Now for something completely different from World’s Fairs. I have a lovely collection of around 30 real photo postcards from the 1920/30s of various tennis stars at Wimbledon. Famous names such as Ellsworth Vines, Don Budge (see pic below), Jean Borotra, Gottfried Von Cramm, Rene Lacoste, Fred Perry and many more all in their tennis gear of the time and on or around the courts of the All England club.
A couple stand out though (scans below), one being a smashing card of Suzanne Lenglen (all time best women’s player?) outside the entrance, with the stand out point that this card is signed by her on the back in her large spidery writing. This card is unfortunately now sold but other cards from the “Trim” series Wimbledon cards still available here (or I do have others yet to be listed if you contact me).
Another is a card of Alice Marble taken in 1937 but aside from her tennis fame (Wimbledon Champion in 1939 and four times US Champion) she had a “colourful” life off the courts. She had recovered from TB and Pleurisy in the early 1930s to have a distinguished career up to the outbreak of WWII when she had a fairly brief but lucrative professional career. She was married to a US pilot and days before his death in action, she had suffered a car accident causing her to lose their child in a miscarriage. After an attempt to commit suicide it seems she recovered enough later in the war to carry out spying missions for the Allies, on a Swiss banker who was a former lover. She managed to find and film incriminating evidence but was exposed by a double agent and shot in the back and left for dead. However she recovered and apparently had sufficient recollection of what she had discovered for her evidence to be used in the Nuremburg war trials! All this is apparently documented in a posthumous autobiography (is that possible!) “Courting Danger”, but very little of the evidence is publicly available.
Aside from this she also had involvement in the creation of “Wonder Woman” and played a role in the desegregation of women’s tennis after the war. All this from a single postcard! Just think what stories the other cards might have to tell? The Alice Marble card is also now sold but others such as Dorothy Round, Ellsworth Vines, Gracyn Wheeler, E,Maier, Margaret Scriven and G.Von Cramm in their Wimbledon days are all available here.