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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #61
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

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After being eclipsed by Molla Mrs Wightman was still able to win the US nationals in 1919, when Molla was upset by Marion Jessup. Some suggested Hazel got her revenge on Molla by training Helen Wills to beat Molla. Mallory's dark looks make one wonder if she was of Lapp origin. She favored dark tops and a page boy hair cut. This pic may be from 1921. I base the date on the background of this picture. The large stadium in the background looks like the bowl at Forest Hills. The women first played there in 1921.
RolloChampions never change in their levels of intensity do they? She has that same fierce look of non comprimising that is familiar with the Williams today. I have spent a lot of time in Finland and I am almost certain there is some Sami blood in Mallory. I have an ex partner who was from reindeer country in Finland and his facial structure was not dissimilar to Mollas. Wightman was a remarkable player but I am sure a bad enemy to have. I purchased a book about her at the Hall of Fame recently and look forward to reading same.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #62
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

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Elizabeth "Bessie" Moore was a stalwart of the early 1900s. She won the US nationals in 1896, 1901, 1903, 1905





A softer looking pic from the Hall of Fame site:





From the Hall of Fame bio

In 1901, she beat Marion Jones in the all-comers final, 4-6, 1-6, 9-7, 9-7, 6-3 (58 games, the longest of all major women's finals), then defender Myrtle McAteer in the challenge round, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, to become the lone woman to play five-set matches on successive days.

The 105 games alarmed the men who ran the USTA. They decreed best-of-three-set finals thereafter. Moore and the other women hadn't complained about five-set matches and she said they felt "dissatisfied" by the decision and patronized by the male establishment. Moore a right-hander, was born March 5, 1876, in Brooklyn, NY, and died January 22, 1959, in Starke, FL. She was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.In 1901, she beat Marion Jones in the all-comers final, 4-6, 1-6, 9-7, 9-7, 6-3 (58 games, the longest of all major women's finals), then defender Myrtle McAteer in the challenge round, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, to become the lone woman to play five-set matches on successive days.

The 105 games alarmed the men who ran the USTA. They decreed best-of-three-set finals thereafter. Moore and the other women hadn't complained about five-set matches and she said they felt "dissatisfied" by the decision and patronized by the male establishment. Moore a right-hander, was born March 5, 1876, in Brooklyn, NY, and died January 22, 1959, in Starke, FL. She was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.
Very interesting Rollo.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #63
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

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Mary Browne "Brownie", won the US nationals 3 years running from 1912 to 1914. I count ten large buttons on her skirt here! This is a gem of a photo IMO.

It is a great photo- what a great poise and a look of strained determination!!!!!
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 07:15 PM   #64
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

Glad you enjoyed the pics Iain. Searching about for info on early women players I came across this account that is part of the birth of tennis as we know it. Mary Gray of Bermuda won one of the first women's events ever held in 1986. This is from a Christie's auction in 2001-Mary's prize racquet went for 14,000 pounds!


http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/l...ID=2086876&sid=


Lot Description
AN EARLY TILT-HEADED LAWN TENNIS RACKET, c.1875, by Henry Mallings of Frances Street, Wollwich, with ash head and walnut convex wedge, original natural gut strings and natural gut trebling, later velvet grip, silver-plated plaque inscribed Ladies prize for Lawn Tennis won by Miss M.G. Gray, Bermuda 1876

Special Notice
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Pre-Lot Text
THE PROPERTY OF MARY GRAY OF CLERMONT HOUSE, PAGET, BERMUDA AND BY DIRECT DESCENT
Literature
TODD,T., The Tennis Players, From Pagan Rites to Strawberries and Cream, Gurnsey: Vallancey, 1979, p. 164.
American Lawn Tennis, 'A Bermuda Tournament in 1876', Mary Gray, 15 September, 1924, p.534.

Post-Lot Text
This early lawn tennis racket was probably made by Henry Mallings c.1875 due to the fact that it was presented to Miss Gray as the winner of the Ladies' Singles at the Bermuda Tennis tournament in 1876, pre-dating the Wimbledon tournament by one year.

