Interesting if it's about something we actually have an "interest" in
Billiard balls for example.
In the late 1930s before WW II, a brilliant German chemist named Doctor Koebner was working for a German chemical company that went by the name Raschig, and it's been documented that he developed the phenolic process.
A long story shortened, Dr. Koebner was Jewish and wanted to escape Hitler's Germany as well as the assured persecution of the Jewish People. It was miraculously "arranged" that he, along with his guarded formula, went to work for the England based Composition Billiard Ball Supply Co. Ltd until his death in 1949. Composition subsequently licensed the phenolic technology to the Hyatt Ball Co in Albany, N.Y. in the 1960s to produce balls using this process, which later became the Albany Billiard Ball Company. It's worth remembering (I believe) that Hyatt was the original manufacturing company responsible for creating the Brunswick Centennials. Hyatt, then Albany BBC, remained the only U.S. billiard ball manufacturer until it folded in 1986.
It gets more interesting - quickly.
When the German company Raschig went out of the ball business, Saluc (maker of Aramith balls since 1923) purchased its production equipment and their phenolic resin formulas - because Raschig's formulation was, in their opinion and testing, vastly superior to their own. And Saluc needed to be competitive with Composition and Hyatt or be faced with an untimely demise.
Fast forward a few decades..... Saluc was purchased by Simonis - yes, that Simonis (THE billiard table cloth/textiles manufacturer since 1660) in 2012.
So ---- what's the big picture?
Raschig had the best phenolic formula. Which Saluc acquired (think Aramith) when they (Raschig) folded.
That formula, along with it's creator, made its way to Hyatt/Albany BBC. Saluc's competitor.
They both - supposedly - had the same FORMULA.
The finishing processes of course were vastly different I presume, but it's still a somewhat fascinating story ----- and to own a set of Raschig balls as well as Hyatt's, Brunswick's and Aramith balls side by side and play them all while imagining Dr Koebner travels and travails, is a privilege not taken lightly, I assure you
Here are the Raschig balls I was fortunate enough to acquire recently from my friend Mark at Pool Table Magic. Thank you again, Mark. I will tend to them diligently until the next owner takes over in about 5 decades
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