Brunswick has been building the world's best billiard tables since 1845. So when you invest in a Brunswick, you not only own the most beautiful, best-playing pool table in the world, you also become a part of this legendary heritage.
A Legendary Name. A Humble Beginning.
In 1845, John Moses Brunswick, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was steadily building a solid reputation as a builder of fine carriages. It was a good living; a solid career path for an ambitious young man in the mid-19th century.
Then, somewhat suddenly, everything changed. When Brunswick first laid eyes on a finely crafted billiard table, he knew he had found his calling.
As a gifted artisan with a passion for woodworking, the young man was captivated by the table’s intricacy, detail, fine workmanship, and beauty. He saw more than a table; he saw an opportunity to build something with unlimited potential and lasting beauty.
“If it is wood, we can build it – and we can build it better than anyone else,” Brunswick declared.
True to his word, Brunswick completed his first billiard table soon after. By 1850, Brunswick tables were becoming known around the world as masterpieces of original craftsmanship and design. Within 10 years, he had built an impeccable reputation for fine quality, playability, and beauty – and laid the foundation of what would become the largest billiard company in the world.
The Legend Lives On.
The world has changed tremendously since then, but the Brunswick commitment to exceptional quality remains. John Moses Brunswick’s creative vision continues to thrive at Brunswick Billiards in Bristol, Wisconsin, where we’ve been connecting generations through superior craftsmanship and innovation since 1845.
Brunswick Billiards: Historical highlights from the first 150 years, 1845 to 1995
John Moses Brunswick, after emigrating from Switzerland in 1834 and apprenticing in New York City and Philadelphia, establishes his Cincinnati Carriage Making Company. The product line is expanded beyond carriages to include cabinets, tables, and chairs. The company’s first billiard table was produced this year for a successful Cincinnati meatpacker. Word-of-mouth promotion quickly brought requests for more tables.
Brunswick opens its first sales office in Chicago on State Street. This first branch soon expands to include two factories and an 8,000 square foot billiard parlor on Washington Street. Additional offices, sales rooms, and billiard parlors open in New Orleans in 1852 and St. Louis in 1859.
Demand for Brunswick tables continues to increase. Brunswick merges with rival Julius Balke’s Great Western Billiard Table Manufactory to become The J. M. Brunswick and Balke Company. Pamphlets published two years after the great Chicago fire describe the company as manufacturing 700 tables annually, with 350 Brunswick tables in play in the city of Chicago, and selling from Canada to Mexico, with tables in every principal city in the west.
Brunswick joins with another rival to become “The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company,” the largest billiard equipment operation in the world, larger than all its competitors combined. Expansion of the product line now includes elaborate and ornate front and back bars made of rich woods, flawless mirrors, and stained glass. Originally offered as special order items, demand from taverns grew so great that a new factory in Dubuque, Iowa manufactured and shipped the bars around the world. The bars began to gather design awards at international exhibitions. Many of them are still in use today, becoming focal points in popular bars and restaurants around the country.
Brunswick is one of the most successful businesses in Chicago, operating from a five story building on State Street, with an additional factory located at Rush and Kinzie and one at Huron and Sedgwick that covered an entire city block with its factory, warehouse and lumber drying plant.
Company President Moses Bensinger works to experiment and research better ways to make billiard tables and equipment. Important patents for rubber cushions are registered and other technical innovations evolve.
Brunswick opens a new 100,000 square foot plant in Muskegon, Michigan. Among the many departments at the plant: billiard table assembly, billiard balls, cue manufacturing, and chalk. Company-owned boats brought cut maple from Brunswick’s lumber mill in Big Bay on Lake Huron; the lumber itself came from a thousand acres of Brunswick timberland near Lake Superior. The company owned its own slate quarries in Vermont and Pennsylvania. It was the world’s largest user of hardwood. Manufacturing over 400,000 cues a year, there was enough reserve maple in Brunswick drying kilns (the world’s largest) to make an additional 600,000 cues.
Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. has main offices in Chicago (executive headquarters since 1908), New York, Cincinnati and San Francisco, with factories in six U.S. cities plus Toronto and Paris, offices and salesrooms in 43 cities across America, “foreign” offices in Honolulu, Mexico City and Paris, and Canadian offices in Montreal, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
Ivorylene Pockets Balls make their first appearance in Brunswick-Balke-Collender Price List No. 785, for $16 per set Preceded by Compo-Ivory and Empire sets in 1905, Ivorylene balls receive the Brunswick registered trademark “Dart” in the early 1930s and eventually evolve into today’s world renown Centennial® Ball.
Willie Mosconi joins the pro staff of Brunswick Billiards. Mosconi is destined to become pockets billiards world champion 15 times between 1941 and 1957. In 1932 Brunswick sponsors a World Tournament, with Ralph Greenleaf placing first and Jimmy Caras second. Caras was offered his first Brunswick contract to play exhibitions around the country on Brunswick tables. During 1933–34 Brunswick’s staff of 21 professionals travel the country doing exhibitions.
Brunswick celebrates 100 years of continuous operation...Brunswick engineers develop the “cast phenolic resin” ball. The formula was so new and different that the Chicago firm manufacturing the balls had to post a heavy armed guard around the factory to ensure the formula’s security. That basic ball remains in use today and through many improvements over the years has evolved into today’s “Centennial® Ball”. During the years of World War II more than 13,000 billiard tables were installed at military and naval bases here and overseas.
