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Topics in Chronicling America - Badminton

A little-known fact is that badminton is the world’s fastest racket sport, with shuttlecocks traveling up to 200 miles per hour. Invented by British military officers in India in the mid-1800s, badminton soon spread to the rest of the world. Though badminton clubs sprouted up in the United States in the late 19th century, the sport never really took off on the competitive level, as it was overshadowed by the more popular racket sport, tennis. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of Badminton

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Important Dates:

  • April 4, 1886: A piece appears in the newspaper about how the young people of New York play badminton.
  • October 13, 1886: Young members of New York’s society play badminton primarily as a means of conversation.
  • March 9, 1890: Badminton is described as a “lenten amusement” played primarily by people “well known in society.”
  • June 19, 1891: An article explains the history and rules of badminton, extolling it as “a game for all seasons.”
  • May 31, 1891: Badminton is in no danger of replacing tennis, and there is speculation that badminton might join the tennis association or form one of its own.
  • October 3, 1891: The badminton lawn tennis experts win trophies in the Inter-Club Tennis Association of Kings county in New York.
  • November 10, 1907: An article explains the history and rules of badminton, calling it a “modification of lawn tennis.”
  • May 22, 1909: The newly formed Badminton Tennis club of Santa Monica holds its first play.
  • March 27, 1920: The Badminton Club of New York holds an intercity tournament with Caines Badminton Club of Boston.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] badminton, badminton tennis, lawn tennis
  • Do not confuse badminton with lawn tennis. Badminton is often mentioned in proximity to lawn tennis, to draw comparisons. However, they are two very different sports.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 27, 2016
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