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Patent # 114,945    May 16, 1871     John W. Hyatt Jr.
Process of coating billiard balls with collodion.

Patent # 116,990       July 11, 1871         Jules Plunkett
Improvement in caps for billiard table bolt-heads.

October 7, 1871 "The Father of American Billiards" Michael Phelan died.
News article announcing his death.

October 8, 1871    The Great Chicago Fire
In less than 24 hours, most of Chicago was completely destroyed. The fire "swept
across an area greater than 2,100 acres, killing more than 300 people, reducing
some 17,500 buildings to ashes, leaving about 100,000 people homeless and
totalling over $200,000,000 in destroyed property.

Needless to say, those losses also included all the billiard table factories and
shops with their stock and supplies. The following list of destroyed (billiard)
businesses was published in the Chicago Tribune on October 13th, 1871:

" R. Kleeman & Co.- 143 Randolph, Julius Balke - 165 Washington, Emanuel
Brunswick - 13 LaSalle, J.M. Brunswick - 47 State St., Joe Pare - 78 LaSalle, Stoll &
Berlien - 166 Michigan Ave, Adolph Zeller - 148 State St. "

For those interested in learning more about the fire, read the following mini-book
that was published shortly after the deadly event:
Chicago and the Great Conflagration  
1872  Colbert & Chamberlin (PDF)

Chicago Fire Wrecked Fortunes of Many Room Keepers
Article from Billiards Magazine 1922 Charles Ursitti Collection
Image from: Billiards Magazine July 1918.  Courtesy D.B. Bond Collection

Patent # 203,108  March 23,1878  James E. Boyle (assignor to Hugh W. Collender)
Ball return table with pocket sorter.

Patent #203,422    May 7, 1878    Hugh W. Collender
Score counting device concealed inside rail.

News:   July 9, 1878    Antiquity of Billiards
Interesting profiles of prominent players and tournaments of the past.
This article also gives the location of what they claim as the "
first regular billiard
saloon in this country
" as well as the " first regular billiard tournament ever held ".
Players mentioned:
Empress Josephine, Napoleon, Mary Queen of Scots, Otis Field,
Lieut. James Watson Webb, Abraham Bassford, Michael Phelan, Dudley Kavanagh,
Levi Decker, Michael Foley, Delaney, Philip Tieman, Michael Geary, Jospeh White,
James Lynch, John Seereiter, William Goldthwait, Victor Estephe, John Deery, Lewis
Fox, Joseph Dion, John McDevitt, Cyrille Dion, Melvin Foster, Carme, Rudolphe,
Ubassy, Vignaux, George Slosson, Maurice Daly, Albert Garnier, Thomas Gallagher,
William Sexton, Jacob Schaefer

Patent #211,083     Nov. 26,1878      Moses Bensinger
Combined billiard and dining table.



Patent # 211,205      Jan. 7, 1879       Charles G. Akam  
Improvement to billiard table construction.
It appears to be the same table as the one shown in the advertisement below )

Below: A full page advertisement from Charles Akam of Chicago:
The "Bill" in the story was Wild Bill Hickok.
Excerpt from: Life & Adventures of Wild Bill...(etc)  James W. Buel 1880



News: March 26, 1875  Civil Rights issue in a billiard hall
Hall owner arrested for turning away two men.

Patent # 161,880    April 13, 1875    Moses Bensinger & Frederick E Held
Improvement in billiard cushions.

News: April 13, 1875  Chicago Interstate Billiard Tournament update
Players mentioned: Hoag, Honing, Thomas Gallagher, Frank Parker, Lannie McAfee,
Billy Burleigh

News: April 19, 1875  Chicago Inter-state Billiard Tournament update
Players mentioned: Hoag, Swerman, Burleigh, Honing, McAfee, Parker.

Patent #6,469     Reissued June 1, 1875      Hugh W. Collender
Design for billiard table.

Patent # 167,540     Sept. 7,1875    Clemens Joergens
Metal legs & levelers for billiard table.

Patent # 170,557    Sept. 29,1875   Frederick E. Held
Metal legs & levelers for billiard table.

