||You see Dr. Lowell paid golfing
great Walter Hagan and his exhibition partner Joe Kirkwood to use his
"Reddy Tee" and leave them behind as they played. The result, $100,000
in sales in 1922, which if you look closely is a full 6 years before Dr. Lowell received
his patent and 5 years before he filed his patent application. Hmmm, I
wonder why he had so many patent challenges....
Anyway, back to the invention and
patent. When reviewing Dr. Lowell's patent application there are a couple of
things that stand out.
The first being his concern with the fact that the tee
could not be seen once the ball was upon it, even if the tee were adjusted by
tilting to help maintain proper balance under windy conditions. (See
fig 5 & 6) The second point
he stressed was that his tee in no way would interfere with the golf shot, it
would either break or come loose from the ground.
However the thing that stands out
from the first paragraph of the golf tee patent application, is it
"displaced the use of molding damp sand by hand". Then latter in
summary "...my peg tee provides means fro more perfect support and
adjustment of support for the golf ball, without the necessity of manipulating
sand or earth to from the old fashioned tee, therefore avoiding entirely
the soiling of the hands...". If this all sounds familiar it is
because it was the same point stressed by Dr. Grant in his 1899 peg tee patent.
So in any event Dr. Lowell's tee (
clearly a knock off of Gr. Grant's) caught on and golf was forever changed. It is also interesting to note that Dr.
Lowell's son, William Jr. not only made his own contribution indirectly to the
game of golf, but his personal contribution to the American lifestyle is almost
immeasurable. You see William Jr. ran the Reddy Tee company for a few years and
made himself into an industrial packaging specialist. In 1933, Dr. Lowell and
William ended up selling the Reddy Tee Company to Red Devil Inc and young
William went to work for the Union Bag Company where he developed what is known
today as "the six pack".