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SnakebyteXX
10-12-2004, 01:01 PM
My old Centennial is finished and I want to show it off!!

I few months ago I bought a fifty some odd year old nine foot Brunswick Centennial table from a private owner. The table had been sitting in the recreation room of a Catholic Church in San Rafael, California for most of it's adult life and aside from worn out 'felt' (cloth) and a dead cushion or two it was still in pretty good shape. In it's entire existance the table had only been re-covered twice.

The jury's still out on how many years Brunswick made this model (not many) but the consensus amongst Brunswick restoration experts is that the table was first made and sold right after the end of World War II - in 1945. 1945 being Brunswick's Centennial year - their one hundredth anniversay in business. To the best of my knowledge my table was made between 1945 and 1947.

Long story short I had it 'fixed up' by ace restoration specialist, Bob Bebb. This is not a short term process nor is it especially cheap. But Bob is renowned for his skills and his devotion to being the best at what he does. He is worth every penny that he charges.

Among other things - The slates were resurfaced; the rails were refaced and the old cushions replaced with new Artemis rubber; the aluminum aprons and corner castings were all polished; and the Rosewood rails and Mahogany legs were refinished.

Yesterday, Bob brought the table back and put it together for me leveling it to within two thousandths of an inch. I took pictures of his work as he assembled the table and this morning I made a little Photo Album of how it all went.

For any of you who might have an interest in such things, the album can be viewed here:

http://imagehost.biz/ims/album_folder.php?u_id=923vM1nc&f_id=1001

For those of you who might just want to skip all that and cut to the chase - here's a gander of the end result -

http://img11.paintedover.com/uploads/11/g_31_centennial__circa_1945.jpg

I am bursting with pride and celebrating the rebirth of my old Centennial. Just thought I'd take a minute and share it with those of you who can appreciate what a big deal this is to someone like myself whose wanted his very own pool table for too many years to count.

Now I've got one and it's a BEAUTY!!

Snake <-- not totally over the top proud of his 'new' table and wanting to show it off or anything obvious like that...

Barbara
10-12-2004, 01:06 PM
Snake,

That is one fine-looking table! That restoration guy did a heck of a job!! Enjoy!

Barbara

Ives
10-12-2004, 01:18 PM
awesome table !! the pictures are great, thanks for sharing.

UWPoolGod
10-12-2004, 01:24 PM
Beautiful Job Snake...you know how jealous I am after our chats. Awesome job and enjoy.

RichardCranium
10-12-2004, 02:13 PM
They had the same table in "The Pit" at the now closed Golden 8-ball...I got to watch a few matches of Danny Diliberto and "The Miz"....When the 8-Ball closed the table got moved to a much smaller Bar/Resturant...It was the only 9-foot table in the bulding...I used play on it all the time and to this day is still the best playing table I've played on....(tight but fair pockets)

You are real lucky to get that table........

What did you say your address was????? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

JPB
10-12-2004, 07:23 PM
Beautiful table. Thank you from rescuing it.

Paul_Mon
10-13-2004, 03:51 AM
WOW...What a great table and a super job refinnishing it. IMO, the Centennial and it's 1st cousin the Anniversary are the ultimate in commercial tables. They play just like a Gold Crown but those big flat rails and quiet fast ball returns are the nuts. IIRC, someone over at RSB had a matching light made for their Anniversary. Good luck with the table and keep the cat off of it.

Paul Mon

P.S. Glad to see that you bought the Centennial balls too.

JimS
10-13-2004, 04:57 AM
Very...I mean VERY cool table. Just beautiful. That's the only table I'd consider having if I couldn't have my Diamond. Love the style and the playability. Glad to see the green cloth /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
10-13-2004, 06:04 AM
That's awesome. And if you ever want to sell it I bet some hotel in South Beach would take it off your hands /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Do you have a retro jukebox to go with it?

