Category: Golf - Antique
Subcategory: Balls & Bags
Vintage Mesh Pattern Golf Ball 'Michelin'.
A typical lattice, square mesh patterned 1930's rubber core golf ball in used condition. The mesh ball is a great display ball marked 'Michelin' & 'England' on the poles, maker Michelin Tyre Co Ltd, England. This is a rather attractive golf ball with a few marks on its surface.
The ball is approximately 1 9/16 inch in diameter (4 cm).
The Michelin Tyre Co Ltd. was the company of the Michelin brothers, André and Édouard. In 1889 André Michelin took charge of his father-in-law's business, J. G. Bideau & Co, a maker of farm equipment with a small rubber factory making belts, gaskets, tubing, valves, and toy balls. By 1891 the company had secured its first patent for an easy to repair, detachable bicycle tyre and, in 1895, had fitted the first car with a pneumatic tyre. In 1906 the company established its first office in London and, in 1927, its first UK manufacturing plant at Stoke-on-Trent. One of Michelin's lesser known activities was the production of golf balls made at the Stoke-on-Trent factory. Records show that in late 1930, the product brought in more sales revenue than bicycle tyres and tubes. The company's symbol since 1898 is the Michelin Man, the icon's official name within the company is Bibendum.
The rubber core ball (the ancestor of the modern ball) began its life in the late 1890's. The first mass produced rubber core ball was by Coburn Haskell of Cleveland, Ohio. The first core balls were hand wound with elastic thread with a Gutta-percha cover, moulded with the raised square mesh pattern of their predecessor. The slight irregularities in the early wound balls made them quite lively, it was not until the invention of the automatic winding machine by John Gammeter (an engineer at Goodrich) and the change of pattern from mesh to bramble that the balls became more consistent and predictable. In later years, the 1920's, the design went back to a mesh pattern with lattice design.