Company Name:  Aaron B. Griffith
W.H. Griffith & Bro.

Primary Business : Billiard table construction, sales and repair etc.
Business Address: 45 Franklin St. (1858-59)  169 State  (1866)  211
State (1870)
Home Address: 259 Forquer  (1869)

Born in 1821, Aaron Griffith was a carpenter by trade and father of two
children, John & Eliza. He moved to Illinois from out east some time in
the late 1850's and by 1858 had established a billiard table company
with his brother in Chicago. But the Griffith's business didn't really last
all that long, it disappeared shortly after 1870.

Unlike many shops that were simply for repairs and resales of tables,
evidence indicates that Aaron Griffith may have actually manufactured
and sold his own billiard tables.

Company Logo:  N/A  

Below: The Griffiths listed in the 1869 and 1858 Chicago City Directory

Company Name:  Adam Jochem  

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair etc
Business Address:  722 Melrose (1899)
Home address:  631 B  Roscoe   (1900)

Notes: The son of German immigrants, Adam Jochem was born in January of 1855 in
Illinois. Like many Germans did at the time, he grew up learning a type of carpentry
also known as "cabinet making".

Adam got married around 1880, had a daughter (Laura) in 1883, but his wife died
soon thereafter. He remarried in 1894 to a young lady roughly half his age ( Annie 20 )
and had two more children, Adam Jr. and Eva.

Although Mr. Jochem was listed in the 1899 Chicago directory under "
Billiard Table
" and he was in fact a carpenter, at this time it is not entirely clear to us
if he actually manufactured
his own tables or simply ran a repair and resale shop.  To
see his listing in the directory visit

Mr. Jochem's business did not last very long, it appears that he either sold out and/or
went to work for another company.

Adam Jochem died Jan. 30, 1922.

Company Logo: N/A

Company Name: Adolph Zeller  

Primary Business: Billiard table construction, sales and repair etc.
Business Address:  52 and 54 Shelby. Detroit, MI  (1867)
84 Randolph St. (1869)
148 State St. (1871 relocated after the Great Fire)
24 & 26 W. Washington (1873)
28 to 32 W. Washington (1876)
84 & 86 State St (1882)
Home address:
St. James Hotel (1869)
Central Hotel (1876)

Notes: Adolph Zeller was born in New York in about 1827. He later moved to Detroit
and went into business with the already established local billiard table maker,
Charles Schulenburg. ( @ 1863 ) They did fairly well, selling tables via "authorized
agents" as far away as Iowa, perhaps even further.

A few years later, Mr. Zeller came to Chicago and opened a branch facility for their
joint company. That is, until shortly after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, at which time
they lost everything in Chicago. Mr. Schulenburg apparently bailed out, leaving Mr.
Zeller to continue on his own...

Which he did, up until about 1880, when eventually Mr. Zeller took over management
of a local
H.W. Collender billiard shop at 84-86 State Street. Collender ended up
merging with Brunswick, so by default, Mr. Zeller probably became a Brunswick
employee as well.

Below is an example of his work; a billiard table made almost entirely of Mahogany
that is still as sturdy and beautiful as the day it was made, over 130 years ago.

Company Logo: ( Ivory nameplate below )           Rare Example of Zeller Billiard Table
Schulenburg & Zeller Ad 1869                                         Zeller Ad 1871
A plug for Zeller from "The Great Inter-State.. Expo" program (1873)

Company Name: C.G. Akam Manufacturing Co.
Akam Billiard Manufacturing Co.  

Primary Business: Billiard table construction, sales and repair - plus various items
for the home. (Singer sewing machines, rugs, fireplace implements etc.)

Business Address: 22 E. Adams  (1879)  10 & 12 Adams (1900) 331 Wabash (1910)
Telephone: Harrison-2982

Home address: National Hotel - Van Buren St. (1910)

Notes: Charles Guy Akam was born in New York on December 27, 1847. He married
'Fannie' Gifford in 1877 and at some point moved to Chicago. By 1879 he had
opened a retail business selling various items for the home, including "Parlor" style
and "convertible" billiard tables - and a fine array of Singer sewing machines.

Unlike other billiard table shops that simply resold and repaired tables, Mr. Akam did
in fact design and manufacture some of his own tables. He even dabbled in sewing
technology, filing a patent for a "darning device" in 1880. See his patent records

Mr. Akam's company disappeared shortly after 1910. He moved back to New York
where he retired and died April 8, 1920. Fannie moved to Florida.

Company Logo: ( nameplate below )                    A full page C.G. Akam ad from 1879
Image from: "Pool & Billiard Collectibles "
© Mark & Connie Stellinga

Left: Akam Table Design Patent (1879)
Right: Akam's Darning Device  (1880)

Company Name:  C.S. Prindle

Primary Business: 'Parlor' style billiard table construction and sales.
Business Address:  166 and 170 State St. (1873)

Home address: N/A

Notes: There appears to have been a Prindle family billiard table company in
Chicago. We found C.S. Prindle selling billiard tables and L.C. Prindle taking out
patents for various billiard table improvements. However, we are not yet sure of their
relation to each other. Father & son? Brothers?

