Lighting the court to extend the game

Earle Gatchell on first court.
Earle Gatchell on first court.

Early on, lighting was added to courts so play could continue during short winter days.

Blanchard’s description of the first lighting system:

“The best procedure is to set up 4 individual poles made of pipe, 2 along each side of the platform at distances of 8 to 14 feet from each corner (opinions vary as to the better of these distances). The pipes should have reflectors at the top with either 750 or 1000 watt bulbs on each, raised about 20 feet above the surface and suspended over the platform on a short arm at the top of the pipe.

The lighting cost is not high and can be kept at a very low figure if you have a good amateur plumber and handy man among your friends.

Jimmy Cogswell put up the lights at his court and we only needed expert help on the electrical switchboard.”

Source: Fessenden S. Blanchard, Paddle Tennis, 1944