Brunswick Hub Cue

Jon Manning

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
*bringing this tread back from the dead* I did find were it's stated Rambow "invented" the Hub Cue, but can't find any proof. Really an interesting cue! Any info would be appreciated!
I think the 360 tread covered about all the known info available and will be condensing it to the main page, when I get time. I would like to do the same with this tread, I will give credit to everyone who contributed. I never wanted the credit for the treads, just thought it would be cool to have all the info available on one tread, when someone wanted any info, just check the treads and hopefully it will contain all known info on what ever Cue is featured.
I sincerely thank anyone who contributed, as this info isn't going to get any more plentiful, once it's lost.

In doing my research on the 360 I found several mentions of the Hub Cue, also a few mentions in the 360 thread. So I decided to start another thread about the Hub Cue. Below is the pictures and story as I received it from a friend. Please post up history or pictures that are available.

As I know it, the Hub cue was the first successful “modern” two piece production cue. It wasn’t fancy but it was relievable. While there were many two piece cues before it,the Hub started zeroing in on what we know as modern dimensions. Mine is Rosewood with an Ivory joint, ring at the front of the wrap, and an ivory butt cap. It also has a bumper which was a little unusual until the 1940’s when they were called “dampeners” not bumpers referring to what they did to the sound that came through the cue. The wrap on this one in the pictures is silk. The handle is removable much like modern jump/break cues, but in this case without the handle the cue was used as a masse’ cue. The ivory ferrule is called a bell ferrule and the thought was that a thinner shaft gave you more action but the thicker tip provided better contact. Good idea except they always cracked because the thinner base of the ivory couldn’t withstand the impact. Overall this was Rambo’s first real mega-success after tutoring from Britner. Found my Hub cue at a house sale around 1989. It was in an umbrella stand with a couple of canes and umbrellas. I spotted the butt first and then found the shaft. I paid very little for it...... and have played with it several times before retiring it to the collection. For reference – If I can't play with a cue I don’t consider it a cue. First and foremost it must be able to perform its function. For what it is worth, it hits good, very solid and it is still straight.

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alphadog

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I know a cuemaker who had a man bring him some old Brunswick house cues and ask to have them converted.Cuemaker took on the job. Man came back to him and asked if he could "replicate" the hub cues. So cuemaker does 1 and finds out through a 3rd party,guy had sold "replica" as the real deal. Cuemaker told him I am too busy to do anymore:embarrassed2:
 

Jon Manning

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I know a cuemaker who had a man bring him some old Brunswick house cues and ask to have them converted.Cuemaker took on the job. Man came back to him and asked if he could "replicate" the hub cues. So cuemaker does 1 and finds out through a 3rd party,guy had sold "replica" as the real deal. Cuemaker told him I am too busy to do anymore:embarrassed2:

The depths of some peoples deprivaty, never ceases to amaze
 

1pocket

Steve Booth
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have an original Hub cue. It has some checking from age, but looks like about everything is original. It's available too :) I guess you could say it was my best flea market find ever.
 

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Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
As I know it, the Hub cue was the first successful “modern” two piece production cue.

It was the first successful modern "two-piece-butt" cue.

Overall this was Rambo’s first real mega-success after tutoring from Britner.

Wasn't really a mega success at all. Brunswick stopped selling it after only a few short years.

The technology, however, is still copied to this day

In 1921 Rambow left Brunswick and started his own company, with two of his former co-workers, at least one of which was a prolific inventor. (Axel F Hjort) Some have speculated that he left because he was not being given appropriate credit for his innovations and hard work.

" This became very apparent with Rambow's new balancing system....

[Which can be seen by clicking here]

The minute he applied for his patent in 1923 [actually 1922], Brunswick made available "their" new cue called the Hub Cue. [ See Brunswick's 1923-24 catalog]

It is curious that Brunswick can only describe the cue but does not explain why the cue is constructed this way. They simply say it has two ivory joints."

