Tuesday, February 26, 2013

American Eagle Cast Iron Billiard Table

New York Evening Post, June 6, 1835 advertisement
To Southerners - The first cast iron Billiard Table ever in America, may be seen at the splendid Billiard Saloon, 218 Broadway, rear stairs. The broad rails are cushion eagles, entirely gilt, being at once emblematic of our country, the eagle her glory, the iron her strength, and the gold her riches. Let some Southerner treat his tour with this rich gem. Seven other tables in the room, all for sale, and in full operation every day and evening. Cloths, balls, cues, maces and every other article in the trade for sale as usual.
Morning Courier and New York Enquirer, various 1836 ads
Something New. - The American Eagle Iron Billiard Tables, with polished slate stone beds and patent gum elastic cushions. Southerners and the public are invited to try these very superior tables... 12 tables up for trial... ABM BASSFORD

Abraham Bassford, 1847, patent no. 5,952, CUSHION FOR BILLIARD TABLES

1 comment:

  1. Interesting that Bassford claims to have built the "first" cast iron table "ever" in America.
    But did he really?

    Four years earlier (1831), in a Boston publication known as 'The Atheneum' there is an explicit description of a cast iron table on exhibit at the National Repository. Could they have been refering to Bassford's table? Or, did some other table maker beat Abraham to the punch?

    The somewhat brief article from 'The Atheneum' begins as follows:

    " Cast-Iron Billiard Table.- Among the various works of ingenuity now exhibiting at the National Repository, is a full sized billiard table, constructed of cast iron; a complete triumph of art in the department of iron manufacture..."

    The article continues with a brief description of the planing process for leveling the surface...

    Ironically (pun intended) the article makes no mention of "eagles", (as featured on Bassford's known model) and unfortuantely it also makes no mention of who actually produced it.

    Perhaps it was a prototype or earlier version of the eagle table.

    Or, perhaps Bassford wasnt the first one to make a cast iron table.