Mary Gray was born in Bermuda and lived at 'Clermont', Paget, the Gray's family home (see fig.2) where she played tennis on an improvised court and became a very enthusiastic player. Since children were not supposed to take part in games with any other adults, Mary found herself a partner of her own age to play against, a Miss Wood who was the daughter of the Chief Justice Mr. T.L. Wood. The pair played on the narrow 'court' using 'bats' made of wood and uncovered balls.

The first official sets of Lawn Tennis in Bermuda are said to have been provided to the English Army who were stationed on the island (Fifty Years of Lawn Tennis in the United States, published for the American Lawn Tennis Association, New York, 1931, p.13). In 1873, it is said that whilst the 20th Regiment stopped over in Bermuda, a military friend of the Gray family taught Mary the "new" method of scoring.

The revised game of Lawn Tennis is said to have eventually found its way over to America from Bermuda when Mary Outerbridge took the inital and infamous first set, of which the whereabouts remains unknown, to the United States when she sailed on the S.S. Canima from Bermuda in late January 1874. The transfer of the rackets from Bermuda to America is recorded by E.H. Outerbridge in a letter to the American Lawn Tennis Association - 'To the best of my knowledge and belief it was in the spring of 1874 that my sister, Mary Ewing Outerbridge, brought from Bermuda a lawn tennis net, rackets and balls which she had obtained from the regimental stores through the courtesy of the colonel or some of the officers with whom she had played a game there'. Mary Outerbridge promptly set up the first tennis court on the grounds of the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club through her brother Emilius Outerbridge. Although Major Clopton Wingfield did not patent his game until February 1874, the game was already being played at Leamington Spa in 1872, whilst rectangular courts, and not Wingfield's hour-glass shaped court, were being used in Bermuda at this time (Fifty Years of Lawn Tennis in the United States, published for the American Lawn Tennis Association, New York, 1931, p.13).

In an article she wrote for American Lawn Tennis ('A Bermuda Tournament', 15 September 1924, p.534) Mary Gray explained how she came to play with one of the first private sets to have been brought over in 1875 by 'An elderly gentleman in Bermuda [said to be a Mr. Middleton who visited Britain in 1873] who saw the game advertised and sent to England for a set of net, poles, racquets, etc. On it's arrival he was so horrified at the idea of ladies playing such an undignified game that in order to prevent his equally elderly wife from attempting to take it up he decided to dispose of the whole concern - thus it came into our possession and the ball was started rolling in Berumda.' The set was in fact given to Sir Brownlow Gray, Mary's father by Mr. Middleton and although Gray himself was never an active participant in the game, Mary and Miss Wood were so enthusiastic that they were largely responsible for the game's growth in popularity in Bermuda and their games are recorded in a diary kept by Miss Gray (Todd, T., The Tennis Players, from Pagan Rites to Strawberries and Cream, Gurnsey: Vallancey, 1979, p.164). Mr. Wood even had a further set of racquets made for them and built a court at his home, "Dudley".

It is also likely, however, that Mary was introduced to the game by her brother Sir Reginald Gray, who who was one four gentlemen to have played the first game of lawn tennis at Wimbledon in 1874 and was also the 1874 World Croquet Champion. It is very probable that he brought a set back with him on his return from studying for the Bar at the Inner Temple in that year (Todd, T., The Tennis Players, ibid, 1979, p.164).

The first tennis tournament in Bermuda was organised a year later in 1876 at Admiralty House. Reginald Gray, pleaded that his sister should participate in the Ladies' Singles competition. There were only three entrants including Mary's sister Bessie and Rose Key, with Mary winning the tournament and defeating Miss Key in the final 2-0. Mary Gray noted -- 'The prize was the raquet which I still have: it weighs 9 ounces, the face measuring 8 x 10 inches and the handle sixteen inches. It had a red velvet handle covering (which I promptly tore off) and an inscription on a silver plate...which contains the following inscription "Ladies Prize for Lawn Tennis won by Miss M. Gray Bermuda 1876" (American Lawn Tennis, ibid, 1924, p.534).

