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Dr Ian Plummer

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Technical
Croquet Ball Types

The intention of this page is to put the reports on the properties of balls into historical context.  From the date of a report it should be possible to identify the type of ball being discussed. Any further information would be most welcome.
 

Manufacturer

Series

Date

Comments

Identifying Features

AYRES of Aldersgate St., London

Championship

? - 1940

Similar to Jaques Eclipse

?

International

?

?

?

BARLOW
South Africa

C

?

Solid plastic 

Core & Casing: Solid ??nylon?? 
Milling: milled in two orthogonal directions. 
Markings: Small anchor ('T') moulded on one pole

XT

~1993-

Solid plastic

Core & Casing: Solid ??nylon?? 
Milling: milled in two orthogonal directions. As of August 1988 the milling was moulded rather than engraved onto the ball.  Milling re-entrant angle ~90°
Markings: Small anchor ('T') moulded on one pole"C" moulded on one pole 

GT

1986-

Solid plastic

Core & Casing: Solid ??nylon?? Composition has varied over the years. 
Milling: milled in two orthogonal directions.  Milling re-entrant angle ~90°
Markings:  "G" moulded on one pole

BIRKDALE or SOUTHPORT 
England

?

?

Plastic shell surrounding cement + plastic core

Very wide milling ~ 4mm squares

BRITISH COMPOSITION COMPANY

Brento

1949-1955

Due to the difficulties after the last war in obtaining supplies from Ayres and Jaques of adequate quality (because of the export drive most went overseas) these balls were tested and subsequently used for the Peel Memorial and Challenge and Gilbey from 1950. The Intercounties and Caskets use them in 1951.  In 1952 their performance was questioned and they were not used for the Caskets, Intercounties (1954) and Challenge and Gilbey in 1955.  The last reference found by Alan Oldham was of their use in the 1955 Peels

?

DAWSON
Australia

?

1989 -

Cold moulded polyurethane (Dorprene 50D) including a widely distributed filler (a chlorinated paraffin platiciser) and catalyst.  The ball is formed in a two-part mould.
US Patent Office patent 4,872,677, Oct 1989

?

Dawson 2001

2001

Solid plastic

 

Dawson Millennium

2001

Solid plastic

 

ECLECTIC COMPANY of Mortlake

Excelite

1906 - 1950 - ?

A few other facts about the Excelite croquet ball. (From an advertisement on the back pages of Modern croquet Tactics by C.D. Locock, The Holmesdale Press, London, 1907). It was the ball used in 1906 in the following tournaments: Peels Memorials The Open Championships Challenge Cups Gold Medals Beddow Champion Cup and at all leading tournaments.

?

JAQUES
England

Glisglos

 1906-

Not Glis Glis as in Prichard's History of Croquet. This preceded the Eclipse ball.

Introduced by Jaques in 1906.  Glisglos was a 'new coating material for colouring boxwood croquet balls'. It replaced oil paint on the balls.  These milled, Glisglos-coated Turkish Boxwood balls were marketed for 15 shillings (75p) a set. [Reference: Croquet Gazette, Vol III, No. 2, front page]

Eclipse

~1945-1997

?

Core: cork composite or solid plastic core 
Casing:dipped in nitro-cellulose 
Milling: milled in two orthogonal directions. Approx. 50 cuts per direction. 
Markings: Poles of balls stamped with "Jaques" and "London" in a circle with ECLIPSE across the centre.  Some balls also carry an identifying letter

SLAZENGER of Laurence Pountney Hill, London

Stadium

?

?

?

Boxite

?

?

?

Sun Shiny

 

2001

Solid plastic

 

WALKERS
England

?

Solid plastic

Core & Casing: Solid nylon Very hard plastic, very bouncy, makes sound like china mugs being hit together 
Milling: milled in two orthogonal directions. Widely spaced (~3mm) and shallow. 
Markings: ?

The four poles are those points with a milled ring concentric to them.  The two nodes are two points where the milling lines meet at right angles and there is no concentric ring.  Thanks are extended to Alan Oldham for material on this page.

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Updated 22.vi.17
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