News:   Oct 24, 1875      "The Finest Billiard Table In The World."
A shameless plug for Emanuel Brunswick's new table, " The Champion ".

News: Nov 14, 1875  Billiard Tournament - The Science of Angles and Caroms
"An epitome of leading contests held in this country... brief sketch of the players who
will participate
". Players mentioned: Albert Garnier, Cyrille Dion, Maurice Daly,
Francois Ubassy, Joseph Dion, John Deery, Snyder, George Slosson, " Bessunger ",
Maurice Vignaux, A.P. Rudolphe, William Sexton

A room full of foxy ladies shooting pool on this 1870's Brunswick tradecard:



Patent # 190,285      April 11, 1877       Hugh W. Collender
Improvement in billiard chalk-cups.

Patent # 193,751      May 18, 1877    Hugh W. Collender
Improvement to rail bolts.

Patent # 10,025         May 29, 1877        Charles Schulenburg
Design for billiard table.

Patent # 201,348       Dec. 13, 1877     John W. & Charles M. Hyatt
Improvement in silicious material to imitate Ivory and other substances.

A flashy 1870's  "bullhorn" scorekeeper sold by Charles Akam and Co.  
Both images from: "
Pool & Billiard Collectibles " © Mark & Connie Stellinga

News:   Feb. 5,1879   Brunswick & Balke World Championship under way.
Sexton defeats Heiser and Slosson defeats Rudolphe

News:   Feb 6,1879   Brunswick & Balke Championship under way
Schaefer defeats Sexton. Daly beats Rudolphe by only 2 points.

News:   Feb. 6, 1879  Brunswick & Balke Championship update

News:     Feb 7, 1879      Jacob Schaefer - Champion of the World
An exciting play-by-play narrative of the "greatest game on record" won against
George Slosson.

Way Back When:  Evolution of Billiard Chalk and Chalk Holders
With the invention and subsequent popularity of the leather cue tip, came the use
and popularity of
cue tip chalk. For an interesting article about the history of billiard
chalk, written in 1923 by William Spinks' partner Edmund Hoskin,
click here.

With the chalk came the need for a secure place to put it, easily and readily available
to each player no matter which side of the table they happen to be on. Sounds easy
enough right? But at least two completely different schools of thought emerged.
Some wanted to hang it in the air while some wanted it attached to the table. So they
did both. And even to this day, there seems to be no clear winner or obvious
preference in the mind of the public. Countless different cups, hangers, doohickies
and thingamabobs are still being used to supply chalk to players, while some just
leave it sitting on the rail.

Below: Several types of table-mounted chalk holders invented over the years, from
the very early wooden, to the more modern brass and cast iron types.
(See also the patents and chalk hangers below)
Book: The American Billiard Record  (PDF)
"A compendium of important matches since 1854 " By Micheal Phelan.
One of the best sources of information on the players and matches of
the mid 1800s. Includes most state tournaments and score stats.

Patent # 100,401       March 1, 1870     Frederic E. Held
Billiard and dining table.

Patent #101,888       April 12, 1870     Rudolph Kleemann
Improvement in lamps for billiard tables.

Patent #104,542    June 21,1870     John Berlien
Improvement in billiard cushions.

Aug 15, 1870  Chicago Billiard Room Owners Sign Yet Another
To once again request a reduction of the licensing fees. Several
notable hand-written signatures can be found on this document,
including that of
Tom Foley.