The little information that
is available suggests that the Prindle men did design and
build their own tables, but for whatever reason their business did not last very long.

L. Corydon Prindle died March 27, 1918.

Company Logo: N/A

Below:  A plug for C.S. Prindle from "The Great Inter-state Expo" program (1873)
Below:  Passow company blotter sheet and envelope from 1899

Company Name: Charles Passow & Sons,
Passow & Sons, Charles & Sons

Primary Business: Production of saloon fixtures, billiard tables and bowling supplies.
Business Address: Salesroom 196 & 198 E. Washington (1899 -1900)
Office & Factory  862 to 870 Allport   (1899-1900)
Office 832- 840 W. Madison  (1905 -1910)
Telephone: Canal 276, Main 910

Additional offices: St. Louis, Omaha, Denver, Seattle, St. Paul, Detroit, San Francisco

Home address: Charles Passow -181 Wright St. (1880)  
Louis A. Passow - 3322 Washington (1905)
Charles Passow  - 929 W. 12th  (1900)

Notes: Charles Passow was born in Prussia in 1845. He married Augusta
Schneidewend and a few years later immigrated to Chicago (1867) with his two kids
William and Annie  - and then proceeded to have 6 more: Lucy, Charles, Louis, Henry,
Edward and Rosie. (With five male children, there's a real good chance that his family
line is still around today)

While it's likely that
all of his sons were involved in the 'family business' in some way
or another, we know for sure that Charles' eldest son
William co-owned and operated
one location and his third son,
Louis August Passow, was admitted officially as a
partner in his father's company in 1896. Charles died Dec 11, 1900 and in 1904 the
business was incorporated simply as "Passow & Sons", Louis took over as president.

Passow & Sons disappeared from the records sometime between 1914 and 1920.
Louis died Jan. 21, 1926 as a resident of Oak Park, IL (see snip below)

Company Logo: ( nameplate below )                                   Passow 'trade card'
Above images from: "Pool & Billiard Collectibles "© Mark & Connie Stellinga

Below: Table made by Passow and Sons. The "Old Mission" circa 1904
Private Collection
Patent #43,462  Jan 21, 1913   J.G. Lobstein Jr. assignor to Passow & Sons
Design for a billiard table.
( Charles Passow's daughter Lucy was married to J.G. Lobstein )

Company Name: Tuckhorn & Co.   
Charles**, William* & Henry

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair etc
Business Address:   Charles Tuckhorn 49 W. Madison (1880)  
H. Tuckhorn & Co. 35 5th Av (1885)  12 N. Halsted (1890)  3512 N. Halsted (1892)

Home address:  Henry & family  -10 N. Elizabeth St. (1880)

Notes: Henry Tuckhorn was born in about 1832 in Hamburg (Germany). By 1860 he
had immigrated to Chicago, where he and his wife Caroline raised five kids: Isaac
David, Carrie, Abraham and Simon.

Henry worked as a cigar maker (1870) but by 1880 he was in the business of selling
and repairing billiard tables. However, at this time it is not entirely clear to us if he
actually designed and built his own tables or simply ran a repair and resale shop.

*We know that William operated various billiard rooms, but other than that, we haven't
found much else on him.

Henry died July 18th, 1892 but was outlived by his wife by over twenty years. Once
widowed, Caroline moved in with her daughter Carrie and her family: husband
Emmanuel Greenebaum and daughter Beatrice.(1910) Caroline died June 20, 1918.

* *No information has been found on Charles as of yet. We presume that Charles
was either Henry's father or brother.

Company Logo: N/A

Company Name: Tivoli Table Co./ Charles Lufsky

Primary Business:  "Tivoli " and "Pigeon Hole" table production, sales & repair.
Business Address:  141-147  W. Jackson Boul. (1900)     808 W. Jackson  (1910)

Home address: 141 Jackson  (1900)  714 Jackson (1910)  4744 Rockwell  (1920)

Notes:  Charles Lufsky was born in Germany in September 1853. He immigrated to
the U.S. in 1873 and ended up in St. Louis where he ventured into the gaming table  
business. He married Caroline in 1885 and had two sons, Henry and Joseph. Shortly
thereafter he moved to Chicago and set up shop, opening his game table business
and a billiard hall. (@1900) He appears to have done well, at least for a short period
of time, taking out patents on his ideas and designs. But alas, his success was fairly
short lived.

Charles died October 28, 1918 but his wife and sons continued to run the family
billiard hall for several more years without dear old dad.

Company Logo: (ad below)

Company Name:  DeThier & Blaurock

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair etc
Business Address:  231 Randolph  (1876)
Home address:   DeThier - 221 Aberdeen (1876)    Blaurock - 1010 Harrison (1876)

Notes:  Alexander L. DeThier,  Charles A. Blaurock.  
Their business appears to have been short-lived. No further info at this time.

Alexander L. DeThier died in Chicago on December 27, 1910. 69 years old.

Company Logo: N/A

Company Name:  Fred Haupt & Sons

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair, billiard supplies & items for the home.
Specialized in billiard cushions. Not clear if they manufactured their own tables.

