The History of Brunswick Pool Tables


In 1845, swiss entrepreneur, John Brunswick, established the first ever billiard table in New York City. After pool tables appeared to be a success, he ventured into creating cabinets, tables, and chairs. As the word spread of Mr. Brunswick’s business, pool tables took off on the market.

His supply became so in demand that his tiny office in the city became insufficient. He moved his headquarters into a sales office in Chicago and opened a factory as well. The growth of his company did not stop. Brunswick Billiard factories began popping up all of the U.S.

In 1873, the want for Brunswick tables continued to increase and allowed Brunswick to merger with rival Julius Balke’s Great Western Billiard Table Manufactory tand became The J. M. Brunswick and Balke Company. At this point, billiards were selling from Canada to Mexico. Their output was boosted up to 700 pool tables a year.

1884 was a big year for Brunswick. The newly-merged company merged with another rival tand became “The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company,” also known as, the largest billiard equipment operation in the world. Billiards became a popular concept in bars and taverns. Shortly, almost every bar in America was receiving business just because people wanted to play pool on their Brunswick billiard tables.

Brunswick opened a new 100,000 square foot plant in Muskegon, Michigan to be used for billiard table assembly, billiard ball and cue manufacturing, and chalk production in 1901. Today, the company owns its own lumber mill, timberland and slate quarries and is the world’s largest user of hardwood, manufacturing over 400,000 cues a year.

Not only did their production expand, but so did their factories. The company became a well-known name all over the world. Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. now has main offices in Chicago, New York, Cincinnati and San Francisco. As well as factories in six U.S. cities plus Toronto and Paris. And 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.

Over 150 years and Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. has continued to grow and better themselves through dedication to product and service quality, design excellence and craftsmanship, and to market leadership.