Below: Louis Portner advertisement
(a former Rudolph Kleemann partner)
from: Edward's 1870 & 71 Chicago City Directory
Chicago Billiard Halls 1871 (pictured above)
O.R. Aiken  118  W. Washington
C.G. Barlow   185   W. VanBuren
James E. Barrow [ or Darrow ]  131 & 133  22nd
Bovee & Howe   449  W. Randolph
J.M. Brunswick & Bro. 122 & 124 Washington
E. G. Buckley   32 & 34  W. Randolph
Carter & Miller   Washington & Clark
J. Deberge     393  N. Wells
H. C. Doty    74 & 76  Randolph
Henry J. Edward  362  W. Lake
C. Ernst    376 Chicago av
William Flynn   127 & 129 N. Halstead
Thomas Foley    153 Dearborn
Simon J. Forhan  181 & 183  W. Washington
Garnier & Pare   76 & 78 LaSalle
Herman Giesecke   60 & 62  N. Clark
Griffith & Henry    339 W. Madison
Henry Klare   64 & 66 N. Clark
R. Kleemann & Co. 143 - 149 Randolph
C.M. Komans 219 & 221 Rush
Louis LaBerge   181 & 183 S. Halstead
H. Lee  185 Clark
Washington Libbey   94 State
A.C.L. Loughrin  148 W. 12th
G.S. Masters   Halstead & Madison
Metropolitan Billiard Hall     Randolph & 5th av
Mix & Myers   353 State
Moran & Gray   79  Dearborn
Peter Schimp's Mozart Hall 105 & 107 N. Clark
George Naidinger    439 N. Clark
Thomas Nolan   91 & 93 Blue Island av.
P.A. Shumacher    457 N. Clark
Jacob Wolf   269 S. Canal
S. Wolyn   137 & 139   Chicago av.   

Additional listings in the residential section:

George Weidinger billiards & saloon    439 N. Clark
Joseph Vermeuhen@ Everett House billiard hall
Henry Smith billiard saloon   228 S. Canal
Edward Quinlan billiard saloon   805 State
T.J. Pearson billiard room    675 W. Lake
Frank Parker billiard room  147 Randolph
James McHale billiard room  38 N. Clark
A. Frederick billiard and bar 108 N. Clark
George Dietrichs billiard and beer saloon 625 W. Lake
H.L. Coon @ Palmer House billiard room
J. W. Coon @ Tremont House billiard room
Charles Brown billiard hall  29 Chicago av.

The Billiard Table Companies of Chicago 1871
As listed in Edwards' Chicago Directory


The Billiard Halls of Chicago 1871
as listed in Edwards' Chicago Directory (shortly before the Great Fire)
The Billiard Table Companies of Chicago in 1871 (from image above)

Balke Julius, 165 Washington
Brunswick Emanuel, 13 LaSalle
Brunswick J.M. & Bro. 47 and 49 State
Kleeman R. & Co. Office and warerooms, 143 to 149 Randolph
Portner Louis, Office and warerooms, 76 and 78 LaSalle
Stoll and Berlien, 164 and 166 Michigan
Zeller Adolph, 148 State

Below: Advertisements for Rudolph Kleemann and Adolph Zeller
from: Edwards' Chicago Directory 1871
The Brunswick "Eclipse"  1870 to 1882  
( design later changed to a much less ornate version )
The Brunswick "Exposition Novelty"  1870 to 1880


Patent # 173,996      Jan. 21,1876      Raphel Phillipson
Improvement in billiard cues.

News:     Sept 7, 1876     Slosson beats Sexton in Chicago

Two examples of Brunswick letterhead from 1876. One is signed by Mr. Bensinger,
the other is signed by
John Moses Brunswick himself.
The Brunswick "Nonpareil"   1876 to 1890
Image from: "Pool & Billiard Collectibles " © Mark & Connie Stellinga

The Brunswick "Amaranth"   1875 - 1889
Images from: "Pool & Billiard Collectibles " © Mark & Connie Stellinga
Images from: Joe Newell Collection
1876 Tradecard from Decker & Co. of NY  (formerly Kavanagh & Decker)
Image from: "Pool & Billiard Collectibles " © Mark & Connie Stellinga
The Billiard Halls and Billiard Table Manufacturers of Chicago 1876
From the Lakeside Chicago City Directory
1876 Chicago Billiard Halls and Table Makers
(from the image above)