SpiderMan
10-13-2004, 07:39 AM
Back in the old days, did you ever go to Purvis's pool room in Oxford? James Purvis and his father-in-law ran a small old-time poolroom just off the town square. He had seven of these Centennial pool tables and two Centennial snooker tables. There was also one of the old-fashioned matching cue racks that looked like a big gun cabinet, you rotated the several circular cue displays inside it to select one.

Very old-fashioned - you didn't rack your own balls, the loser of the game yelled "rack!" and Purvis came by, racked, and collected 15 cents from the loser (10 cents for 9-ball). Women and blacks were not allowed to play there until sometime in the early '80s, after Baxter (the father-in-law) died. The windows were too high to peek inside from the sidewalk, and if a wife or girlfriend rang the phone on the wall, you would always be asked if you were there before Purvis gave a response.

Purvis finally closed up about 5 years ago, as the property became too valuable and the nightclub on the other side wanted to expand. I heard that the Centennials sold for $500 apiece.

SpiderMan

Brian in VA
10-13-2004, 08:52 AM
Snake,
That is one of the most beautiful tables I've ever seen. There was pool hall near where I grew up in Arlington VA back in the 60s that had those exact models. To this day, I can remember the first time I played on them, sweeping the room for table time. Kudos to you for preserving a piece of the game's history!

Brian in VA.

tateuts
10-13-2004, 12:02 PM
What's especially nice is it seems to fit in beautifully with the architectural style of your home.

Great job. Thanks for sharing the project with us.


Chris

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 05:25 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Beautiful Job Snake...you know how jealous I am after our chats. <hr /></blockquote>

UWPoolGod,

I certainly know that like me, you hold these classic Brunswick tables in very high esteem. According to the long dead English poet Keats, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." Next time you're passing through the Wine Country on the way to SF give me a heads up. You're more than welcome to stop by and share a little of the Centennial 'joy' with me.

Snake

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 05:35 AM
RichardCranium [ QUOTE ]
You are real lucky to get that table........ <hr /></blockquote>

Very true - I was two thousand miles away from home when I caught the ad for the table. Called my son up and had him drive a couple of hours over to the man's house with a 50% downpayment in hand the balance to be paid when I picked up the table. The next day the owner contacted my son and wanted to know if he'd be willing to have his deposit refunded plus an extra hundred dollars for his trouble. He said, "NO!" Turns out that shortly after we (thought) we'd closed the deal his phone started ringing off the hook with higher offers. I think it was the guy who offered double his asking price that got his attention...

It was touch and go for a couple of days after that. In the end the seller honored his agreement and I got this old jewell. But not without sweating bullets for a couple of days - Whew!

Snake

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 05:47 AM
JPB [ QUOTE ]
Beautiful table. Thank you from rescuing it. <hr /></blockquote>

I've never really thought about it like that - but I suppose you're right. In a very real way this aging beauty was 'rescued'. As the decades have passed the few remaining Centennials that haven't ended up on the junk heap have largely left their former commercial residences (pool halls) and moved into private homes.

Mine lived a pretty good life for a long time in that church rec room but there's no doubt that it was in need of quite a little TLC by the time I found it. However, even with all the research, aggravation, expense and problem solving that went into restoring the table to its former glory - I still feel like I have come out way ahead of the game.

Snake

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 06:10 AM
Paul_Mon [ QUOTE ]
IMO, the Centennial and it's 1st cousin the Anniversary are the ultimate in commercial tables. They play just like a Gold Crown <hr /></blockquote>

Paul, I cut my teeth on Gold Crown I's way back in 1970. After a lapse in playing time of too many years to count I decided to take the sport back up about a year ago. Took my youngest son (17) to that same pool hall and guess what? Those old Gold Crown's were still there and they still played great!

I decided that after all these years and with the children largely grown and gone it was time for me to have my very own table. But not just ANY table - it had to be a players table - it had to be a table that had withstood the test of time like the GC's I knew and loved. Thats what got me researching into Brunswick's past. An original Gold Crown was my first choice. It was the begining of a quest that brought me to where I am now.

