Original box of The Reddy Tee, made by The Nieblo MFG. Co. The first wooden tee was patented in 1899 by Dr. George F. Grant of Boston, but it was not widely used since he did not market it, according to golf historians. 'This idea of a wooden golf tee sort of languished until you had Dr. William Lowell experimenting in his garage in the 1920s,' said Rand Jerris, director of the museum and archives of the United States Golf Association, in Far Hills, NJ. Lowell filed his application on May 5, 1922, and was granted patent No. 1,493,687 on May 13, 1924. He painted them red, formed the Reddy Tee Co., and hired two professional golfers, Walter Hagen (whom he paid $1500) and Joe Kirkwood, an Australian, to use his product in 1924 as the pair played exhibition matches. 'They were the perfect sort of showmen,' Jerris said. 'They did a great job of promoting the product. The pros would leave the pegs in the ground after they hit, and spectators would scramble to retrieve them.' Other inventors and patents soon followed. Within a couple of years the sand tee disappeared. Reddy Tee has also faded into history, and USGA records indicate that Lowell eventually lost his patent after a long legal struggle.
Item 11394: $95
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