Instead of a net, they used a row of books. They used books for paddles, too, volleying golf balls or champagne corks back and forth with their compatriots (people bought more books than they could ever possibly read back then, too). It was a crude version of the game we play today, with the familiar green tables and spongey paddles. But what will ping pong look like another 150 years hence? Maybe something like this.
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