The journey was sequential - first I ferretted out the history of the Gold Crown's - when they were first made - the I through IV series - and how because of their high quality construction they eventually became Brunswick's flagship table.

Then I discovered the even older 'Anniversary'line and learned of their sterling reputation for top quality play (not to mention that with their rounded aluminum corner castings and art deco design they looked WAY cool).

Finally my quest brought me to the Centennial. In the end I've learned more about Mid-Twentieth Century Brunswick pool tables than I ever thought I'd want to know.

Like the song says: "What a long strange trip it's been..."

But worth it.

Snake

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 06:15 AM
[ QUOTE ]
That's the only table I'd consider having if I couldn't have my Diamond. <hr /></blockquote>

After many hours of searching the Internet looking for what serious players considered to be amongst the best tables made today I came to the conclusion that if I were to go with 'new' my top two choices would have been a Diamond or a Gabriels.

I don't think you can go wrong with either brand.

Snake

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 06:23 AM
[ QUOTE ]
And if you ever want to sell it I bet some hotel in South Beach would take it off your hands
<hr /></blockquote>

LOl! Funny you should mention that - right now selling is the furthest thing from my mind. In fact this baby has quickly fallen into the 'family heirloom' category. The college aged son who helped me close the deal and dismantle the table for transport has already dibbs it 'after I'm gone' (he loves playing pool). In the meantime I bought him an early 1950's drop pocket Anniversary table that he loves to bits ($500 and worth every penny - actually worth a lot more pennies than that) .

Snake &lt;-- not selling no way - no how. Like Charleton Heston said, "From my cold dead hands...."

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 06:36 AM
[ QUOTE ]
That is one of the most beautiful tables I've ever seen. ... Kudos to you for preserving a piece of the game's history!
<hr /></blockquote>


Feels like that to me too - most beautiful table and preserving history etc. Set the Way-Back machine, Sherman...

1945 was the year that WWII ended. A trying time in our history when the outcome was anything but known. Shortages and rationing were the mode of the day. Aluminum was a precious commodity reserved for airplane manufacturing - not pool tables.

The 1945 Centennial's design is kind of a celebration of the nation's return to glory and the begining of post war prosperity. The table is drenched in a metal that only a year before was impossible to come by for the average consumer - and it's streamlined in a way to make it appear as if it were flying into the future.

Well, as far as I can tell - the Centennial has flown into the future just like its design originally promised -- and with a little help from friends like me I fully expect it to keep on flying...

Snake

Wally_in_Cincy
10-14-2004, 06:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>
...right now selling is the furthest thing from my mind....

<hr /></blockquote>

Coincidentally, my 1905 Brunswick Wellington is also not for sale /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif, even though it is not as pristine as your Centennial

JimS
10-14-2004, 06:57 AM
I just now went through your album and you must have been just thrilled as it came together. I can imagine the joy. What a beautiful thing. Most "things" aren't that inspiring...imo, but a beautiful and well crafted pool table is a thing that is special. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I had wanted one for 45 yrs, or so, and when the Diamond went together I was so thrilled I felt like jumping up and down like a 5 yr old with a new toy. I know that for several months every time I walked into that room I sure grinned from ear to ear and stopped and just stared at it for a while. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Your's is a stunning piece of art, piece of history, and showcase of artisian workmanship (both in the original crafting and in the re-crafting).

By stunning I mean something that when you first encounter it causes you to be stopped in your tracks, and the eyes widen, and the mouth drops open, and after a few seconds of wonderous staring a "WOW" is heard.

#### leonard
10-14-2004, 07:27 AM
Richard when Joe Canton opened his poolroom in 1958 in Troy he had 8 Centennials and the CueRack mentioned in the other post.

The curviture of the rail made playing off the rail a snap. I was so deadly off the end rail that my opponents stop playing safes up table on me.

