Brunswick Billiards Celebrates 165 Years

Brunswick Billiards Celebrates 165 Years of Connecting Generations Through Recreation and Entertainment

The chance to build something with unlimited potential and lasting beauty is what John Moses Brunswick saw when he first laid eye on a billiards table in 1845. Quickly turning his carriage shop into a billiards store, he unknowingly launched the world’s largest and most respected billiards table manufacturer – a company still producing world-class products 165 years later.

A unit of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), Brunswick Billiards has designed and sold hundreds of different styles of tables along with countless billiards accessories and home entertainment solutions since its founding in 1845.

“Billiards is more than recreation, or even furniture,” said Austin Rothbard, president of Brunswick Billiards. “The game has become a tradition celebrated across the globe that brings families and friends together. We’re not only excited to celebrate 165 great years in the billiards business, but celebrating the future of the sport.”
From world-famous designers, using precious materials from around the globe, to world-class service and installation, Brunswick attributes its success to staying true to its heritage – the love of the game and the desire to excel through innovation, service and above all, quality. And in doing so, Brunswick became the billiards table to beat for those who followed.

Each table is held to standards beyond Billiard Congress of America (BCA) specifications, from slate leveled within ten-thousandths of an inch to cushion rubber that has set the industry standard for 70 years. Because of this focus on craftsmanship, every Brunswick billiards table is backed by a lifetime warranty and has the best resale value in the industry. It’s no surprise Brunswick tables are the preferred choice of professional billiards players
“If it is wood, we can build it, and we can build it better than anyone else,” John Moses Brunswick said, and the company he founded has now lived up to those words for more than a century and a half.

Brunswick Billiards is starting to celebrate its 165th anniversary.

Brunswick Billiards is starting to celebrate its 165th anniversary.

1845 – John Moses Brunswick’s Cincinnati Carriage Making Company builds its first billiards table.

1848 – Brunswick opens its first sales office in Chicago on State Street.

1873 – Brunswick merges with rival Julius Balke’s Great Western Billiard Table Manufactory to become the J.M. Brunswick and Balke Company. The company manufactures 700 tables a year.

1884 – Brunswick joins with another rival to become The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, the largest billiard equipment operation in the world. Its product line expands to include ornate, award-winning wooden bars, many of which are still in use in restaurants and taverns today and prized collectors’ items.

1888 – Brunswick covers an entire Chicago city block with its factory, warehouse and lumber drying plant.

1890 – Important patents for rubber cushions and other technical innovations evolve at Brunswick.

1906 – Brunswick is the world’s largest user of hardwood manufacturing more than 400,000 cues a year at its 100,000-square-foot plant in Muskegon, Mich., along with billiards tables, balls, chalk and wooden boats.

1917 – Ivorylene Pockets balls make their first appearance at Brunswick-Balke-Collender for $16 a set. They eventually evolve into the world-renowned Centennial Ball, which can retail for more than $400 a set today.

1945 – Brunswick celebrates 100 years of operation by developing the “cast phenolic resin” ball. The formula was so different that heavily armed guards were placed around the factory to ensure the formula’s security.

1960 – Brunswick-Balke-Collender changes its name to the Brunswick Corporation.

1961 – Brunswick debuts the Gold Crown table, which set new standards for the industry. Most recent model, the Gold Crown V is the preferred choice of billiards professionals and utilized in tournaments and exhibitions worldwide.

1974 – A devastating flood in Brunswick Billiards’ Marion, Va., facility results in the loss of much historical data.

Today – A Brunswick billiards table is quintessentially American, with a heritage and reputation backed by the traditions established, built, and nurtured over the last 165 years. Do you own your piece of history?

About Brunswick Billiards
Connecting generations through superior craftsmanship and innovation since 1845, Brunswick Billiards has been the leader in designing the highest-quality billiards and pool tables and game room furnishings preferred by experts around the world. Based in Bristol, Wis., the billiards division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), has more than 300 retail dealer locations across the United States and international distributors in more than 40 countries. For more information about Brunswick Billiards and its product line, visit

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