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Margaret Emerson

Margaret Emerson

Long before Billie Jean King made the world aware of women's role in athletics, Margaret Emerson of Bromo-Seltzer fame was wielding a powerful croquet mallet in a man's world. Their lovely lawn in Saratoga, a tricky course at her house in the Adirondacks, and especially her magnificent large courses on the North Shore of Long Island, first at Sands Point, later Glen Cove — nine wickets, two stakes and no boundaries — with scenes of tremendous battles of strategy and tactics in the game. The historic Gerald Brooks Memorial Challenge Trophy given by Mrs. Emerson was the climax of the croquet season from the late 30's to the 50's, won by such names as Averell Harriman, Lillian Phipps, and Herbert Bayard Swope, Jr. who eventually retired it. It was at Sands Point that permanent lights for night play were introduced making croquet possible 24 hours a day. Margaret was an excellent croqueteer but her competitive instincts sometimes were tempered by being overly concerned for her opponents. She used a side-stroke, along side her leg rather than between them (also favored by the late, great George Sanders, as well as Dick Dougherty and Mrs. Emerson's son, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.)

Margaret Emerson was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1979.


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