Business Address:  2250-2258 Ogden (about 1903 to about 1926) Located in a
commercial-residential building constructed in 1891, now a vacant lot. (see map
image below)  Also 918 W. Madison (1910) 826 Los Angeles St,  Los Angeles, Ca
(1915) 639 Ogden (?)

Home address:
Fred & family - 356 Blue Island Av (1900)  1125 Wisconsin Av (1910)
4100 W. Monroe (1917) 1015 Oak Park Av (1923)
Fred Jr. - 2442 Ogden (1917)  1119 S. Elmwood (1923)  Ferdinand Av (1930)

Notes:  Fred Haupt Sr. was born in June of 1869 in Germany. He immigrated to
America in 1879 (likely with his parents) and shortly thereafter ended up in Chicago.
In 1891 Fred married Katherine "Kittie" or "Katie" Reinhardt. Their first son, Fred Jr.
was born in December of 1896 on Christmas day.

1900 - Fred Sr. is listed in the Chicago Business Directory as a ‘barber’.

At some point Fred decided to go into the billiard table repair and accessories

1903 - Fred Sr. is listed in the Chicago directory for the first time as:

Fred Haupt..... ‘billiard accessories’

- Fred Sr. lives in what is now Oak Park on Wisconsin Ave. with his wife Katie
and their 5 kids. Pearl(15), Fred Jr. (12), Roy (8), Katherine (6), and little Ruth(3).

1915 Fred opens a branch office in Los Angeles, CA

Company Name: Gerhard H. Lohmann

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair etc
Business Address:   2152 Washburn (1910)
Home address:  630 Washburn Ave (1900)  2152 Washburn (1910)
Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin (1930)

Notes:  Gerhard was born in December of 1859 in Wisconsin, his parents having
immigrated from Germany. He married his wife Elizabeth in 1886 and in 1889 they
gave birth to their first daughter Louise. By 1900 Gerhard lived in Chicago and had
opened a billiard shop. His business lasted at least 10 years and presumably he
made his own tables, but we have no proof as of yet. His business disappeared
some time shortly after 1910.

Louise became a fine China painter and  married a German immigrant musician
named Eric Goede or Golde.

Company Logo: N/A
Patent #600,086    March 1,1898   Charles Lufsky  
Design for a game table. (looks like an early pinball machine)
An example of this table is shown below: [ private collection]
Patent #863,732    Aug. 20, 1907   Charles Lufsky  
Design for a "portable" and reversed bowling alley. Interesting.
I want one of these.

Company Name: Economy Billiard & Fixture

Primary Business: Discount billiard tables, fixtures and room supplies.
Business Address:  746-748 Milwaukee Av  (1910)
Telephone: Monroe - 5582

Notes: Owners not yet known. No further info at this time.

Company Logo: N/A
Private Collection                                                 Brian Holdiman Collection
Private Collection
The Haupt's business location, as shown on a 1917 Sanborn map of Chicago
(the building is now a parking lot)
News:  Oct 24, 1873    Grand Billiard Tourney in Chicago
Tables to be provided by Zeller and others....

Company Name: H.C. Thomas & Co.

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair etc
Business Address:   63 W. VanBuren (1880)

Home address:  Seward St. (1880)  362? VanBuren (1900)

Notes:  Harry Thomas was born in April of 1844 in England. Apparently he grew up
there, got married in the mid 1860's, had two daughters, Hattie (born 1868) and Anna
(born 1872) and a son Harry (1876). Sadly Harry's wife died the same year Harry Jr
was born, possibly from childbirth complications. So he immigrated to America as a  
single father, and came to Chicago.

He was a carpenter / cabinet maker by trade and had ventured into the billiard table
sales and repair business by 1880.  

In 1890 when Mr. Thomas was 46, he re-married a 28 year old woman named Mary.

It's not clear whether he made his own tables or not, but it appears that his billiard
business was fairly short-lived. By 1900 he was just a bartender.

Company Logo: N/A

Company Name: Hannah & Hogg
In association with: West Brothers

Primary Business: Liquor bottling/distribution, Hotel Breevort, billiard rooms, cigars,
barber shops and all things manly.

Business Address: Multiple locations: 190 E. Madison (1873) 83 E. Madison (1882)
146 E. Madison (1887) 88 LaSalle (1887) 188 W. Madison (1887) 151 E. Randolph
(1887) 112 E. Monroe (1887)  73 S. Halstead (1887) 222 & 224 S. Clark.
Hotel Breevort, Stock Exchange Building, Fisher Building

Home address:  
Alexander D. Hannah - 848 Washington (1880)  409 Oak St (1900) 68 E.Oak St (1905)
David Hogg -  865 Washington (1880)  399 Oak St. (1900)  58 E. Oak St (1905)
Mackinac Island (1910 +)

Notes:  In the late 1800s in Chicago, Hannah and Hogg was a household name.
Their liquor, their hotel (Breevort), their lavish billiard halls, bars and "man malls"
were the talk of the town. You could stop by and pick up a jug of their fine whiskey,
select a choice cigar, get a shave and a haircut, have your shoes shined, eat lunch
and play a few billiard games, all in one luxurious gentlemen's dream shop. What
started off as a small partnership between two Scottish immigrants, had become the
largest and finest chain of billiard rooms* in all of Chicago.

