Collections Carousel – Margaret (Steffes) Fortier’s Tennis Racket

Margaret (Steffes) Fortier’s Tennis Racket, circa 1929

It’s time for tennis! Grab your racket and head outdoors. With the weather warming and outdoor courts open in public parks and recreation areas, what could not be better for those who love tennis. While the increase in the number of indoor courts in the past decades has allowed for year-round play, during the early twentieth century most people played outside, weather permitting.

This tennis racket was the property of Margaret Steffes (1901-1986) of Little Falls, who taught girls physical education at the Little Falls High School from 1926 to 1932. Manufactured by Lowe & Campbell Athletic Goods Company of Kansas City, Missouri, the racket was well-used by Margaret during her teaching career. A manufacturer of sports equipment, Lowe & Campbell had a branch in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as in Cincinnati, Ohio, and St. Louis, Missouri. The company was acquired by Wilson Sporting Goods in 1931, the year before Margaret quit teaching.

Like so many women during the first half of the twentieth century, Margaret stopped teaching after she married in 1932. Margaret also quit playing tennis. Wishing to remain involved in education, she was active in the Little Falls Lindbergh Elementary School P.T.A (Parent Teacher Association) and served as both president and secretary of the association.

Margaret and her husband, Charles A. Fortier, married on August 8, 1932, and had two daughters, Natalie and Jeanne.

Handle of Margaret (Steffes) Fortier’s Tennis Racket, circa 1929

~Ann Marie Johnson, Preservationist

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