Flat Top

Flat Top Tennis Racquet, late 1880s


1886 - This type of frame design was the first innovation of the tennis boom of the 1880’s.   Simply designed to bring the hitting zone further out on the string bed, much like some technology of today,  these racquets are the mark of tennis in America during the “pat ball” era.  Thin handled, much lighter than the traditional offering, it helped introduce a maneuverable racquet to the legions of women playing the sport.  Prized by collectors, many flat tops have a collared neck and lavish decorations.  This particular early frame shows an impressed logo and simple name “West End”.