*Since Hannah and Hogg were technically not the billiards business, their billiard
rooms were run independently by an outsourced company known as
West Brothers.

Alexander Hannah and David Hogg had an interesting personal history together as
well. Besides being fellow Scottish immigrants and partners in business, the two
men married sisters from the same family, effectively becoming brothers-in-law. They
were neighbors in Chicago while in business, and when they retired, built mansions
next door to each other on Mackinac Island. The odd part is, Hogg was a Republican
and Hannah was a Democrat. Go figure.

Read more about Hannah and Hogg in the additional information below:

*See pictures of and read more about the Hannah and Hogg mansions
in this book:
Historic Cottages of Mackinac Island  By: Susan Stites, Lea Ann Sterling
To read it:  
Click Here

*See pictures of and read more about Hannah and Hogg liquor, see this article:
Nasty Words and Nifty Whiskies  By: Jack Sullivan
To read it:
Click here

Company Logo: "The Thistle" See token images below and the liquor article above.

Below:    A short biography of  Mr. Hannah and Mr. Hogg written in 1905:
Below left: 1887 advertisement from a Haymarket Theater program.
Below right: H&H tokens and a postcard from the luxurious Breevort round bar
Bottom: An 1882 news article announcing the opening of a new H&H billiard hall
Aaron B. Griffith
Adam Jochem
Adolph Zeller
Albert Pick & Co.
Brunswick Brothers
Burton Spain
C.G. Akam
C.S. Prindle
Charles Passow
Charles & Henry Tuckhorn
Charles Lufsky
DeThier & Blaurock
Economy Billiard and Fixture
Fred Haupt & Sons
George Kuehl
Gerhard Lohmann
H.C. Thomas & Co.
Hannah & Hogg
Henry Kadin & Co.
Herman J. Rambow
Jaburek Family
Jacob Bein
J.C. McFarland
The Billiard Companies of Chicago
The following information is an ongoing list or "directory" of every
billiard table production company that has ever existed,
along with many of the more notable
billiard related companies as well.
If you have any additions or corrections, feel free to let us know.

As a new feature, we will also be adding
non-Chicago based table
maker information as it becomes available. See the links below:

Boston table maker A.W. Bailey( PDF)
- San Francisco table maker Jacob Strahle
- New York table makers Phelan & Collender ( PDF)
- Detroit table maker Charles Schulenburg ( PDF)
- Toledo table maker B.A. Stevens
- Cincinnati table maker Julius Balke and Julius Jr.
- Cincinnati's National Billiard Mfg. Co. ( Gunklach family )
- Cleveland table maker August Hand
- Minneapolis table maker Val Schaaf
- Milwaukee table maker Charles Wendt
( See also: the Portrait Gallery )
John Butzbach
John D. Freese & Sons
Joseph L. Fowler
Jost Family
Keefe & Hamer
Kieckhefer Mfg Co.
Laner Family
Leo Brederlow
Louis Portner
Marvel Billiard & Bowling
Merle & Heaney Mfg Co.
National Billiard Supply
Nicolas Stoll  (Garden City)
Rudolph Kleemann
Stephani, Monheimer & Hart
Schaub & Strehl
Sykes Steel
Taylor & Hasbrouck
Tweeten Fibre Co.
U.S. Standard Billiard Table Co.
William A. Spinks
William Blome

Company Name: Henry Kadin & Co.

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair, fixtures and accessories.
Business Address:  1920-22 Milwaukee Ave
(1910) 1823-27   Milwaukee Ave (1915-23)     
Telephone: Humboldt 4886  

Home address:  1309 Milwaukee Ave (1900) 2048 Wabansee Ave (1910)
3045 Sunny---? Ave (1917-18)  3156 A ---ie? St. (1920)   808 Eastwood Ave (1930)

Notes: See bio and portrait below from Billiards Magazine Dec. 1925

Company Logo: N/A

Below:  Cover page and bio of Henry Kadin December ,1925.
And an advertisement for and photo of Henry Kadin's new shop on Milwaukee Ave,
as featured in
Billiards Magazine, Aug 1915. Charles Ursitti collection

Bottom: Henry Kadin's WW I draft registration card.
Image from: World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. NARA
Below left:  (partial) Charles Passow & Sons 1907 Catalog. (click image to view)
Courtesy Joe Newell Collection
Below Right: Charles Passow portrait from their 1907 catalog.   
Bottom: Passow cue rack (left) & ball rack (right)  private collection
Below left:  Akam Catalog (unknown year) Courtesy Joe Newell Collection
Below middle:  Akam's Passport Application (1872)
Below right: Akam advert
Nov 30, 1910 from Chicago Tribune
Below: from Billiards Magazine Feb. 1926  Courtesy Charles Ursitti Collection
Bottom: Passow family plot at Forest Home (Old German Waldheim) Cemetery.