(excerpt from The Billiard Encyclopedia. Paul Rubino, Victor Stein)

The patent record alone is pretty much proof enough that "Brunswick's" Hub Cue design was derived directly from Rambow's three piece adjustable-balance cue design.
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
Random thought:

It's entirely possible that the Hub Cue was THE very reason Rambow left Brunswick.

For example, what if Herman invented a new balancing system for custom cues, but Brunswick thought it was a terrible idea. Next thing you know he says "screw it" (pun intended) and decides to go make them himself.

Brunswick gets all butt-hurt and tries to produce a knock-off version, which fails, so they bribe Rambow back, pay him off for his patent, and everything is hunky-dory again.
 

Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Random thought:

It's entirely possible that the Hub Cue was THE very reason Rambow left Brunswick.

For example, what if Herman invented a new balancing system for custom cues, but Brunswick thought it was a terrible idea. Next thing you know he says "screw it" (pun intended) and decides to go make them himself.

Brunswick gets all butt-hurt and tries to produce a knock-off version, which fails, so they bribe Rambow back, pay him off for his patent, and everything is hunky-dory again.

IMHO it is very plausible, and there are some very plausible variations.

Often a company will claim ownership of the work done while one is employed there.

It may not have been a knock off, it may actually be what he developed there before he left. Rambow may very well have developed all of it while working there, then when Brunswick wished to claim the design he left and patented it.

The flaw in such a maneuver is defending the patent. It puts you up against the former employer who probably has a lot more financial resources to fight you. Plus they may have a claim on the work if they can show they paid you to develop it.


Something similar happened to me when I was about to publish an academic text. My employer wanted his name first and he wanted his company credited. I wrote it on my own and his name not only should not go first but should not be on it at all. His position was that I wrote it while I worked for him so he paid me to write it. My position was that I wrote it on my own time.

Some contracts will stipulate that discoveries, designs, patents, etc that are developed while employed actually are the property of the employer.

My contract had nothing at all in it about such a thing. Ultimately I left. I still have not published because he still plans to fight me for the rights to the work.

Since the cue hit the market so close to when Rambow left and patented, I would bet he was working on it in the Brunswick shop. I bet there were at least prototypes if not perhaps even the first few production examples before he left.

The conflict may have been over whether or not Brunswick liked the design...or perhaps over the ownership to the rights to the design.


Hard to say. It could have been over the length of coffee breaks.



.
 
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Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
You're on it doc.

And dammit now it makes me wonder if I should look thru more Albert Pick info to see if Herman tried to get his hub cue produced at their factory while he was there...

Edit:

It also re-occurred to me, now that I think about it, the relevance of who the men were, that Herman left with, and the time frame....

Britner had died in 1918, so Herman's old friend and mentor was gone.

Herman's co-worker, Mr. Hjort, was busting out patents left and right, and he probably asked Herman why he wasn't doing the same....

So they gossip about a plan to leave Brunswick, until something finally snaps....

dun dun dun!

...its not just a job, its a ******* adventure :cool:

1918 Jan 19 George Britner died.jpg
 
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Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You're on it doc.

And dammit now it makes me wonder if I should look thru more Albert Pick info to see if Herman tried to get his hub cue produced at their factory while he was there...



...its not just a job, its a ******* adventure :cool:

I am confident there is still evidence to find. And it may not necessarily be what you expect or are looking for, and it may not be where you think.

It could be something you already have, something in public record. Business filings. Tax filings. Court filings.

It could still be in somebody's basement or attic. It could be sitting in a box at a flea market.

Or somebody could have used pages from an old ledger to line the bottom of their parakeet cage.

The only way to know is to keep looking. :smile:

.
 
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Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
I am confident there is still evidence to find. And it may not necessarily be what you expect or are looking for, and it may not be where you think.

It could be something you already have, something in public record. Business filings. Tax filings. Court filings.

