Haskell Golf Ball. Courtesy of Glendale Golfs
In 1868, Coburn Haskell was born. In 1892, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, from Boston, Massachusetts, and accepted a position with Marcus Hanna and the M.A. Hanna Company. Haskell's father was a close friend of Hanna. Eventually Coburn Haskell married Hanna's niece.
On April 11, 1899, Haskell, an avid golfer, and Bertram G. Work, an employee of the B.F. Goodrich Company in Akron, Ohio, received a patent for a golf ball. Initially, golf balls had consisted of leather pouches stuffed with boiled feathers. In 1848, a new golf ball -- the gutta-percha -- began to replace the "feathery," as the original golf ball was known. The gutta-percha consisted of hardened juice from trees located in South America and the Pacific Islands. Unfortunately, the gutta-percha proved difficult for golfers to hit out of both fairways and the rough. They were, however, much cheaper to manufacture than the feathery.
Haskell's and Work's ball consisted of rubber thread wrapped around a solid rubber core. This golf ball was much easier for golfers to hit and also allowed players greater control when they hit the ball. As a result of the Haskell and Work golf ball, the game of golf dramatically increased in popularity within the United States. In 1901, Haskell retired from the M.A. Hanna Company and established the Haskell Golf Ball Co. This company manufactured Haskell's and Work's new golf ball, making Haskell a very wealthy man. In 1917, he sold the Haskell Golf Ball Co., which ceased operation this same year, and his patent. Haskell died on December 14, 1922.