View Full Version : Whats The Oldest Table You've Played On?
03-21-2002, 09:07 AM
A lot of billiard manufacturers tout their tables as lasting a lifetime. Where is the oldest table you know of that's still in service? Is it still being used? Did you play on it? How did it play? Was it in original condition or had it been refurbished or refinished?
About 30 years ago I played in a pool hall that was on the second floor on the east side of Broadway somewhere in uptown Manhatten. I can't remember the name of the room or the exact street though I think it was in the 70's. It's not there anymore. They had some massive antique wooden tables. I think they were 5' x 10's, and had drop pockets, but my memory is not that clear on it. Sometimes I wonder what happened to that place and where those tables went. They were old, but seemed solid enough to last another lifetime.
I'm thinking about a table that one of my childhood buddy's father had. It was a Brunswick, had solid carved legs,leather drop pockets,and a metal tag with patent dates ranging from the mid 1800's to early 1900's(can't remember the exact's). I do remember that as kids, we could crawl underneath and hide inside the framework of the table.
I lost touch with the family, but I would love to find/buy that table!
03-21-2002, 10:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> A lot of billiard manufacturers tout their tables as lasting a lifetime. Where is the the oldest table you know of that's still in service? Is it still being used? Did you play on it? How did it play? Was it in original condition or had it been refurbished or refinished? <hr></blockquote>
I live near Smith's Billiards in Springfield Mass. It is reportedly the longest continuously run pool hall in the world. They have 3 or 4 10' Brunswick pool tables and a couple of the same model in carom version. They look like the old Medalist tables. Supposedly, they were built for some World's Fair, but someone else has may have more information on that. They haven't been rebuilt or anything. I'm sure there's been maintenance over the years.
I've played on older tables, but none worth mentioning as "playable." The pool tables above (and their billiard brothers) are very playable today.
03-21-2002, 10:11 AM
I was on the road and I stopped in a room in North Carolina, I am not sure what city. When you walked through the door you stepped back in time. Everything in the room was an antique. Everything in the place looked turn of the century. All the tables were old wood Brunswick's with drop pockets. There were both 9 and 10 footers and they all looked ancient. The floor was wood and visibly worn around each table. They must have not been moved since the place was opened. I played in a ring game all day. I honestly don't know if I won or lost I enjoyed the game so much. I spoke with an old black man that was working there shining shoes and cleaning up. He told me he had worked there all his life. It was the only job he ever had, except for being in the army during the second world war. A funny thing happened while I was there. I did not really fit in. I had shoulder length hair and red white and blue striped bell bottoms and a T-shirt. They all wore bib overalls. To them I looked like something from another planet. When I got in the game I won the first game. After the balls were racked everyone was looking at me. I thought I may be in trouble, I'd seen Easy Rider. What it was, was the winner pays 20 cents for the rack, and they were waiting for me to pay. After I paid the guy, I said I had never paid by the rack, I was used to paying by the hour. I guy standing by the wall watching the game wno looked like and sounded like Gomer Pyle says to me "I know where you are from." I said "Where is that"? He said "Pinevillie." As far as this guy knew, the only place in the world where you pay by the hour was some place called Pinevillie. I just found it funny. Before I left I took some pictures of the place. Non of the pictures turned out and years later my wife and I tried to find the place and we could not find it. I had told her about the place so many times, she wanted to see it. I think I enjoyed that one day out of the thousands of days I have played pool the most. I always think about it. The table by the way played great. I even remember commenting at the time how well it played. This was 1971. I know because I was driving a new Volkswagon I had just bought.
03-21-2002, 12:24 PM
About fifteen years ago and shortly after I had decided to move back to my hometown(you can go home again) my mother asked me to help her set-up this room where her and her long in the tooth friends held meetings for their fraternal insurance group(can you imagine buying insurance and having to attend meetings also), anyhoo, the building was the Odd Fellows Benevolent Order of the Ayebadabadoda's Meeting Hall. Having completed my duties of arranging chairs and tables I was leaving when my mother says "oh, I forgot the flags" where upon she directed me to a backroom, low and behold, it was a little poolroom with one table, a nice light and a mirrowed wall cuestick rack with ten or twelve house cues. I got the flags and inquired about the pool table, of course, my dear mother knew nothing. I told her I was going to stay in that backroom and play some pool during her meeting.
The table was A.E. Schmit(sp) 4x8 and really nice. The rails where very lively and as a player who appreciates the value of a well built tool I started to look at all the stuff in this room with a closer eye. Under the table were stapled licence tags issued from the county to the Odd Fellows, there were many of them. If my memory serves me, the oldest one I found was from 1905, also a shipping invoice from Sears and Roebuck but it was yellowed and brittle with no visable date on it and it was for the light above. This made me notice that the pool light matched the table, both table and light were quite ornate. The diamonds in the rails where very large in relation to todays and actually made of ivory. The lights box was made of wood and had little ivory inlays of pool scenes, it was flat beauteous. The wall rack was Brunswick with a beveled glass mirrow in the center of the wings which held six cues each, there were eleven cues and one grannie all of them Willie Hoppie house cues. The cues all had slip on tips and were of varying lengths but other wise in good shape. I spent the next two hours hitting balls and deviously scheming on how I was going to get the whole package away from these old farts and into my three season patio...I was too late. One of the remaining Odd Fellows sons had already purchased the whole package and would take delivery of same upon the death of the second-to-last living member of the club. The logic being if there was only one guy left he wouldn't need the table anymore cause there would be nobody to play with; I'm not kidding here.
That is the oldest table I have played on and the most memorable one also. I'm still sick to my stomach about not having that package for my own.
Theres a place right arounfd the corner from where i live. It's called the Lansford East End Athletic Association. This is a great place. It has a living room, full kitchen, bathroom, a card room, a basment with more card tables and a bar, and upstairs are two 9' pool tables. You can get a membership at this place when you turn 18 for just $15 a year. Just 15 bucks for 365 days of pool. Anyway the pool tables are made by a company named Gebhardts out of Hazleton, PA. The one table says Gebhardts on it but the other says J.A. Gebhardt at the head of the table. That means that this table was made before the store existed. People estimate the table to be at least 75 years old. Since then it has got new cloth twice and plays great! Still looks good too.It has seen its ware and tear, every tuesday night about ten to fifteen of us get together and shoot. Thats been goin on since 1943.
john bastian in pa
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