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FBMorse
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pool table identification help - 11-21-2008, 09:31 PM

First of all - wonderful site. Enough info here to choke a rookie like me!

I'd like to know if anyone can help ID my table. It's been in the family since my great great uncle got it for free during the depression (the last depression, not the one that started a couple of months ago). It's been passed from my great great uncle, to my father when I was a kid, and now to me, and I just had it restored by a local carpenter (significant paint removal and water damage repair).

It's supposedly a Brunswick, although one person I sent pictures to thought it may have been made by The National Billiard Table Manufacturing Company of Cincinnati or The B.A. Stevens Company of Toledo. He did say that he was just guessing, though, and couldn't be sure. The Brunswick nameplate apparently dates from around the 1920s-30s, but family legend is that it's supposedly older than that. It used to have ornamental skirts on the sides, head, and foot, but they fell off after numerous basement floods and were tossed in the 1940s - 1950s.

Each piece (including slates, ball returns, and crossbeams) is original with "1048" stenciled or stamped (hold that - pockets and ornamental bolt covers are new). I checked the Brunswick site, and the closest thing I could find was the Union League, although my legs aren't fluted.

I'm still leaning toward Brunswick, though, because of the handwriting on the undersides of the slates. Also, "GEO J MERKLE" is stenciled on the underside of the head slate, if that means anything.

I'm apparently as good a cameraman as I am a pool player, so sorry for the picture quality.

Anyway, if anyone recognizes it, any info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

















  
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11-21-2008, 09:33 PM









  
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11-22-2008, 12:38 AM

You got yourself a great table Its an improved Union League Table from what I can tell in the photo's and some books I have read through. I personaly have missed to great deals on this type of table. I hope you get to enjoy the table you have the best looking one I have seen sofar..

Craig



This is all I got from the brunswick site www.brunswickbilliards.com

Union League — 1890 to 1899
Elegantly designed in the prevailing Egyptian style.


Union League (Improved)
From the 1989 Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. catalog, page 14:

Few billiard tables present such an artistic appearance as the Improved Union League. The legs are handsomely fluted and turned, with square caps and Egyptian moldings. Charming reliefs on the sides, at the union with the head blocks, and moldings running along the sides form a capital foil to the polished woodwork. Elegantly designed friezes in the prevailing Egyptian style completes the decorative part of the table and gives it a splendid finish.

The entire workmanship shown in the Improved Union League is of the highest order of merit and the table has met with the greatest appreciation in all parts of the country. It is perfectly constructed and thoroughly first-class in all its appointments.

The head blocks that are features of our tables, are of special construction covered by letters patent, and are superior to those in use in all other tables. It is this very superiority of design and construction which prompts so many o copy our productions. They fail, however, to equal our tables wither in mechanical construction, finish or material, and their inferiority is easily discerned upon examination.

Furnished either as a carrom or pool table or both combined. All combination tables have our patent adjustable carrom plugs, with iron fastenings. Carried in stock in 4x8, 4 ?x9, and 5x10 sizes.

All tables are fitted with Vermont slate bed from our own quarries, imported Simonis cloth, and the incomparable Monarch cushions.

The legs, besides being joined with wooden dowels, are fastened with a large iron bolt passing through the entire length of the leg to the top of the head block, thus insuring positive solidity.
  
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11-22-2008, 03:18 AM

Wow that's gorgeous!
That's twice this year that we've seen someone's name on the slate, from the same era of Brunswick-
Whever refinished it did nice work
I'm going with Craig on this one-1890's Union League, but cleaner than any I've ever seen....


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11-22-2008, 07:40 AM

Thank you both for the info - greatly appreciated! Any idea what the "GEO J MERKLE" stencil means? Couldn't find anything in google.

Also, quick plug for the carpenter who restored it. He'd never done a pool table before, but is a magician and does fantastic work! His website's http://furniturerepair.net/index1.htm if anyone around Fredericksburg, VA needs some quality woodworking done. No kickback for me, he's just a wood artist who spent three months hand restoring my baby, and it was a rough, water damaged, separating-at-the-seams, thickly painted son of a gun when I delivered it to him!
  
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11-22-2008, 09:25 AM

Brunswick actually did a remake of the U.L. table about 10 or so years ago i think. They were going to make 100 tables, but due to slow sales they only made 50. But, ya, i believe that your table is an original U.L. table
  
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11-22-2008, 10:45 AM

Lets start by saying there were many copiers of brunswick tables a 100 years ago as there are today. The glaring things about this table is the egg n dart moulding all over this table, which i have never seen on a union league. Did the carpenter replace this? The legs, besides missing the bottom three or so inches, has no fluting. The nameplate is definitely not original it has been replaced. Does it look like the name collender is misspelled in the photo.
  
