Porter Athletic

History of Porter Athletics

Porter Athletic Equipment Company's history and heritage as a worldwide supplier of athletic and recreational equipment dates back well over a century. The original Company, located in Ottawa, Illinois and founded in 1868, manufactured pulleys, hardware and hayloft equipment for barns.

The manufacturing technology available to produce this early product line accounts for the eventual carry-over into playground equipment as well as ceiling and wall suspended folding basketball backstops.

Porter started manufacturing gymnasium apparatus shortly before the turn of the century. At that time, the primary customers for this type of equipment were the YMCAs, Turners and Sokols. The sport of basketball was first introduced by Dr. James Naismith at Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891.

Basketball caught on in the YMCAs so it was only natural for Porter to supply the "Y's" with basketball backstops along with the other gym apparatus.

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