II-95581.1 | Frank Barnwell, tennis player, Montreal, QC, 1891

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Frank Barnwell, tennis player, Montreal, QC, 1891
Wm. Notman & Son
1891, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper
13.6 x 9.8 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Among the sports that came into being at the end of the 19th century were several associated with the elite, and which remained their private domain for some time to come. Tennis was one such sport. It was being played in Great Britain by 1873, and crossed the Atlantic almost immediately. Tennis was introduced in Toronto in 1874, and in Ottawa and Montreal in 1876. It was soon adopted by the upper crust everywhere in Canada, including at private schools and universities. The way in which the game was played gradually evolved, making tennis more competitive.

  • What

    Then, as now, each sport had its own specialized clothing. For tennis players, the required outfit included a hat and long, light-coloured shirts and clothing to cover up against exposure to the sun.

  • Where

    For many years tennis was only practised on courts belonging to private clubs, which meant that relatively few people played the game.

  • When

    Tennis, which was at this time played only on outdoor courts, was one of the most popular summer sports.

  • Who

    From the outset, and in contrast to many other sports, both men and women played tennis.