Company Name:  "Brunswick"
J.M. Brunswick (1845)
J. Brunswick & Holzhalb  (@1850)
J.M. Brunswick & Brother  (@1858)
Emanuel Brunswick & Co. -  
Great Western Billiard Table Manufactory  (@1859)
J.M. Brunswick & Brothers  (@1866)
J.M. Brunswick & Brother  (@1871)
J.M. Brunswick Billiard Mfg. Co.  (@1872)
Emanuel Brunswick & Co.  -
Great American Billiard Table Manufactory (@1871)
J.M. Brunswick & Balke Co. (@1873)
The Brunswick Bros.,Stephani & Hart Co.(@1875)
Brunswick & Co. (@1879)
Brunswick Balke Collender Co. (@1879)
Brunswick Corp. (1960)

Primary Business : Billiard table construction, sales and repair. Billiard accessories,
balls and cues. Bowling lanes, balls, pinsetters and accessories. Bar backs,
iceboxes, furniture, tires, phonographs, records, refrigerators, toilet seats, fishing
equipment, boat motors, boats, golf equipment, medical supplies and even aircraft
and space shuttle parts... (and more)

(Chicago) Business Address:  E. Brunswick 74-78 Randolph (1858) 47-49 State St.
(1874)  44-46 Dearborn (1875) 122-126 Washington (187?)
J.M. Brunswick  Corner of
Clark & Washington (1863) 47-49 State (1869) 62 Lake St.  (1874)
And many more locations - see images below...

Below: Various Brunswick factory locations, most of which (if not all) no longer exist.
Images from Brunswick catalogs 1885,1916,1928, courtesy Joe Newell collection.

Company Names: Jaburek & Richard
Jaburek Repair Shop, D. Jaburek Billiards

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair + accessories.
Business Address: 1735 & 1737  W. Lake St. (1920s+)
5560 W. Farragut Ave. (present)

Telephone:  West - 6320 (1923)   708-785-1433 (present)

Home address:  Richard J. Jaburek: 1332 56th Ave (1920)  
1146 S. Lombard Ave (1930)  1324 58th Ave (1942)

Notes:  Various members of the Jaburek family have operated a billiard shop in
Chicago since the 1920s. Richard J. Jaburek, in addition to his saloon/billiard room,
opened their first family shop in about 1923 with his two sons Richard Jr. and Elmer.

Later a nephew took over the tradition, who is the father of the shop's current owner;
Dennis Jaburek - and they have continued in the business to this day.

Visit their website by
clicking here.

Company Logo: nameplate and advertisement below.
Ad from Billiards Magazine 1929 Charles Ursitti Collection
Nameplate images courtesy D. Jaburek and R. Montgomery
Home Address: J.M. Brunswick - Cincinnati, OH (1840 -187?)
437 Walnut St. Chicago (1880)  
E. Brunswick - Chicago Second Ward (1860)
Joseph Brunswick - 1252 Indiana Ave (1880)

From a one-man carriage trimming shop in Ohio to the world-wide company they are
today, the enormous impact that Brunswick has had on billiards (and bowling) in
America - and all over the world, simply cannot be overstated.

Their various product lines alone could easily fill an entire museum and a complete
documented history of the company's various personalities would easily fill many a
thick bound book. So, we are providing just the "basic facts" for now and will leave
further research up to the individual reader.

SEE ALSO: The Brunswick interactive time-line.
SEE ALSO: J.M. Brunswick obituary from the Chicago Tribune July 26, 1886
SEE ALSO:  Article on Emanuel Brunswick
SEE ALSO: The Portrait Gallery

Recommended Reading:
Gleanings From the History of Billiards   BBCC 1896
Brunswick  - The Story of An American Company - The First 150 Years.
A book written by famed Chicago journalist Rick Kogan, printed for Brunswick in 1995
to be distributed to their employees as a gift. Although not originally for sale to the
public, many copies still exist and as of this writing, are available for purchase online.

Brunswick Company President/Chairman*
1845-1886 John Moses Brunswick    1886-1890 Hugh W. Collender
1890-1904 Moses Bensinger               1904-1935 Benjamin Bensinger
1935-1955 Robert F. Bensinger           1955-1966 Benjamin E. Bensinger
1966-1976 Jack L. Hanigan                  1976-1982 K. Brooks Abernathy
1982-1995 Jack F. Reichert                  1995-1999 Peter Larson
2000-2005 George W. Buckley             2005-  Dustan E. McCoy
*not including Emanuel Brunswick's separate companies. See also Stephani & Hart in this directory.

