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1969 Fischer Duchess Pool Table


1969 Fischer Duchess Pool Table

I'm looking for any information I can find on a variety of pool table made by Fischer in the late 60s. I have an 8' one (Duchess model) that was bought in 1969. It has what they called a steel reinforced honeycomb playfield, which is apparently a honeycomb structure sandwiched between steel plate and high density fiberboard. The entire playfield reacts to a magnet, both top and bottom. It takes 4 men to move it without straining. There's not a bit of warp or other problem with it except for the felt, even after almost 40 years of abuse by 4 kids, and everything from birthday parties to keggers, to upending it and moving it on the back of a pickup.

I'm having trouble finding anyone that knows how to recover it. I've come up pretty empty "googling" for information on this kind of table. Apparently no other pool table manufacturers used this kind of playfield structure, but its lasted so well, I'm surprised nobody makes them this way anymore.

1969 Fischer Duchess Pool Table

Replies & Comments

  1. guestbilliardsforum on 8/17/2007 10:48:29 AM

    Hello, yes it is definitely an interesting design. The Fischer line of pool tables is pretty much managed/owned by the C. L. Bailey Co. I would be inclined to shoot them a quick email to see if they have any more information.

    In fact, Charles Bailey was a lawyer before the C. L. Bailey Co was formed, and Mr. Fischer was one of his clients...

    “One of my clients was Ewald Fischer, a businessman that owned Fischer Manufacturing, a pool table manufacturer. When Mr. Fischer started experiencing health problems, my legal services began to include day-to-day management responsibilities. In 1968, Mr. Fischer decided to sell the company to Spaulding Sporting Goods, and I handled the sale. Spaulding asked me to stay and run the company. Later we became the largest pool table manufacturer in the world.”

    Anyway, probably too much information, but nonetheless, I'd contact them to see if there is any more information available.

    Brunswick also used the "honeycomb" design in some of their pool tables from the same period as well. I saw one for sale where this type of construction was noted in the advertisement. The table was from the late 1950's or early 1960s.

  2. guestguest on 8/17/2007 4:31:44 PM

    Thanks for the response. I had already contacted C.L. Bailey and they were no help at all. They said "... when the company sold out they destroyed all company records. As for the name we are a name coincidence only." I guess that means there was no business continuity between then and now, and they simply began using the Fischer name again as an entirely new company.

  3. guestbilliardsforum on 8/17/2007 6:13:21 PM

    Yeah, there is no documentation or history whatsoever on the C. L. Bailey site, which leads to believe they bought the brand and scrapped everything else.

    I'd probably go to eBay, do a few related searches, then subscribe to the rss feed for each of the searches. That way, you can see when any go on the market, and contact the seller for details.

    Here is some more information on the FIRST sale of Fischer Mfg Co to Spaulding:

    ...Fischer Manufacturing Company ... made pool tables in Tipton MO ... founded in 1949 and remained there until it was sold to Spalding in 1968. (tiptonmo.com/information/8ball.htm)

    Good luck in your search for more information, and definitely keep us posted with your findings.

  4. guestguest on 6/27/2008 6:34:14 AM

    I found this website which gives a company name which might help you. tiptonmo.com/history/manufacturers

  5. guestbilliardsforum on 6/27/2008 10:24:42 AM

    Link is dead - here is the text...

    Fischer Manufacturing Company was started in Tipton in 1949 by Ewald L. Fischer. He built his first crude table in his basement with the help of two assistants, an electric drill, a bench saw and other hand tools. As the years passed the table design improved and the company kept growing.

    Seeing his success, other towns offered Fischer a free plant if he would move to their communities. But Ewald Fischer said no. "I was born here," he said, "I'm a Tipton boy and all my friends are here." Companies attempting to buy his business never gave up. It was not until December 1968 that Fischer Manufacturing, the country's largest builder of pool tables at that time, was sold to Spalding Company, a division of Questor, the present owners.

    The Tipton plant employs approximately 200 people.

  6. guestNutpea on 10/18/2008 8:02:01 AM

    I too have a Fischer pool table. I have been trying to find any information on the pool table for about 20 years. The table was given to me by my old pool partner. The last time I needed to move it (about 6 years ago) from one house to another, I had A-1 Billiards here in Las Vegas come out to see if they could move it. When they started dismantling it, it was determined that the slate was almost completely cracked across. They would not move it until I got a new piece of slate. It took them about 2 months before they finally found a slate for it. It cost me $575 for the new slate, for them to deliver the slate to my new house, to put the felt on it, and to level the table for me. I asked them if they knew what the table was worth, and they told me that they were not sure but that I could probably get anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500. To me it should be worth a lot more given the age of the table, and the fact that the Fischer Mfg. Co. who built these great pool tables no longer exists. The table is absolutely perfect and I don't think I will ever get rid of it. However, the reason I was trying to find information on it was to see what it was worth. The table has a metal plate on it that says "Fischer Mfg. Co., Inc. - Tipton, Missouri - Serial No. A02502." Any new information you happen to come across would be greatly appreciated.

