Antique Pool & Billiard Table Restoration & Repair

A Brief History of American Pool Tables

Pre World War 2 pool tables are furniture grade tables that deserve to be treated as fine furniture when they are restored. They can be solid wood or veneered and inlaid with simple lines or marquetry. In America the most highly developed styles were produced by Brunswick on a national level going back to the 19th century.

The larger cities had local manufacturers but most of their models were simple styles with basic square legs ... more for the YMCA than for the gentlemen's club or wealthy homeowner. One exception in Northeast cities like Philly, New York, and Boston were the locally produced, turned leg oak tables which were patterned after the Brunswick Narragansett or Union League styles which became classics, even if made by small local companies.

Brunswick survived the depression of the early 30's but the smaller one's like Rosatto - Barry and Clark - Herd and Victor in Philadelphia, were forced out of business, leaving Brunswick as the standard in the industry. Whatever style one may find in the long history of Brunswick Billiards, the structural design is flawless and durable.

The US Market Today

Today, it is very uncommon to discover high quality, furniture-grade pool tables in our national inventory.  The key is to find examples which have suffered benevolent neglect and not fallen prey to the fool with a sander or one who peels off the veneer to make it "smoother". When the market supported it, we had a large inventory of fancy tables that were restored to museum quality. Many found happy homes back in the 80's and 90's. The unfortunate reality of the market today is that one barely recoups the value of a good and thorough antique pool table restoration in the buy and sell cycle.

At John Hobe Antique Restoration we continue to restore treasured family pool tables for those who wish to enjoy theirs to the fullest and proudly pass on the legacy to future generations.

Read what Shawn Hart had to say about John Hobe's antique pool & billiard table restoration and construction skills in the February 1994 issue of Business Philadelphia Magazine.

Heavily inlaid late 19th century fancy table restored to original condition.
Heavily inlaid late 19th century fancy table restored to original condition.
Heavily inlaid late 19th century fancy table restored to original condition.
Copyright 2012 John Hobe Antique Restoration
We serve clients across the North East in the greater Philadelphia, New York (NY) and Baltimore areas. Our antique furniture restoration and repair workshop is in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia with easy access to Montgomery County and the PA turnpike via Rt 309.  Please call us if you wish to arrange transportation for your furniture.