Below: An article written about John Moses Brunswick, his family, and the formation
his company. It's a good source of early information on the Brunswicks, published in

The Mirror of American Sports
on June 7th, 1884, two years before John's death.
Article courtesy Joe Newell collection.
Below:  Brunswick retail stores in 38 American cities circa 1916.
Images from Brunswick 1916 Catalog courtesy Joe Newell collection
Below:  Company Logo -  Brunswick nameplates from decades past
Images from: "Pool & Billiard Collectibles "© Mark & Connie Stellinga, except for:
Bottom left: Private collection     Bottom right: Joe Newell collection

Company Name: Burton Spain

Primary Business: Hand-crafted billiard and pool cues.
Business Address: 3064 N. Clybourne (in 1969)
An excellent biography of Burton Spain can be read here.
More information can be found here
Courtesy Hercek.com

Deceased: Burton T. Spain, Cue Stick Maker
Date: August 13, 1994
Services for Burton T. Spain, 54, a nationally known maker of custom billiard cue sticks, will be at
11 a.m. today in May Chapel, Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N. Ravenswood. Burial will follow.

A West Side resident, he died of cancer last Saturday in the Whitehall Convalescent & Nursing
Home. Mr. Spain, who worked from his home, had been making  cue sticks since 1965. He founded
the business based on his experiences in the late 1950s at Sheridan Recreation, an Uptown
bowling alley and pool hall. There, he learned three-cushion billiards from what he called
"Runyonesque characters" while admiring their ornate cases and sticks.

Helen Kupper, a friend and executor of his will, said he was "a giant" in the field.

Before 1965, he was involved in real estate. He bought buildings and rehabbed them for a profit.
Mr. Spain belonged to a number of intellectual organizations, including Mensa.

There are no immediate survivors.
Copyright (c) 1994 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.

Below left: Portrait of Burton shortly before his untimely demise.
Below Right: A miniature Burton Spain cue that was made exclusively for Santa's use
at the Illinois Billiard Club.
A very special Thank You to Jim Parker for the photographs.
Bottom: Q & A with Burton from National Billiard News March,1979  Jim Parker Collection.

Company Name:  Albert Pick & Company

Primary Business : Commercial and institutional furnishings for bars and
restaurants. Billiard tables and billiard room accessories. Dinnerware and
furnishings for the hotel and restaurant industry. Hotel & motel management.

Business Address:  208-224 W Randolph
Notes: Company established in 1857 by Austrian immigrant Albert Pick. See
images and information below. Shifting their focus from a pre-prohibition economy
to a post-prohibition economy, Albert Pick began producing such things as soda
fountains and billiard room equipment. In 1922 Albert Pick & Co purchased the
assets of
Superior Cue Manufacturing Co., which included recruiting renowned cue
maker Herman J. Rambow as their employee. The company did not survive but the
Albert Pick Jr Foundation still exists today.

Company Logo:  see images below

Fred Haupt and Sons  (Fred Jr. and Roy Haupt)
Billiard tables.   2250 Ogden          2235
 [<--phone # ]                    

Fred Sr. lives at 1015 Oak Park Ave. (Oak Park)

1924 -1930?  The Haupt family billiard business appears to have ended.

1930  - Fred Haupt Sr. dies Jan. 31.   The Great Depression begins to unfold.

The Haupt family must have repaired quite a few tables over the years, their
nameplates can still be found on antique tables to this day.

Company Logo: nameplates below
Below: Akam elephant trunk "Combination English Pool Table" (4 pocket)
Private Collection

Company Name: Jacob W. Bein  

Primary Business: Billiard table sales & repair etc
Business Address: 260 W. Ogden Ave. (1885)
Home address:  N/A

Notes: The very little information available on Mr. Bein tells us that he had a very short
lived business, and most likely did not produce any billiard tables on his own.

Company Logo: N/A

Above: Pick advertisement from March 1919 warning of the coming prohibition.
from: Billiards Magazine Charles Ursitti Collection

Article: How Albert Pick & Co Are Meeting Their Change in Market.
(in reference to post-prohibition sales)

Below: July 1922 announcement of Superior Cue buy-out, and various Pick
advertisements from 1918 to 1924.
From Billiards Magazine Charles Ursitti collection.
Bottom: Pick (PIX) billiard table nameplates courtesy: R. Montgomery
1909 - In June, Herman's daughter Loretta is born.

1910 - Herman is shown in the census as living (with his wife and daughter) at the
in-law's house and is a carpenter at a factory. (Brunswick)

Herman's father-in-law,
Philip Fitzsimons died. He is the first one buried in their family
plot at Mt. Carmel cemetery. (Also Herman's final resting place)

Herman's younger brother
August Rambow died at age 21.

1917-18 Herman signs mandatory WWI draft registration card. (Still working for

1919 - Herman appears to have left Brunswick.

- Herman now owns a home on Ridgeway Ave and is listed in the census as a

1921 - (date approximate) Herman joins forces with two Swedish former co-workers,
Axel F. Hjort and Charles Linquist and forms a new company:
Superior Cue
Manufacturing and Billiard Supply Co.

1922 - Legend has it: "[Herman]...got his start on the road to cue making fame in 1922
when on a "rush order", he turned out a stick for World Champion Alfredo De Oro.
As published in the Chicago Tribune Feb 6, 1968

Approx June - Albert Pick & Co purchases the assets of  Superior Cue Mnfg.
Herman becomes employee of Albert Pick.