It was not until 1880 that the next Ladies' Singles tournament in Bermuda took place. This was then followed by a memorable visit from America by Miss Ellie and Miss Grace Roosevelt in 1889. In that year the first American Tennis Club, the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, was founded and the Roosevelts were amongst the first players to visit Bermuda. Ellie had become the American Ladies' Champion of that year and both sisters had won the Ladies' Doubles title the previous year. Mary Gray along with a Mrs. Erskine played against the sisters in the Ladies' Doubles Final, losing 2-1, and Mary then played Grace Roosevelt in the Ladies' Singles final, defeating the champion 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

It is not known whether Miss Gray herself ever played with the racket. The fact that shortly after recieving it she then removed the velvet grip, suggests that she may well have used it in further matches. The racket, nonetheless, holds an extremely important place in tennis history, not only in Bermuda or as a Ladies' Trophy, but in the International development of the game and as the earliest known trophy of its kind.

Last edited by Rollo : Nov 19th, 2009 at 10:59 PM.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 10:05 AM   #65
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

That was truly great to read Rollo- thanks ever so much!!!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #66
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

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Very nice posts and thanks for putting the thread up.

I always enjoy reading about Charlotte Cooper-Sterry, one of the first aggresive players to play the game and also one of the first (if not the first) at Wimbledon to server overhead. Definitely, a player to be admired.

Just a minor correction or maybe I'm just reading it the wrong way, but I don't believe Maud Watson was Irish. The author might be confusing her with Helena Rice, the first non-British winner at Wimbledon. But I'm not sure if she was a contemporary of Sterry's. Her Wimbledon title came five years before Sterry won her first.
Hi Zummi

Re Maud Watson,you are absolutely right - she wasn't Irish. Maud and her sister Lilian hailed from Berkswell in Warwickshire,England.

It is amazing to think too that in 1935,when Helen Wills Moody was staying at Great Fosters Hotel at Egham during Wimbledon, who should also be staying there but Maud Watson and Mrs Moody was able to ask her all about her tennis career - lucky lady !!!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 10:56 PM   #67
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

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Anyone have more reports or info on this era? I've read that Tim Henman's great-grandmother was the first woman to serve overhanded at Wimbledon and his grandmother the last to serve underhanded. Not sure I got that right-but does anyone have their names?
I love this thread Rollo - thanks so much for starting it and for the wonderful photos from those early years of tennis.

I can answer one of your questions above - Tim Henman's great grandmother was called Ellen Stawell-Brown and she played tennis in the Edwardian era, being a contemporary of Mrs Lambert Chambers. I don't really have any details of her tennis career - the only mention that I can find of her in tournament play in the books that I have is that she played Mrs Chambers in the Eastbourne tournament of 1904, a match which Mrs Chambers won 6/4 6/1. I am fairly sure that it is Ellen Stawell-Brown who may have been the first lady to serve overhand - certainly, Mrs Chambers served underhand throughout her career, I'm think I am correct in saying.
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Old Nov 24th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #68
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

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Hi Zummi

Re Maud Watson,you are absolutely right - she wasn't Irish. Maud and her sister Lilian hailed from Berkswell in Warwickshire,England.

It is amazing to think too that in 1935,when Helen Wills Moody was staying at Great Fosters Hotel at Egham during Wimbledon, who should also be staying there but Maud Watson and Mrs Moody was able to ask her all about her tennis career - lucky lady !!!
What a fantastic meeting that would have been. Moody was probably so respectful and amazed to meet the first great womens champion. On another issue, at the time Helena Rice would have been considered British???? Ireland shockingly part of Britain at this time. May Sutton therefore the first non British isles winner.
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Old Nov 24th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #69
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

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I love this thread Rollo - thanks so much for starting it and for the wonderful photos from those early years of tennis.

