Stringing Machines

by admin on July 19, 2008

Tennis Stringing was long done by hand using awls to jam strings into holes and using the plucked pitch of a string to test the tension.

Recently we uncovered a fascinating and very early 1937 stringing machine that shocked us by its quite modern style featuring tension measurement and wind up adjustment.   The machine was called the “NO AWL” hence a very clever name.  It was installed into a Western Australian retail store called FOYS and was advertised as the “tennis racquet stringing revolutionised”.  At this point there is no other reference, no ads, no mention of maker or whether the machine survived past 12 months.

restringing 1933 WW 1


Stringing in the old days was done on a bench by hand as shown here ( Tasmania Library Alexander factory collection)
Then as now, players had there favourite stringers and many experts set up shop separate to the factory environment.

Alexander stringing AB71313371aaa


The creation of a stringing machine meant for consistent results that most anyone trained on the machine could achieve.






With little known about the above machine. it wasn’t until the 1950′s that Australian designers and engineers developed some more acceptable and portable methods of stringing.

Again some more research is under way, but we believe that the drop weight stringing system was developed in Australia and if not, then most certainly the first bench top, portable dropweight stringing machine was developed by stringers/coaches the Strachan brothers. Another bench type version was also marketed by a gent named Bricker, but these were largely home made.  The Strachan model was called “The Courtmaster” and sold in the thousands.

The first ad comes from a 1954 Davis Cup souvenir noting that the product, called the ACE, was being sold overseas.  The ad from the Argus in 1955 and below this a new improved model.

Interestingly, if drop weight stringing was a new development, it didn’t make it into the ad, but consistent tension was a major benefit.

Underneath these photos are some great shots of a very early free standing OLIVER model which were also manufactured in Australia and were sold worldwide.

The set of awls and pliers makes for an attractive display enhancement.

ace stringing machine

courtmaster 1



strachan1950's stringing machine









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