Company Name: Herman J. Rambow
Superior Cue Manufacturing & Billiard Supply Co
Cues by H.J. Rambow

Primary Business: Billiard cue production & repair etc
Business Address:  Keefe & Hamer Shop 17 N. Wabash (1950 - 67)
Superior Cue Mfg  214 Institute Place (1922)
Brunswick / Bensinger's Shop 623 S. Wabash (1896 -@1919, 1925-1950)

Home address:   Parents: 135 Sheffield Av (1900)   In-laws:  2141 Rice St. (1910)  
1331 Ridgeway Ave (1917,1920)   5453 Wayne Ave (1930)   523 Brompton (1942)
1310 N. Menard (1967)

Notes:  Herman James Rambow was born in Germany on October 2nd* or 3rd*,1882.
He immigrated with his parents, Charles and Christina, to the U.S. as an infant in
1883 - and they made their way directly to the city of Chicago. (Charles Rambow had
married Christina Sternberg (or Steinberg) in Germany in 1874)

Herman was the second oldest of 5 surviving sons:
Charles (Jr.), Herman, William, August & George.
(Christina had given birth to at least 10 children, only 5 of which survived past 1 year,
including at least
one daughter)

Charles Sr. was a teamster in Chicago, but apparently he suffered some sort of
serious injury, so the sons all had to find work. Herman, instead of following his
father's career path, decided to work with his hands. And we're glad he did.

But it wasn't always about the wood. Herman started off in the Brunswick mail room,
and at other times he turned ivory balls and painted for a living. It wasn't until many
years later that his skill and reputation as a master cue maker would fully blossom.

1896 - Herman hired by Brunswick as a mail-boy for 50 cents a day.

1900 - Herman still lives with his parents on Sheffield. He is a woodworker in a
factory. (presumably Brunswick)

1907-  Still single, Herman enjoyed a little extra-curricular bowling in his leisure time.
In the 1907 season his league average was 176, with some games as high as 224.

1908 - July 19  Herman married Maude Fitzsimons and moved in with her family :
Father Philip Fitzsimons (who had been a teamster with Herman's father), his wife
Sarah and their other daughter Ella.  

Herman's middle name was mistakenly recorded on his marriage license as
instead of James. Get a good chuckle and see for yourself below:
1968 Feb. 5th  Rambow is the first cue maker inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.
1993 Inducted into the American Cuemakers Association Hall of Fame.
2004 Recognized by International Cuemakers Association.
SEE ALSO: Living Links

*Conflicting official records:
WWII draft card and Social Security death index both say Oct 3rd - but WWI draft card
and his death certificate say Oct 2nd. Looking for birth record to verify?

Below: Herman's signature from WWII draft card.
Below Left: Keefe & Hamer business card.
rom: "Pool & Billiard Collectibles "© Mark & Connie Stellinga
Below Right: A portion of Herman's personal hand tool arsenal.
Image courtesy R. Montgomery
When Herman Rambow died, he was put to rest next to his wife, in the family
plot of his in-laws: The Fitzsimons.  A large 'family-style' stone had been placed at
the head of the plot, but for unknown reasons, the only name that was ever
engraved on the giant stone was that of Herman's father in law, Philip Fitzsimons.
In other words,
Herman Rambow had an un-marked grave.

So, in honor of his achievements and contributions to the world of cue making and
billiards in general, funds were raised by the
Chicago Billiard Museum and a new  
memorial stone was commissioned in remembrance of Mr. Rambow. The new
marker was placed at his grave site in October of 2011.

A very special
Thank You goes out to the following gentlemen for their
contributions to the memorial project.  In no particular order:
Peter Burrows, Mark Griffin, Jeff Mohl, Deno Andrews, Arnie Kupec, Rich Klein,
Charlie Duncan, Ted Antle, Tracy Porter, Bob Christenson, Geoff Conway, Dennis
Walsh, The International Cuemakers Association

See the original Fitzsimons' family stone, and the new memorial marker below.
Aug. 19  Herman files a patent application for a cue with an adjustable weight/balance
mechanism inside the butt end.

1923 - March 13th.  Herman's brother Charles Jr. died.  He was the only immediate  
family member to initially have a headstone placed at his grave.
See it here.

1925 - Feb. 24, Herman is granted the patent.
Around this time, it appears that Herman has been convinced to return to
Brunswick. Signs his patent(s) over to Brunswick

1930 - Herman now owns a home on Wayne Ave. His mother-in-law Sarah has
moved in with them.
 Herman is now officially listed as "cue expert" in the census.

1932-March 19, Herman's mother Christina Rambow died of asthma. 79 yrs old.

1935- October 23, Herman's father Charles Rambow died. 85 yrs old.
December 17th, 2:45 AM
Master cue maker Herman J. Rambow secures his rightful place in billiard history.
At 85 years of age, Herman died at Gottlieb Memorial hospital in Chicago.
His death certificate can be read

Chicago Tribune Obituary: Date: December 18, 1967
Herman J. Rambow, suddenly, beloved husband of the late Maude, nee Fitzsimons;
fond father of Loretta Pranno; grandfather of Albert F. and John J.; great-grandfather of
two. Funeral Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 9:30 a.m., from Ahlgrin and Sons Funeral Home,
5701-03 W. Division street, to St. Angela's church. Mass 10 a.m. Interment Mount
Carmel cemetery. [Hillside, IL]
Company Name:  J.C. McFarland Company

Primary Business: "Art -Steel" billiard table production and sales etc.
Also fire extinguishers, steel caskets and various sheet metal products.

