Ping Pong History

Mrs Debbie Turner – School Archivist

Table Tennis, also referred to as ‘Ping Pong’, was invented in the 19th century and was played amongst the upper class as a post-supper parlour game. It is thought to have been invented by British Military Soldiers who brought the idea back with them from India. Back then, a row of books was used as the net and two books were used as paddles or bats to hit a golf ball.

When Ping Pong was trademarked in 1901 by J. Jaques and Son in England, other manufacturers had to use the name Table Tennis to avoid infringing copyright. In the same year, the use of celluloid balls came into practise, as did the dimpled paddles.

By 1921, owing to the popularity of the game, a Table Tennis Association was founded and the first world championships were held in 1926 in London.

In 1903, TSS boys used to play Ping Pong and improvise using Horace Dixon’s table in the classroom.  This was a most popular pastime with the boys and it soon became an unofficial Inter-House sport. This was particularly the case when McKinley was formed in 1909 to rival Thorold House.

Ping Pong Championships were held after class and on some weekends. Winners would receive an extra ration of butter or potato and, of course, bragging rights.


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