Lot # 29: 1903 Pneumatic Bramble-Pattern Golf Ball by Goodyear

Category: Golf Balls

Starting Bid: $150.00

Bids: 2 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring 2022",
which ran from 3/3/2022 12:00 PM to
3/19/2022 8:00 PM

While there is some rubber inside a pneumatic golf ball, its not a rubber core ball. Its core is air!

This “The Pneumatic” golf ball is marked “Pat Aug 19, 1902” on one pole and “Goodyear, Akron” on the other.   The patent was filed on Sept 11, 1900 by Addison T. Saunders who assigned half of it to Frank Seiberling, the man who founded Goodyear Tire &  Rubber in 1898. The making of this ball was a bit of a marvel in and of itself.  According to the attached 1905 advertisement, the wall of wound thread between the cover and the pure Para Rubber “jacket” that held the compressed air consisted of a single thread of Sea Island cotton over one thousand feel long that was wound with perfect accuracy and uniformity.  The cover of the ball was also made from pure para rubber.

In the center of the ball, inside the para rubber “jacket” is compressed air.  The accompanying ads show the core of compressed air and the other layers.  The first advertisement is a Goodyear ad from 1903.  The second was run in 1905 in the UK by the London firm of Geipel & Lange. Notice how Geipel uses Goodyear’s exact illustration of the ball.

This is an outstanding ball. It has been used, but there are no strike marks, the lettering on the equators is still strong, and the ball still retains much of its original paint. Pneumatics are one of the most "creative" balls produced and not many remain.

This Goodrich Pneumatic golf ball is in the third row of the golf ball group shot in the accompanying images. This group shot includes many other golf balls lots in this auction and demonstrates the remarkable evolutionary story of the golf ball, from feather ball to hand-hammered gutty, lathe line-cut red gutty, molded gutty, the Haskell and early rubber core balls. 

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