In 1845-and the decades that followed-a billiard table was
a fine status symbol. The mere presence of a table stated
that you were a person of wealth and influence - because
you could afford a table, you could afford a home large
enough to accommodate one! But a man of influence and position
had more than one reason to own a billiard table. Billiard
tables were also constructed from expensive materials at
the time. Aside from the pure enjoyment of the game - and
impressing guests - a man could complete negotiations over
a friendly game of billiards. Whether commercial, political,
or even military, serious issues could be discussed, and
deals could be struck, over the neutral ground of a billiard
One of the first real American celebrities who owned a
pool table was an immensely important person in American
history - Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a self-confessed
"billiards addict." He described the game as a
"health inspiring, scientific game, lending recreation
to the otherwise fatigued mind."
It is quite possible that critical issues of national interest
- slavery, international relations and the civil war - were
handled over the slate of a great billiard table.
General George Custer also owned a Brunswick billiard table.
One can only imagine the important issues he might have
discussed with other military leaders over that table.
We know of one account in the 1890s, when Buffalo Bill
Cody, Texas Jack Uhumbro and Wild Bill Hickock were touring
with their "Wild West" show. While drinking in
a tavern in Boston, a group of about thirty longshoremen
decided to see how tough these "Westerners" really
were. Well, Hickock grabbed a pool cue, and about one minute
later, there were four people left in that room-Hickock,
Cody, Texas Jack, and of course, the bartender. Buffalo
Bill bought a billiard table shortly thereafter.
The foremost captains of industry - Andrew Carnegie, John
D. Rockefeller, William Vanderbilt, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan
and William Randolph Hearst - all of these people owned
billiard tables. And we can only speculate what issues were
discussed, what negotiations were undertaken, and what matters
were handled over a game of billiards.
Teddy Roosevelt, our Secretary of the Navy and the hero
of San Juan Hill, the President of the United States and,
later, a distinguished wild game hunter, owned a billiard
table. How many of the decisions that shaped our world were
reached over a Brunswick table?
sports figures and celebrities, Mark Twain, one of our nation's
most renowned authors, Babe Ruth, one of our great sports
legends, and Humphrey Bogart, one of our greatest actors
- all owned billiard tables. Nat King Cole, Lou Gehrig,
James Dean, and of course, Frank Sinatra also owned billiard
There was a billiard table in the White House during the
administrations of several recent presidents. And when President
Eisenhower established Camp David, it was furnished with
not one, but four billiard tables. Every President from
Eisenhower, including Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and Clinton,
has used those tables.
A stream of notable visitors, including Winston Churchill,
Nikita Krushchev, Charles de Gaulle, Anwar Sadat and King
Hussein, all knew those tables. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald
Reagan were known to be pretty good players. What issues
of world security, what areas of common ground, what conflicts
were settled over those billiard tables?
Today, billiard tables are certainly more affordable, allowing
even those with modest incomes to enjoy the relaxation and
enjoyment that comes from playing on a quality billiards
table. Recroomonline.com has a wide variety of billiard
tables of all sizes and prices for you to choose from.
Let us help you make your next pool table purchase an historic