Billiard Halls
Appleton & Co.    174 Clark
Belz Bros.      947 W. Madison
Bluehm Bros.   80 S. Halstead
Bovee & Howe   507 W. Madison
Brady & Walsh       881 State
Brunswick, Joseph     139 22nd
Charland & Plante    237 S. Halstead
Doty & Rhines, Brevoort House [hotel]
Durr, John K.     71 Monroe
Fehn, John     121 N. Clark
Fitch, Frank     77 Madison
Forhan, Simon J.    97 W. Madison
Hamlin J.A. & Bro.    87 Clark
Harnay, Thomas   1558 State
Hau Cornelius, Robey sw cor Flournoy
Jonas, Charles F.W.     1780 State
Maguire, Peter E.   1411 State
Murphy, Con  268 S. Halstead
Pratt, James    151 Dearborn
Rategan, Thomas   259 Clark
Shaack, John   86 W. Van Buren
VanSlyke I. R.  975 Wabash av.
Wester, John    403 State
Wilkinson, Charles D.   993 W. Madison

Billiard Tables (Manufacturers)
Brunswick Bros. Stephani & Hart Co.     57 State and 49 Dearborn
Brunswick J.M. & Balke Co.      Lake ne. cor. State and 47 & 49 State
DeThier & Blaurock     231 Randolph
Zeller, Adolph   28 to 32  West Washington
Yes, there was more than one Brunswick billiard table company.
At one time John M. and Emanuel Brunswick were each running their own
billiard table company, although technically it was still a family affair.
The directory listing shown above is a great piece of information for untangling
the " who worked for who" mess....

Working With Emanuel Brunswick:
Joseph Brunswick
Solomon Brunswick
Hyman Brunswick
George Stephani **
Jacob Lindauer
Robert Hart **

Working with John (J.M.) Brunswick:
Julius Balke
Moses Bensinger
Anton F. Troescher
Leo Schmidt
(Soon to be joined by Hugh W. Collender)

** It's worth noting that prior to working for Emanuel Brunswick, these two men
were formerly business partners - and Brunswick's competitors.
SEE ALSO: This article on Emanuel Brunswick
The Brunswick Company line up - 1876
From the 1876 Lakeside Chicago City Directory
Billiard Hall Music Circa 1875  - "Billiards on the Brain"
Originally published in 1869,  this is the 1875 version of the same song.
Click here to listen  (mp3 format)
Performed and recorded by Stephanie M. Coates. Thank You Stephanie.

Sheet music below from: library of Congress  (Lyrics on the last page)


Chicago is busy rebuilding..

Patent 132,054      Oct. 8 1872      Cyrus Coan & Alvin R. Burdick
Improvement in billiard cues.

Patent # 130,389     Aug. 13, 1872     L. Corydon Prindle
Portable billiard table top.



Below: Stephani, Monheimer & Hart take over the Kleemann company in 1873.  
(Still selling Phelan & Collender as Kleeman did)
Below: 1874 ad for Stephani & Hart without their former partner; Monheimer.

Patent #226,827  Jan. 2,1878   Moses Bensinger & Benjamin F. Goodrich
Rubber cushions for billiard tables.
B.F. Goodrich will go on to become a household name.

Take a peek into B.F. Goodrich future:

Chicago population: 298,977

Click here for Pocket Billiard scores and records from 1877-1880

Click here for 3-cushion scores and records from 1878-1929

Click here to see maps of Chicago from the 1870's

The Interior of Phelan & Collender's Wareroom in New York
Image from Billiards Magazine Nov 1924 Charles Ursitti Collection
1879 Billiard Table Statistics For Illinois
Including how many commercial tables are in every county, and their value.   
Cook County (includes Chicago) = 967...........State Total= 2,932
Excerpt from: Reports to the General Assembly of Illinois [31st session] Jan., 1879
(click image to see full size)
Thomas Foley's Billiard Hall  (See also image below)
"No general description of the improvements and characteristic features of the new
city [of Chicago] would be complete without reference to institutions established in the
interest of popular amusements - and a brief notice of
Foley's Palace Billiard Hall on
Clark street will be appropriate to this connection, as special and representative in
character and illustrating the modern tone and large and generous style.

Foley's billiard hall is regarded as the handsomest, best equipped, most thoroughly
appointed establishment of the kind on the continent. None of the Eastern palaces
erected in the interest of this popular game being of a character to rival the costly
magnificence of its accommodations, the architectural splendor of the apartments, the
gorgeous decoration of the walls and ceiling, or the modern elegance of its furniture
and fixtures.