Business Address: 2511 State St. (1872) 27th and South Wells (1919)
Home address:  N/A

Notes: Company founded by John Clemson McFarland, a native of Delaware who
was born on January 1st 1850. For further information read the biography and see
the images below from
Billiards Magazine September,1919.

Top Left: Front Cover   Top middle : Bio pages  Top right:  McFarland Advert
Bottom: Factory photo of McFarland and the gang, including Kieckhefer
Patent # 1,361,930  Dec 14, 1920  Theodore R. Treiber (assignor to J.C. McFarland)
 Gully Boot For Billiard Table.

Below: Albert Pick nameplates featuring McFarland brand name.
Image courtesy R. Montgomery
1950 - Herman retires from Brunswick and opens "his own" cue shop at the Keefe &
company offices. See also Keefe & Hamer in this directory.
Above:  A rare photo of Herman with his daughter Loretta (Pranno), her son Albert and
his wife Mary Ann, on their wedding day in 1962.
Image courtesy Pranno collection.

1964 - July 23  Herman's wife, Maude F. Rambow died.
Chicago Tribune Obituary
Date: July 24, 1964
Maude F. Rambow, nee Fitzsimmons, beloved wife of Herman J.; fond mother of
Loretta Pranno; grandmother of two; great-grandmother of one. Funeral Saturday, July
25, at 8:30 a.m., from Ahlgrim & Sons Funeral Home, 5701-03 W. Division street, to St.
Angela's church. Mass at 9 a.m. Interment Mount Carmel.

1967- July 7th  Herman is featured in a Chicago Tribune newspaper article.
Read it
here.   The photo below appeared with the article.

Company Name: George Kuehl
George Kuehl & Bro.

Primary Business: Billiard table accessories, clocks, jewelry, imports
Business Address: 184 Randolph (1878-1888) 178 Randolph (1899)
80-82 Wabash (1906) 125 North Wabash (1910)
Home address:  ?

Notes:  George C. Kuehl was born in Germany on Feb. 3rd, 1852.

- In 1872 he immigrated to the U.S., then moved to Chicago.
(Chicago was still recovering from the 'great fire of 1871' )

- By 1874 he had taken a job as a 'book keeper' for the local billiard table maker;
Adolph Zeller. (Zeller had other partners before the fire, but eventually went to work for
Hugh Collender in the 1880s)

-1877 George was still a book keeper, presumably still for Zeller.

-1878 George is now in business with his brother Charles as a "commercial mechant
". (importing billiard cloth and related goods) Company name: "
Kuehl Brothers "
184 Randolph

-1879 Company name changed to: "
George Kuehl & Bro. " 184 Randolph

-1880 George gets married to
Emilie Wagner

-1885 Still the same...Company name: " George Kuehl & Bro. " 184 Randolph

-1886 Charles is out of the company, (retired) so it's just George alone.
Company Name: George Kuehl - billiard supplies (and imports)

-1891 Feb. 24th. George co-files a patent with Louis Steinberger for a "game counter".
(resembles a token or marker)

- George appears in the Chicago directory for the first time under "
Jewelers and
" although he has probably been dealing with these types of items for
some time.

-1892  George is listed in the directory under the categories of:
Playing Cards, Billiard Cloth and Supplies, Watchmakers and Jewelers
Still at 184 Randolph

- 1897  Although he is clearly still in the billiard supplies business, George is listed
for the first time under the category: "
Clocks and Cuckoo Clocks"
(He is still somewhat well known today amongst clock collectors for his old world
"Black Forest" clocks and cuckoo clocks)

- 1899 George's business address changes to 178 Randolph

-1900 George (48yrs old) lives at 592 Burling St. in Chicago with his wife (43 yrs old),
five kids, his mother in law and a servant:
Son -   Ludwig 19   (already employed as a clockmaker)
Daughter -   Bell 18
Daughter -   Katherine 16
Son -   George 14
Son -   Herbert 10
Mother in law -   Katherine Wagner 71
Servant -   Katy Koch 25

-1903 George partners with another brother named Theodore.
Company name: "
George Kuehl & Co. " importers and jewelers 178 Randolph

- 1906 Two of George's sons; Ludwig and George Jr. both work for the family
business.  An additional store has now been opened at 80-82 Wabash Avenue.
(That portion of Wabash Ave has since been dubbed "jewelers row")

1909 -1910 George has disposed of his billiard related business and retires. With his
brother Theodore now in charge, they mostly deal in fine clocks, cuckoo clocks,
watches and jewelry. The store is moved to a new location up the street, 125 N
Wabash, and the company name is changed to the Kuehl Clock Co.

George Kuehl died April 17th, 1921.
Theodore died less than one year later.

Company Logo: Below: George Kuehl Ivory Ball Box  [Paul Weiler Collection]
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