Shown here is the original Gossima set from John Jaques & Son Ltd from 1891 - the first "real" table tennis set ever manufactured. It features a wooden box; a pair of size 2 (17.5 inches) battledores; a cork ball 2 inches in diameter and covered in netting for the protection of the dining-room porcelain; a pair of posts and a net (40 inches by 12 inches).

The method of securing the net is interesting: you will see that there is a white tape which is tied underneath the table. Therefore it would have been necessary for three people to have been employed to achieve this!

This photograph is of the set in Gerald Gurney's collection and was taken at his exhibition at the 1998 World Veterans' Championships, Manchester, England. Only one other set of Gossima is known (as distinct from sets bearing the name Ping-Pong or Gossima, which are common) and that is in a cardboard box. If you know of another or have one to pass on to me, please let me know!


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