The hall is one of great magnitude, with nearly ten thousand square feet of floor, with
high frescoed ceilings, like the ceilings of a church, and, but for the presence of the
green cloth and billiard furniture, would present the aspect of a magnificent chamber
of commerce. Some idea of the extent of the accommodations may be formed from
the book-keeper's record, indicating an average of over eight hundred games daily,
during the busy days of the season.

A feature of the hall is a handsome gallery of appropriate dimensions, at the west end
of the saloon, for the regular accommodation of lady spectators. This practical
courtesy to the ladies of Chicago has met a hearty appreciation, and on the occasion
of two memorable matinees tendered them by Mr. Foley, on the 28th of January last,
the day of opening, and on the 1st of the present month of September, the great hall
was thronged by the light feet of a thousand fair women, to whom billiards had
heretofore been a mystery or a forbidden enchantment. "
Excerpt from: "A Complete guide enabling visitors to more readily see and appreciate the great
Inter-State Exposition of Chicago"

Below: Foley's World Famous Billiard Hall
Image from: Spink Sport Stories...Vol. 2 1921  Courtesy Bob Jewett Collection
Patent # 138,609     May 6,1873       Emanuel Brunswick
Billiard table with storage shelf underneath.

News:     May 29, 1873         Francois Ubassy  vs John Bensinger
George R. Rockafellow referee. Tom Foley & George Morris umpires.

J.M. Brunswick merges with Julius Balke to form J.M. Brunswick & Balke Company

Patent # 140,162      June 24, 1873     L. Corydon Prindle
Improvement in portable billiard table tops.

News: Nov. 10, 1873  Chicago Billiard Tournament Begins

News:    Nov. 27,1873     Review of Chicago Billiard Tournament.
Tournament manager: Alderman Tom Foley. Players mentioned: Prof. Albert Garnier,
Francois Ubassy, Joseph Dion, Cyrille Dion, Maurice Daly, George Slosson, John
Bensinger, Peter Snyder.  
Two tie-breaking matches result in large audience. The
Mayor and other notable people in attendance. Ubassy gets offended for being
"accused of cheating" and refuses to shake hands with opponent after the match.

Patent # 145,533     Dec. 16, 1873      Charles Schulenburg
Design for billiard table. (reverse legs - very interesting)

The Great Chicago Inter-State Exposition of 1873
Something like a state-fair but larger, with exhibits from local businesses, craftsmen
and industries. The expo was also a way to celebrate and show-off Chicago's rise
from the ashes of the fire. Some of the finest billiard table makers in Chicago
participated in the expo and were written about in the official
Interstate Exposition
Souvenir Program

Click to read the Brunswick expo plug
Click to read the  Prindle expo plug
Click to read the Zeller expo plug
Click to read the Stephani, Monheimer & Hart expo plug
Click here to read the entire Exposition Souvenir Program (PDF)

A Biography of Michael Phelan and the origins of Phelan & Collender. (PDF)
A very informative and significant 14 page article, that begins with a brief history of
billiards in general.  Good stuff ~
Excerpt is pp1,2, & 309-404 from: "The Great Industries of the United States " J.B. Burr, Hyde & Co.

City of Chicago Billiard Ordinances of 1873
$25 per table , per year, was a lot of money back then!
Excerpt from: Laws & Ordinances Governing the City of Chicago Murray F. Tuley 1873



Patent # 7,387       April 21, 1874         Frederick E. Held
Design for billiard table.

Patent # 5779       March 3, 1874      Nikolaus Stoll
Design for 6 sided billiard table.

Billiard and Smoking Room Etiquette (PDF)
An interesting 8 page guide to keep you prim and proper while running the table :)

Below: The "Grand National Billiard Tournament of 1874"  Tammany Hall, NY
A beautiful classic image by Frank King, depicting the players and the event. Players
Vignaux, Daly, Ubassy, Garnier, Rudolphe, C. & J. Dion, Slosson, Daniels.
Image from: Library of Congress - 3a20438