig. 3 shows a racquet the face of which is roughened with cylindrical projections. According to this invention the racquet is made of wood of any desired outline and finish, and the face or playing surface (or both sides) is or are covered with a thin sheet of rubber, or other elastic material, the striking portion of the face being either corrugated or roughened so that the desired spring or resiliency and grip on the ball are obtained. In his concluding summary Laird refers to only roughened or corrugated rubber for the surface covering. Comparing the two applications, why then was Laird also granted a patent, given Bryan s earlier patent for a racquet faced with a sheet of rubber glued upon the same. The rubber face is preferably roughened or provided with a series of small projections as shown, which greatly aid in getting screw [Ed: spin] on the ball. (see Fig. 2, right) The keywords: rubber, roughened, and projections appear in both patents! The only significant differences are: 1. Laird refers to spring or resiliency and grip on the ball while Bryan mentions only screw (spin) on the ball; and 2. Laird is more specific about the projections: pyramid or cylindrical shapes. In either case E.C.Goode and his supposed coin mat discovery in a pharmacy remains not fact, but unproven fiction. Example of racquet with Pyramid pips. ITTF Museum Collection Diagram from Frank Bryan s patent, No (1901) for a racquet covered with rubber and series of small projections 10

11 New Discoveries Old Treasures Amazing that two examples of advertisements for Jaques Gossima in 1891 have surfaced in recent months. This well-preserved example is from the back of a rules pamphlet. The page lists Some of Messrs. Jaques & Sons Latest and Best Indoor Games. Heading the list is Gossima, the only game on the page with an added comment, A Splendid Game, so the other games must not have been good enough to merit a splendid endorsement! Actually it is difficult to imagine this game being so splendid, given the 12-inch (30cm) high net, and 50mm webbed cork ball with poor bounce. Similar to the advertisement that appeared in the TT Collector 46, six different varieties of Gossima were announced, ranging in price from 2 shillings 6-pence, to 21 shillings. The games listed on the flyer may be had at all respectable fancy dealers. Yet another title of Ping Pong sheet music added to our list of over 40 pieces published during This example was more difficult to find because the words Ping Pong do not appear in the title. Great cultural evidence of the impact of the new game sensation during the peak years of its popularity. The lyrics: I ve played at marbles when a boy, I ve played at cricket too, Last night I saw a ping-pong game, which I ll describe to you. They had a ball, two little bats, a net about so long. At first the girl went ping and then the gentleman went pong! What a funny game - twas really most amusing, til presently they dropped the ball, tho neither was to blame; and then the lady and the gent - both underneath the table went, and stayed there nearly half-an-hour, What a funny game! [+other game verses] 11

12 Auction Action Boxed children s tea service, $222 Ping-Pong in Fairyland card 6, sold for an amazing 42 Pounds despite the heavy horizontal crease across the whole of the card! Fairyland card 1 auctioned for a strong 74 Pounds, another for 65 GBP Three varieties of the Table Tennis automoton were produced in China. This is the rare variety, the action generated by the wheels turning when pulled. $118, but often higher Later a battery powered version was made, ($160)then the latest, a keywind variant $ cover showing Ping Pong shoes, $145 Rare booklet by the Hon. Sec. of the famed Cavendish Table Tennis Club, Sold for only 68 GBP in somewhat distressed condition. This little book, one of the early works, commanded an staggering 472 Pounds in a auction with spirited bidding, despite being in only fair condition! Louis Wain cats humour booklet sold for 280GBP! Fine boxed medal from 1935 World Championships, awarded to J.M.Rose (ENG) Referee. 107GBP Spalding set with elegant cane rackets, $333, with original rules & ball box 12

