Fifty years of platform tennis celebrated in narrated slide show

The original slideshow has been digitized and combined with the audio for the featured video - click to view

Louise Gengler (front) with partner Muffin Slonaker
Louise Gengler (front) with partner Muffin Slonaker

Produced as an aid to promoting the game, the slide show “Platform Tennis 50 Years and On” was produced by Rich Lombard’s company, Cal Industries, with financial support from the Fessenden S. Blanchard Memorial Fund, the APTA, and John and Molly Ware (Blanchard’s daughter and son-in-law).

The March 27, 1979 Minutes of the APTA BOD Meeting covered the background:
“Mr. Brown reported on a meeting held in New York City with John Ware, Mr. Kingsbury, Mrs. Dillenbeck and himself at which the suggestion was made to produce a slide show depicting the fifty years of platform tennis. Mr. Ware was asked to oversee the production, Vicky Cosstick would script it, and Thornton Gerrish would film.

The total cost of production is estimated at $2,500. and Mr. Brown announced that the Blanchard Memorial Fund would contribute $1,000 of this total. The APTA would have to make up the difference, unless we solicited funds.

Messrs. Carlisle and Lombard stated that a professional job could not be completed for less than $5,000 or $6,000. Mr. Lombard was asked to meet with the committee members to clarify procedure and delineate costs and then report to the Board.

The January 1980 edition of PTN carried this description:

“As you plan your platform events for the winter, don’t forget the APTA’s brand new slide show. It’s professional and informative, and well worth using as a center-piece for a mid-season donnybrook in the warming hut. The 15-minute show describes the history of the sport and explains its basics. It consists of a Kodak tray of 35 mm. slides, accompanied by a taped track (complete with audible and inaudible pulses to advance the slides automatically). Also in the package: a script, and notes on how to use the program.”