The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company changes its name to Brunswick Corporation.
In development since 1958, it’s the debut year of the AR6100 series Gold Crown™ table. Destined to become the finest table ever made, it set new standards for the industry. Refinements and upgrades over the next 30 plus years bring the table to the ultimate Gold Crown™ IV, unmatched in reputation, preferred by professionals, used in tournaments and exhibitions worldwide.
A devastating flood in Brunswick Billiards’ Marion, Virginia facility results in the destruction of many records and the loss of much historical data.
St. Ignatius College Prep was one of the few buildings to escape the Chicago Fire. It still stands today and houses this magnificent library built by Brunswick craftsmen under the direct supervision of John Brunswick in 1872. In 1985 Brunswick funds the complete restoration of the Brunswick Library.
1995 to today
Brunswick, an American company, begins its second 150 years with a dedication to product and service quality, to design excellence and craftsmanship, and to market leadership. A Brunswick billiard table is quintessentially American, with a heritage and reputation backed by the traditions established, built, and nurtured over the last 150 years. Do you own your piece of history?
Every table we build is backed by a lifetime warranty, a testament to the exceptional design and workmanship the Brunswick name represents. This also helps us provide the best resale value in the industry. So whether you own your table for a season or a lifetime, you'll never regret buying a Brunswick.
1. High Performance Nut Plate
Brunswick’s exclusive High Performance Nut Plate, which is used to attach the cushioned rails to the slate, allows for the ability to apply 70% more torque to each connection versus typical t-nut type hardware. The result is a solid, seamless transition between rail and slate for enhanced performance and playability.
2. Hardened Domed Washer
To maintain the integrity of the rail-to-slate connection long term, a hardened domed washer is utilized which provides constant tension between the rail and the slate, and prevents loosening over time. This domed washer grips the slate directly, preventing turning or sinking into wood like the competition.
3. SuperSpeed® Cushion Rubber
Brunswick SuperSpeed cushions have been the standard in the industry for over 70 years and are used on all Brunswick branded tables. They are made to Brunswick’s exact specifications from a proprietary rubber formulation. This results in an exceptionally consistent rail on every Brunswick product. SuperSpeed cushion rubber incorporates a thin layer of cotton canvas vulcanized into the top and back surfaces of the cushion. This feature results in controlled ball penetration and greater accuracy in rebounding.
4. High Pressure Bonding
Precision is the name of the game, and cushion rubber bonding and placement are a critical element to the overall performance of a table. Brunswick achieves superior accuracy and consistency in its tables by using Brunswick-designed, automated, pneumatically controlled machines that bond the cushion rubber to the rails for a precision fit that doesn’t vary.
5. Accurate Nose Height
Banking and rebound accuracy rely on the nose height of the cushion rubber. Automated, pneumatically controlled machines ensure, through precise placement of the cushion rubber, that the nose height is consistent all around the table and meets the standard of 64% of a 2 1⁄4" diameter ball.
6. Solid Hardwood Rails
Brunswick rails are made of solid hardwood. The rails are machined to exacting standards and provide a solid foundation behind the cushion rubber to ensure exceptional accuracy and performance.
7 .Machined Recessed Area
The rail has a recessed area machined into it where the rail cloth can be stapled securely, many times over. The area is recessed so the staples or cloth do not interfere in any way with the rail attachment to the slate.
8. Stable Joinery Construction
Brunswick utilizes fine furniture joinery techniques in the construction of all solid hardwood products. These joinery techniques, such as panels glued together with alternating grain patterns, create a stronger, more stable furniture construction that will last for generations.
9. Solid Wood Dovetail Support
Thick, solid wood cross supports utilize dovetail joinery to the table frame at each slate joint. With this construction, the cross supports become an integral part of the table frame, and support the slate joints as though the slate was one piece achieving superior performance.
10. Rock-solid and Ready to Install
Brunswick tables come ready-to-assemble and utilize machine nut and bolt construction and galvanized steel leg plates to achieve a rock-solid fine furniture product that is easy to deliver and install in homes.
11. Kiln-dried, Stained, and Sealed
Brunswick Billiards’ goal is to provide our customers with a product that will last a lifetime. All solid wood materials are kiln-dried to a 68% moisture level, then stained and sealed to keep moisture out. A multi-step, durable, fine furniture finish completes the look of each Brunswick product, making it worthy to be passed on from generation to generation.
12. Brunswick Certified Slate
Brunswick slate must pass rigid quality requirements before it receives a “Brunswick Certified” sticker. Brunswick slate is diamond-honed, precision-machined and leveled to within ten-thousandths of an inch. Brunswick slate is cured for an extended period of time to assure stability, and is checked for flatness on the top and bottom at least four times through the machining and curing process to a standard twice exceeding BCA specifications on an end- to-end basis. Every set of Brunswick slate is quality inspected and certified, and will provide a lifetime of playability.
With our wide selection of both Brunswick and Contender brand tables, we offer the most complete line of top-quality, professional-grade tables in the industry – as well as a full selection of high-quality starter tables for the recreational player. Find out which line of tables is right for you.