13 Set with stained pyrography bats, $540. The image is reminiscent of a scene from a lawn tennis postcard. Racket Rackets continue to attract great interest, especially the early Stiga models. So many are surfacing, no doubt because every- one is trying to cash in on the trend. Best advice is to wait, & when all the big spenders have these early Stigas then watch the prices drop. Racket collectors should also monitor the Swedish auction site: where many vintage Stiga rackets are offered. New member Martin Senn is compiling a list of all known Stiga rackets over the years. Antique rackets also show up regularly on ebay, mostly the usual drum battledores and plain, cork or sandpaper wood bats, for which the best advice is to wait for a bargain. A fine pair of pyrographed wood bats with a lawn tennis scene (left) attracted great interest, as did another example with a rare Table Tennis action scene. Report This STIGA Mellis model did not sell at 3000 Swedish Krona on tradera.com STIGA Mellis $377, compared to $821 reported in issue 46. Pays to wait! STIGA Ehrlich with slant cut perforated grip. $317 A second example sold for 3000 SEK (~$476) Butterfly Klampar H-model $ Rare action scene on pyrographic art bat, $285. An alert Steve Grant noticed that the design was copied from the cover of Ladies Home Journal, Oct.1902 $329, quite a bargain for this rare model, a Stiga Ehrlich Special, slant cut with no holes and surfaced with very thick sponge. 3 French vellum drum rackets with thin round heads and stylized turned handles fetched 161 Euros. 13

14 Meet the Members: Jean Devys (FRA) Jean Devys of France is certainly a man of passion, for his 50-years as a Table Tennis journalist, for his world class philatelic collections, for the bicycle sport, indeed a passion for life! Jean began collecting Table Tennis stamps in 1973, after his visit to China as part of the French delegation (the first to visit China). His Father and Grandfather were also serious philatelists, so Jean has it in his blood. He also collects Siam/Thailand stamps, and cycling philatelic items related to the Tour de France and the Paris-Roubaix races. His most favorite piece is an imperforated sheet of color proofs of the French stamp issued in 1977 in honor of Jacques Secretin and Claude Bergeret winning the World Mixed Doubles Championships, and the 50th anniversary of the French TT Federation. Only six such sheets exist intact! Jean is also proud to have the rare 1937 World Championship mark. One piece that has eluded him is the 1956 Jugoslavia imperforated issue, from a set of 6 for the Olympic Games in Melbourne. Jean knows most everyone in the sport, having attended 19 World Championships, many international Opens as well as major European events, and 45 French Championships. His experience and love for Table Tennis has certainly carried over into his fabulous collection. Bravo Jean! Jean s many years of experience as a collector has taught him not to confuse philately and business. He advises to reject pieces and the many varieties that are not official and were issued simply to make money. Some of Jean s favorite memories include: o Founding the S.M.Roubaix Club in 1952, with the young players trained only by club members, who qualified for their first national championships o The final of the 1969 World Championships in Munich, between Itoh (JPN) and Schoeler (GER) o The first French Gold Medal, thanks to Claude Bergeret and Jacques Secrétin winning the Mixed Doubles at the 1977 World Championships Jean was 9 years in the ITTF Council, 33 years in the French National Committee (Life President), a Vice-President of the European TT Union, and Vice President of les Amis de Paris- Roubaix for cycling. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Association of French Collectors of Table Tennis (AFCTT), which has had as many as 140 members. An impressive record! Jean has exhibited parts of his Table Tennis collection on many occasions; a special exhibit will be created in his honor at the ITTF Museum. Left: The ultra-rare 1937 World Championship mark. Though considered a private mark, it is an historic & important piece. A mark of the same format was also used at the venue of the 1933 World Championships, also held in Baden bei Wien Above: Delightful montage of Jean Devys, using a photo from 1962 when he qualified for the French national championships in Rennes. Toufflers is a small village between Roubaix and the Belgian border, and the club has named the playing area the Salle Jean-Devys in his honor. 14

15 Left: FDCs of the first TT stamps: 1949 Nicaragua sheet/4 aereo & registered 60c correos. Above: Rare color proofs of the 1977 French stamp celebrating the World Championship victory in the Mixed Doubles by Jaques Secrétin and Claude Bergeret, as well as the 50th anniversary of the French Table Tennis Federation Above: Personalized wood plate in honor of Jean Devys, presented at the collectors gathering in Salbris, France in 1990 Right: Card with special postmark and cachet from the 1990 Salbris meeting. The ultimate honor for a true master philatelist. Congratulations Monsieur Devys! 15

