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Lot 404: A HARTFORD PATENT (PENDING) SWORD BLADE "AIMING PUTTER," CIRCA 1918-19

Sotheby's

September 27, 2007
New York, NY, US

More About this Item


Description

Deal, New Jersey, 20th century Extraordinary brass-headed putter with a number of unique features Back of head fixed with maker's plaque inscribed "E.V. Hartford / Aiming putter / Patents Pending" Alignment aid in the form of a long rod, located inside grip when not in use, and accessible with brass screw butt cap Alignment rod screws into raised mount on top of head and extends upwards away from ball Curved metal plate with serrated teeth running across leading edge Plate hinged to both sides enabling manual shift up and down using a tab fitted to the plate Striking face with machined cross-hatch markings Hickory shaft with leather grip Overall good condition with several noticable chips along the leading edge of the striking face, other marks and wear.

Literature

TCA 2 Vol. 2 p. 494

Notes

Patented in 1920, Hartford's sword blade Aiming Putter uses a 12-inch,detachable alignment rod which screws into a raised mount atop the head and extends upwards, away from the ball. When not in use, this long rod is stored inside the grip underneath a threaded brass cap. To use this club, the golfer first pushes down on the tab on the side of the hinged plate, to lower the teeth below the sole of the clubhead. Next, the golfer addresses tha ball, placing the putter behind the ball. The golfer then, while holding the shaft, moves about four feet behind the ball, crouches down and lowers the alignment rod to the ground. When the golfer stands, the serrated teeth in the plate grip the turf, holding the head in position and the direction of the rod. Just push straight down on the club, thereby releasing the teeth, which move straight up and out of the way. Now (15 minutes later) you can putt! Three guesses why this club was not a big seller...while creative, its awkwardness, lack of feel and zero balance (not to mention needing a five-page set of operating instructions) explains why this is the only example known. The USGA has a short pointer putter in its collection.

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