Prince Manufacturing Inc. was founded in 1970, when Bob McClure invented Little Prince, the first tennis ball machine for home court use. The company was named after the town of Princeton (USA). Until 1976, Prince only produced and sold ball machines. But then a new chapter in the Prince company history began that should revolutionize the world of tennis racquets. Howard Head, the founder of the Head ski company, sold it to AMF in 1969. After retiring, Head decided to take lessons in tennis and for this purpose he got himself a tennis ball machine - which was manufactured by Prince Manufacturing Inc. Although Head was not very good at tennis, he figured out that the equipment for the game needed a lot of improvement. To begin with he became the majority share-holder and chairman of the board of the Prince Man. Inc. While Head considerably improved the design of the ball machine, he still did not get any better at the game. He figured it out that it because of the small sweet-spot of the tennis racquet. In order to make the game of tennis easier, Head came up with the design of oversize raquet. He filed and in 1976 obtained a patent that covered tennis racquets with size 95-135 square inches. The first Prince oversize racquet released to the market in 1976 was the Prince Classic, made of aluminium. According to Prince, it became the most successful racquet of its time.
Howard Head also pionered the development of the legendary Prince Graphite racquet. It quickly became a timeless standard. In the early 80s, Gene Mayer (USA) took a sharp rise in the ATP ranking from 148 to 4, partly thanks to playing the Prince Graphite. Also the Prince Woodie (1980) must be considered a highly classic racquet, consisting of wood and graphite. It marked the transition from wood to graphite racquets.
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Prince racquets 1983
Prince racquets 1984
Prince racquets 1985