Early magazine pages, 1899, part 1

Ealing courts 1893The Badminton Association produced the first magazine devoted entirely to badminton in 1907, but in Lawn Tennis, December 6th 1899, page 439 we read –

BADMINTON – The early history of the game -

In this issue we open our columns for the first time to matters connected with the game of Badminton. As most of our readers are aware this game, has made rapid strides during the last three years or so, and may now be fairly recognised as one of the established pastimes of the country. We speak, of course, of the game as played under the laws and rules of the Badminton Association, whose object is to secure the adoption of uniform rules by the various clubs which have, or may hereafter, become affiliated to it, and generally to promote the interests of the game. The growing popularity of Badminton is due in great measure to its intrinsic merits as a game giving scope for a high degree of skill, and providing hard and healthy exercise for both sexes. But it is further enhanced by its filling up a gap during the winter months, when lawn tennis, except by those who are within reach of covered courts, is perforce abandoned. Badminton can be played out of doors on very still days, but is always played under more favourable conditions when a closed court is available. The common type of garden party game has, indeed, done more harm than good to the interests of Badminton. It has generally led to the use of Brobdignagian shuttlecocks, as being better adapted to resist wind currents than those of the regulation size and weight. And as these gigantic implements are dangerous missiles when forcibly propelled against the unprotected human nose, the nets have had to be raised to abnormal heights to prevent, disastrous consequences. Played under such conditions, Badminton is no more Badminton than would cricket be cricket if played with lawn tennis bats and footballs. And yet this is the only Badminton which many in this country have ever played or seen played. If, under the circumstances, there still exists a prejudice against Badminton as a serious game, it is due, without doubt, to the many misguided attempts to play the game under impossible conditions. It is the aim of the association to make the real game more widely known and more generally adopted.

The article continues with two further paragraphs devoted to the origins of the game, and the rules which it is intended to reproduce on our website pages over the next two weeks.

Our picture shows the Ealing Baths badminton courts in 1893 - these courts were much larger than most other courts of the time, and gave the home team a great advantage.