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11-22-2008, 11:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by scruffy1
Lets start by saying there were many copiers of brunswick tables a 100 years ago as there are today. The glaring things about this table is the egg n dart moulding all over this table, which i have never seen on a union league. Did the carpenter replace this? The legs, besides missing the bottom three or so inches, has no fluting. The nameplate is definitely not original it has been replaced. Does it look like the name collender is misspelled in the photo.
Thanks for the reply! All moulding is supposedly original - or at least no one in my family has replaced it. I don't know that the legs can be missing the bottom three inches. Through studs aren't long enough for three more inches. Table height is 32 1/4" to top of rail.

I wouldn't be upset if it's not a Brunswick - I just would like to know the actual manufacturer and model/style so I'm no fibbing when asked (and can maybe get the correct nameplate!). Thanks again!
  
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11-22-2008, 11:20 AM

It wouldnt bother me if it wasnt a brunswick either! It is still a great table.
I still think at some point something was taken off the bottom of the legs.
It is extremely unusual to see a turned leg without the bottom portion damaged. As far as the height, a lot of antiques were quite higher then newer tables. The bed height can be as much as 32 inches itself. As for the length of the bolt, it is usually recessed several inches up inside the leg. Not positive but pretty sure! I think you probaly had some good info from whoever guessed b.a stevens or national. That leg really looks like one of those.
  
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11-22-2008, 02:17 PM

I'd send your photo's to Marvin at Brunswick to see if he can shed further light on your table......very sweet by the way

He's very informative and helpful. It may take a few days for a reply but he will reply.

Here's his email address: marvin.eisenhauer@brunswickbilliards.com



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11-22-2008, 02:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTablePro
I'd send your photo's to Marvin at Brunswick to see if he can shed further light on your table......very sweet by the way

He's very informative and helpful. It may take a few days for a reply but he will reply.

Here's his email address: marvin.eisenhauer@brunswickbilliards.com

Robin
Awesome! Will do!
  
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11-22-2008, 05:13 PM

In an effort to identify my table I called someone and he thought mine was a Oliver Briggs due to the cross member and wide backer boards that weren't screwed but glued to the slate. I think yours has the same cross member? Also, I have been told that three bolts per rail is not Brunswick which always had four bolts.

Good looking table and I am sure you will enjoy it for years to come.


Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

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FBMorse
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11-23-2008, 07:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigkahuna
In an effort to identify my table I called someone and he thought mine was a Oliver Briggs due to the cross member and wide backer boards that weren't screwed but glued to the slate. I think yours has the same cross member? Also, I have been told that three bolts per rail is not Brunswick which always had four bolts.

Good looking table and I am sure you will enjoy it for years to come.
Thanks for the heads up! The help from this community is fantastic!

Are the backer boards the frames under the slates (pardon my ignorance)? If so, they're screwed on from the top of the slates with flat pan head screws. Also, I've found some Brunswick pics at http://www.billiardrestoration.com/a...ool-tables.htm with three bolt side rails and four bolt head/foot rails (which is how mine's made) - unless I'm misunderstanding your statement?

What should I be looking at regarding the cross members to help ID the table?

Regardless, I have another manufacturer to look up that I hadn't thought of, so thanks again! I wish there were old catalogs you could find online - google has squat for info!
  
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11-23-2008, 03:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FBMorse
Thanks for the heads up! The help from this community is fantastic!

Are the backer boards the frames under the slates (pardon my ignorance)? If so, they're screwed on from the top of the slates with flat pan head screws. Also, I've found some Brunswick pics at http://www.billiardrestoration.com/a...ool-tables.htm with three bolt side rails and four bolt head/foot rails (which is how mine's made) - unless I'm misunderstanding your statement?

What should I be looking at regarding the cross members to help ID the table?

Regardless, I have another manufacturer to look up that I hadn't thought of, so thanks again! I wish there were old catalogs you could find online - google has squat for info!
Yes, slate frames backer boards what ever they are called. I think the person who I spoke with told me it was common for Oliver Briggs to have wider boards and glued to the slates. It was also common to replace another manufacturers name plate with a Brunswick.

I wasn't able to find much info online either. I will probably pay someone at some point to research the make and model in the process of appraising value.

I am probably not going to be much help as really the only experience I have with antique tables is with my own. If you look through my thread "Diary of an Antique Brunswick" I do have some pictures of the frame. The frame will look quite different than yours I think the cross member looked similar. About the bolts, I think this is information I found perhaps here.


Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.

Last edited by Bigkahuna; 11-23-2008 at 03:13 PM.
  
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11-23-2008, 03:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigkahuna
If you look through my thread "Diary of an Antique Brunswick" I do have some pictures of the frame.
Already read through your thread - it's why I'm not showing pictures of my rails before I put cloth on them (bumper edges look like hell compared to yours)!
  
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