It could still be in somebody's basement or attic. It could be sitting in a box at a flea market.

Or somebody could have used pages from an old ledger to line the bottom of their parakeet page.

The only way to know is to keep looking. :smile:

.

You're right doc. I'd bet there is more info out there somewhere. And you're also right that 99% of the time it's never where you'd expect it to be. Sometimes it's just a single word or sentence.

I'm going to shoot an email to Rambow's grandson. I know they don't have much of his stuff but I'm gonna ask and see if maybe they have anything related to his patent. Will report any findings here.
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
Nope, the family doesn't have diddly related to his patent or that cue.
oh well...more looking
 

Jon Manning

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I knew this tread needed revisiting!
Thank you very much, all that have added to this tread!
Pretty interesting to think that this odd little cue "could" have started a riff between Brunswick and Rambow. A cue that by all accounts was relatively un-successful and now is looked at, as the beginning of our modern era cues. This is the reason I love history... all the "what if" and "how did that happen". Who knows where our modern cues would be now if Rambow never had the idea for the Hub Cue specs.
Looks like the Patent you posted is the same one that I found and posted in the 360 thread. When I originally did the patent searches, I just looked for Brunswick and Rambow, I'll go back and search the other names Mr. Bond posted.

Is there any info as to, how many were produced? Did Rambow and Brunswick produce a Hub Cue? If so, I wonder if any surviving cues have Rambows signature or some kind of mark. Just a couple questions that come to mind, and I'm aware that some of these questions, most likely are impossible to answer. Just very interesting to me, digging into the past and attempting to get some answers.

As a side note, I've sent quite a few emails to Brunswick looking for any info on the 360 & Hub Cue. Does anyone know or have a good contact for someone that might have any info at Brunswick?

A special thanks to Mr. Bond for gracing us with his knowledge, I sincerely enjoy reading all the history you have shared.
 
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Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Nope, the family doesn't have diddly related to his patent or that cue.
oh well...more looking

Just a thought, but what about the patent lawyer?

If the firm still exists, unlikely I know, there might be a file.

But even if the firm does not exist, the descendants may have the old law office files.

You never know. There could be notes.

Just a thought.

Long shot I know...

Then, was the patent ever challenged or defended? Where would such a thing be filed? What court? Maybe such a record is not online and is warehoused somewhere with a million other old court filings.

If there is a record of such a thing with the patent office, maybe it is not online? Maybe contact them for such a record if it exists?

Since Brunswick did produce the cue, there is a chance Rambow attempted to defend his patent or perhaps even Brunswick challenged it?

.
 

Jon Manning

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just a thought, but what about the patent lawyer?

If the firm still exists, unlikely I know, there might be a file.

But even if the firm does not exist, the descendants may have the old law office files.

You never know. There could be notes.

Just a thought.

Long shot I know...

Then, was the patent ever challenged or defended? Where would such a thing be filed? What court? Maybe such a record is not online and is warehoused somewhere with a million other old court filings.

If there is a record of such a thing with the patent office, maybe it is not online? Maybe contact them for such a record if it exists?

Since Brunswick did produce the cue, there is a chance Rambow attempted to defend his patent or perhaps even Brunswick challenged it?

.

No idea where to start with the Patent Office, but I'll send them an email and see what we can see. We can also send the Patent law offices an email. Who knows what info is stored from damn near a hundred years ago... but it never hurts to ask, might just stumble across some answers
 

Jon Manning

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Mr. Bond,
You mentioned getting in touch with the family and they didn't have much info. But, by chance did you ask if they have any correspondence from the lawyers that were used? And for that matter any correspondence from that time period, a letter to a friend expressing frustration over Brunswick, anything really. Did he keep a diary or journal?
I'll see if I can find any news clippings from time period that could help, we know when he filed the patent, wonder if right after or before, Brunswick issued an advertisement for a new cue?
It's likely we won't find anything, but it's fun a hell to look!
 
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