16 The Barna Racket A Retrospective The Barna racket was one of the most popular of all time, and even today they are highly prized by players and collectors alike. Victor Barna was under contract to the Dunlop company for many years, and the Dunlop Barna rackets became best sellers, thanks to the charismatic legend s name recognition. Left: a classic Dunlop Barna, with the Barna name in script inset into the handle. This was the favorite weapon of hard rubber players, for chop and attack, with reddish brown pimpled rubber. 3-ply & 5-ply Middle left: the next generation hardbat, with teardrop Dunlop name inset into the handle Middle right: a Dunlop Barna Original racket with the same pimpled rubber Lower left: a later model of the Dunlop Barna Original, with elongated name inset. This racket is seldom seen these days. Lower right: a Dunlop Barna Maxply Fort racket, pips out style. This model was also popular and produced in large numbers in sandwich sponge format, 5-ply Super Fast. The Barna Super had a similar grip. 16

17 Barna Rackets: the French Connection Victor often toured France, along with his fellow Musketeers Bellak and Szabados. In fact his playing arm was broken in a car crash in France in So it is no surprise that he had a French Connection for making Barna rackets. However, Dunlop was a worldwide company, so it is interesting that Victor was able to license the use of his name separately in France. Above: Barna racket by Ludarva, a major sporting concern in Paris who made the only picture decal Barna bat. The thick (9mm on each side!) sponge racket, mint in the colorful original box, has unique giant pips, c This style racket was banned in 1959 with the passage of the Racket Standardization Laws. The box mentions Victor s 15 World titles (5 Singles, 8 Doubles, 2 Mixed Doubles), not counting his 7 Team golds, for a record 22 gold medals, and 40 World medals overall. Left: superb rare example of the1940s classic French Barna hardbat, with the Barna name in script as an ivorine inset. This was a deluxe limited edition. 17

18 Philatelic Pages Jan Nusteleijn and Jos Zinkstok continue the regular contribution about table-tennis stamps, post-marks and other of philatelic interest Please send your contribution for the philatelic pages to: Jos Zinkstok Neckarstraat 8 NL-9406 VN ASSEN The Netherlands STAMPS and SHEETS Rep. of Guinea: 2005 announcing the 29 th Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 in silver and gold Monaco: th Games of small countries of Europe sheet with 10 identical stamps and different tabs with sports Ivory Coast: 2006 souvenir sheet in silver and gold supplementary of the three issues announced in TTC 44 China: th Olympic Harmonious Games in Beijing 2008 sheet with 8 identical stamps and 4 tabs with different sports Central Africa: th Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 All stamps showed at 100%, sheets and sheetlet at 50%

19 Unknown and never before published sheets South Ossetia: th Olympic Games Atlanta 1996 Singapore: th Assembly of I.O.C. in Singapore sheet with 4 different values, as announced in TTC 39 CANCELLATIONS Japan: Nenrinpic in City: Ibaragi Hitati China: propaganda for the Olympic Stamp Exhibition in Shanghai China: propaganda for the Olympic Games Beijing days to go in Shanghai Japan: National Athletic Meeting in City: Akita Hanawa China: th Tournament Provincial Service for Inspection and quarantine of Province Jiangsu in City: Jiang Yin China: Peking University Gymnasium in use for Table-Tennis during the Olympic Games in Beijing For their contribution to these pages we want to thank Tang Ganxian, Winfried Engelbrecht, Anton Zwiebel and Gao Yi-Bin All cancellations showed at about 100%

20 In the Book Corner this issue we find more examples of books on dvd or supplemented by a dvd, perhaps the wave of the future, since the technical strokes can be demonstrated more vividly than by mere diagrams and words on a page. Matches or highlites can be shown such that tournament summaries will be revolutionized. I have great hopes for this multimedia approach to literature about our sport. Our featured book is a tribute to the late Ron Crayden, one of our founding members of the international Table Tennis Collectors Society. Other books of interest include two Chinese technical texts, one based on dvd, and a large photographic report on the 1995 World Championships held in Tianjin. The How to Play book can be found on ebay, with selectable English subtitles, but not all such dvd books have subtitles. The 1983 German edition of Jerome Charyn s crime novel, Ping Pong Pang! has also surfaced on ebay recently. Two instructional books in English are Bernie Blackhall s Table Tennis (1998), and Beginning Table Tennis, by Christian Lilleroos and Eric Owen (2006), a 65-minute dvd. Readers are encouraged to report any newly published books on Table Tennis. Send details to: Book Corner 20

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