The Tennis Racket

How a Courtly Game Became Big Business

The gifted Australian tennis champion, Mervyn Rose, was not much in favor of vigorous training regimens, but he did once admit that during the 1950’s he enjoyed running along the bridle paths of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. In addition to helping him to get in shape for the French title matches, the exercise provided Rose with a rare opportunity actually to earn some money from his chosen sport. Read more »

Queen Mother Of Tennis

On December 5, 1974, Mrs. Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, who had won more national tennis titles than any other player in the history of the sport, died at her home in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She would have been eighty-eight on December 20. During several days late in November, two weeks before her death, Mrs. Wightman reminisced with an AMERICAN HERITAGE editor, talking humorously, lucidly, and often bluntly about her career in tennis, about the current state of women’s tennis, and about her unflagging devotion to the game. Read more »

SphairistikÉ, Anyone?

Introduced not quite a century ago under a name born for oblivion, the game itself promises to last forever

Miss Mary Ewing Outerbridge was unquestionably one of New York’s most respectable young ladies. Her Staten Island family was socially impeccable and correspondingly well-to-do; she was seen in the best places at the right times. It was therefore a considerable shock when the attractive Miss Outerbridge, returning from a holiday in Bermuda in March, 1874, had trouble getting through customs in New York. Read more »

Lord Of San Simeon

In his old age, William Randolph Hearst did a stately pleasure dome decree, and yet the secret river, youth, escaped him

Few men in recent history have been potentially more powerful—if, in the end, more frustrated—than William Randolph Hearst. Born to wealth, he forged a nationwide publishing empire and became in the process the biggest spender of his time. His name grew to be synonymous with “yellow journalism,” and his newspapers could make or break a promising political career, expose a gaudy scandal, create one where none existed, and even help start the war with Spain.

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The Great Club Revolution

What with all this democracy things will never be the same

In 1936 in New York City there occured the 100th anniversary of the Union Club, oldest and most socially sacrosanct of New York’s gentlemen’s clubs. From all parts of this country and even from abroad there arrived, from lesser clubs, congratulatory messages, impressive gifts and particularly large offerings of floral tributes.Read more »