From Rubber Tree to Tennis Balls (Jul, 1937)

From Rubber Tree to Tennis Balls

NEXT time you drive a well-placed tennis shot just out of reach of your opponent’s racket, give some of the credit to the expert craftsmen who made the ball. How men and machines can turn out an endless stream of the white spheres, each an exact match for its predecessor in weight, balance, and liveliness, is shown in the unusual series of views reproduced on this page. Starting as a formless mass of doughy consistency, sap from the rubber tree passes through tubular and cup-shaped molds that gradually form it into the finished product. When the balls are smoothed and covered, they are as nearly uniform as human ingenuity can make them—and the rest depends upon the skill of the enthusiast who puts them in play.

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