Origin of Names and Packs
This was a biscuit that was promoted by Mr Albert Baumann, who was the Managing Director of Bakers for many years. In 1965 Mr Albert Baumann made a note, which read as follows:
“When purchasing a 3-pan coal-fired Vicar’s oven and plant in 1911, we ordered several cutters with it.
Amongst these cutters was one with beautiful engraving, and whenever I saw this cutter it struck me that the biscuit should be attractive.
Mr Otto Baumann had used the cutter, but the sales of the biscuit were practically negligible. The result was the cutter was abandoned.
We had no real costing system in those days, but on investigation I found that the price of “Tennis” Biscuits was 1 ¾ pence above that of “Marie”, and came to the conclusion that the price and quality of the biscuit was the cause of the lack of interest in it. Mr Otto Baumann and I decided to make the biscuit as rich as possible and to reduce the price, and advertise the biscuit. From that day, “Tennis” biscuits became a leading line and still is a very good biscuit.”
It had been agreed in the early days that Selected Products (Pty) Ltd (Baumann’s Biscuits) could also make “Tennis” biscuits. Baumann’s made a slightly smaller biscuit and the design carried a fairly large embossing of the head of a tennis racquet. It was the custom of the children to nibble round the edges of the racquet until only the racquet head was left. Later it was considered advisable that both “Tennis” biscuits should carry the same design and the tennis racquet was removed (probably about 1952).
To the best of my knowledge, the “Tennis” biscuit cutter is not used anywhere else in the world, except that in about 1964, on a visit to Auckland, New Zealand, I found that a small biscuit company was producing a similar looking biscuit, with the word “Tennis” on it, but it was not a big seller and was later discontinued.We had registered the name “Tennis” but then took steps to register the design too. Mr Edwin Baumann asked Vicar’s if they would kindly agree to remove this cutter from their list of designs, if it still appeared in their catalogue. Vicar’s wrote back stating that this particular design would not be offered to anyone else and it would be withdrawn. We were pleased to have this undertaking.