It is a solid table but the runway system clogged with dropped items. I spent many hours on my back clearing the runways.####

SnakebyteXX
10-14-2004, 07:33 AM
JimS [ QUOTE ]
I just now went through your album and you must have been just thrilled as it came together. <hr /></blockquote>

You got that right. The entire experience was enhanced by the fact that the man who did the lion's share of the job was a master craftsman and a perfectionist to boot. Sixty-six year old Bob Bebb is fanatically devoted to his craft and has 45 years of on the job training to back him up. Aside from being a master mechanic he is a walking pool table history book. Watching him in action was an unforgettable experience.

BTW: For anyone who has yet to view the assembly pictorial I've added a few more pictures and put the album in slide show format for easier viewing:


http://community.webshots.com/slideshow?ID=200035279&amp;key=otzqfC&amp;pos=0

Snake

ted harris
10-16-2004, 03:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Back in the old days, did you ever go to Purvis's pool room in Oxford? James Purvis and his father-in-law ran a small old-time poolroom just off the town square. He had seven of these Centennial pool tables and two Centennial snooker tables. SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>
Are you talkin about Oxford, Mississippi? I went there about 8 years ago. I was at a tournament in Memphis, and this guy asked if I wanted to do some work in Oxford. Well, I went down there Monday after the tournament, and pulled up in my motorhome, parked and went inside, and thought what a waste of a trip this was gonna be. The owner made a couple of calls, and about 30 minutes later people started showing up for repairs. I put on about 20 ferrules and did a mess of shaft cleans and a bunch of tips. Heck, I even made two shafts while I was there. Couldn't believe it after seeing the little joint. I was doing the repairs in my motorhome, and people were lined up on the sidewalk to get work done! That poolroom was a definite throwback to the past! I will never forget it! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

John_Madden
10-16-2004, 08:43 PM
Its a beautiful table!!!!! I played on the table in "The Pit" at the Golden 8 Ball in Phoenix too. What bar did David Lee move the table to when the 8 Ball closed? Or did Pete Glenn get all the equipment back? I know the Glenn's collect old pool cues and equipment.
Jack Madden
www.johnmaddencues.com (http://www.johnmaddencues.com)

SpiderMan
10-18-2004, 07:26 AM
That's the place! Did you happen to use the restroom while you were there? How long can you hold your breath?

BTW, Purvis had the best coke machine I have ever encountered. Somehow kept it adjusted so that the drinks came out with the slightest bit of icy slush just beginning to form.

SpiderMan (sure wish I had gotten some of those $500 tables)

Anonamus
10-18-2004, 10:57 AM
I noticed in your write-up that the restorer put Artemis cushions on it. I am assuming that it originally came with Brunswick Super Speed, Monarch or something with the same dimensions.

If you look in the Mueller's catalog at the cushion choices you will see that the two cushions have different dimensions listed (K55 vs K66). I don't know if that effects the playability or not, but it seems that it could have the effect of altering the rail cushion nose height.

I was wondering if Bob Bebb talked to you about it or shared any insight about it? The reason I'm interested is wether an old GC could switch to Artemis without altering the rail height.

BTW, beautiful table!

SnakebyteXX
10-19-2004, 08:34 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I was wondering if Bob Bebb talked to you about it or shared any insight about it? The reason I'm interested is wether an old GC could switch to Artemis without altering the rail height.
<hr /></blockquote>

Bob milled the cushion seats on the Centennial to the current pro-cushion angles and height in order to adapt them for use with Artemis cushions. Check his website for a more complete description of the milling process. You can also call him with your questions regarding using Artemis cushions on an older GC without milling them first - if anyone knows the answer I'd bet that he would.

http://www.rebcobilliards.com/nine_point_plan.htm

So far I couldn't be happier with the Artemis cushions that Bob installed on my table - and I would recommend them highly to anyone considering cushion replacement.

It's the angle of the cushion seat relative to the cushion profile that's at the root of how do-able this might be.

Snake

Ken_4fun
10-29-2004, 04:10 AM
Centennial is my favorite table. I own a olhassen, wished I had bought a diamond.

The grass is always greener.

Estimated value?

Regards
ken