I can answer one of your questions above - Tim Henman's great grandmother was called Ellen Stawell-Brown and she played tennis in the Edwardian era, being a contemporary of Mrs Lambert Chambers. I don't really have any details of her tennis career - the only mention that I can find of her in tournament play in the books that I have is that she played Mrs Chambers in the Eastbourne tournament of 1904, a match which Mrs Chambers won 6/4 6/1. I am fairly sure that it is Ellen Stawell-Brown who may have been the first lady to serve overhand - certainly, Mrs Chambers served underhand throughout her career, I'm think I am correct in saying.
Graham she certainly gave Chambers a run for her money in that first set-impressive.Eastbourne at one time was considered to be as big a tournament as there was in the world. It might be timely for Devonshire Park to consider a museum down there. After all it has a wonderful history- the great tournaments of the Victorian era, the Davis and Federation Cup matches there, the great womens event that has sadly declined in recent years and, not to be forgotten, the junior championships and the inter county cup!!!!!

Last edited by Rollo : Oct 27th, 2010 at 12:12 AM.
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #70
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

May Sutton Bundy in 1912. Considered by many to be the best of the pre-1914 era, she only entered 4 "slams" in her prime-the 1904 US Championships and Wimbledon from 1905-1907. She won 3 of those 4 events. Travel was tough in this era, but May also passed up the chance to play the US Nationals several times. It was rumoured that minor events gave gave her better playing conditions, hinting they paid expenses.

Childbirth also interupted her career from around 1912 (the time of this picture) until the early 1920s.

Here she is from 1912



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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 12:23 AM   #71
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

May's short skirts shocked many in this era. Much like the British player Lottie Dod she was forgiven her attire due to her youth. The bow was a trademark-as was her vicious forehand. Sutton ran around her backhand at every opportunity and often hit herslef in the back on the follow through.

This looks like a defenisve backhand. Note she is holding a ball.


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Old Apr 2nd, 2011, 04:53 AM   #72
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

Edith Hannam (28 November 1878 – 16 January 1951) was a female player from Great Britain.

She was born in Margaret Edith Boucher in Bristol, England. Edith Boucher came from a prominent Gloucestershire family and her four brothers were all notable sportsmen in the area.

In May 1909 she married Francis Hannam. The newlyweds married settled in Canada where her husband pursued his business interests as a timber merchant. This gave Edith trhe chance to compete in the United States, where she won the Cincinnatti Tri-State event in 1909.

The Hannams returned to Canada by 1911.

Hannam was also the All-Comer's finalist at Wimbledon in 1911.

The highlight of her tennis carrer came at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm in the Indoor event and won two gold medals. Edith won the singles gold over Sophie Castenschiold of Denamark. She also captured the mixed with Charles Dixon. There was no women's doubles at the Olympics until 1912.

In 1914 Edith was a doubles finalist with Ethel Larcombe at Wimbledon. This was just weeks before the "Great War", a conflict that took her husband's life. Francis was killed in action in 1916 when serving as a captain in the Gloucestershire Regiment.

Hannam played on into the 1920s, but at forty plus her salad days were before the Great War. Edith became an outstanding figure at the Welsh Championships, winning a record total of ten titles between 1912 and 1923. She was aged 43 when she won her last singels title there.

This is the bare bones account we have of a pioneer of the game. If anyone has more information we would be welcome to hear of it.




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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #73
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

Since we've been working on the pre-1915 results threads .... BUMP.
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Old Nov 12th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #74
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914

Here is a picture of the 1909 New Zealand women's team. They returned from a triumphal tour of Australia, where Lucy Powdrell won the New South Wales title.




Standing: Miss Eva Travers, Miss Lucy Wellwood, George N Goldie (Manager), Miss Lucy Powdrell, Miss Kathleen Mary Nunneley, Mrs G Goldie (Chaperone), Miss Annie Gray. Seated: Miss Alice Ward (later Mrs A J Fernie).

*Note there is a web source dating this picture to 1906-it is, in fact, 1909.
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 07:42 AM   #75
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Re: Long skirts and bowler hats-Pioneers til 1914


Marguerite Broquedis Billout Bordes, 13 October 1911.
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