  7. guestbilliardsforum on 10/18/2008 8:04:38 AM

    Hi Nutpea, do you think you could post a picture of your Fischer pool table?

  8. guestguest on 3/29/2009 11:35:09 AM

    Fischer pool table ad. I thought someone may find this of interest:

    columbiamo.craigslist.org/fuo/1097646430.html

    This is a Ficher brand, full size pool table with balls, cues, cue rack, and everything you need to play. It is a one piece GENUINE 1" MARBLE TOP (a faster table than Slate), with perfect felt on it. I hate to part with it, but the wife wants it out of the living room. Also, I can arrange delivery.

    (660) 221-2380

  9. guesteimiral on 5/19/2009 8:02:09 AM

    Forum Lurker,

    I am having trouble finding information about my Fischer table as well. The metal plate on the side of the table says "Fischer MFG. CO. INC Tipton, Missouri Serial NO. A08098." There's another metal plate close in proximity which says "Duchess" "Fischer MFG. CO. INC. Tipton, MO. 65081" "Made in USA." I'm really fascinated by the story of the company and it's made me wonder about the value of the table. If anyone has any kind of information that would be helpful I'd really appreciate it. I'm extremely excited to learn more about the history and value of my table. Please feel free to reach out. Thanks!

    Have a great day! L

  10. guestNutpea on 5/19/2009 11:56:31 AM

    Please read my reply #6 to this thread. I too have the same kind of table. I have been asked to take pictures of it to post but I just haven't gotten around to it. If you have any pictures, please post. The most information I have found about my table has been on this forum.

  11. guestMitch Alsup on 5/19/2009 12:24:27 PM

    There are table mechanics that glue the cloth to the underside of the bedding (instead of staples or brads). But, back in the era of that table, I suspect that the bed does have a wooden liner that can be used to hold staples/brads. You might have to remove a rail in order to obseve its presence or absence.

  12. guesteimiral on 5/19/2009 12:53:21 PM

    Thanks for the quick responses! I can post pictures this evening. The only other thing I've found out was Fischer was sold to Spalding Company, a division of Questor in 1968(which we all already knew) and then in 1976 Questor sold Fischer Mfg to Ebonite Billiard Co. I got that info from this link, http://www.worldslargestthings.com/missouri/8ball.htm I hit a dead end after that. I can't find much about the Ebonite Billiard Company at all. I'm not even sure if trying to research that company will be helpful or not. Hopefully the pictures I post later can help us get somewhere.

    L

  13. guestNutpea on 5/21/2009 3:07:49 PM

    Wow! Mine table is almost exactly the same without the Dutchess label and without the cover to the balls. Actually I do not know if mine was originally equipped with a cover where the balls come out or not. My table is a catch-all table right now, but I will get pictures similar to yours and post them in the next couple of days. At one time I did have the legs re-done because they were falling apart. I hated doing it and I probably shouldn't have, but it looks a lot nicer now.

  14. guesteimiral on 6/9/2009 12:07:50 PM

    Any new news? I've hit a dead end.

  15. guestfuxal0t on 6/10/2009 4:22:17 PM

    I have pictures of my Fischer Empire VII here. It's a little beat up... but matches the topic.

    s59.photobucket.com/albums/g303/fuxal0t/Fischer%20Table/ (password = photos123)

  16. guesteimiral on 6/12/2009 7:05:14 AM

    Do you know how much the table is worth? I'm looking at selling and can't find enough information to move forward. Do you know much about the history of your table? Any information is helpful. Thanks!

  17. guestguest on 7/25/2009 2:58:16 PM

    I currently have a 1969 Fischer Duchess VIII with the same honeycomb top. It had the paperwork with it when I bought it, The original owner let them get kinda water logged but I'm trying to fix that on Photoshop then I'll post them here. Also, I had contacted a place close to my home (Springfield, MO) about recovering it a few years back and they said they definitely could, that it was one of "their" tables. the name of that place is - the Billiard Factory (417)-883-7665

  18. guestmcmike on 7/28/2009 8:49:43 PM

    Original question by guest 10 was how to recover the table. If the table is similar to the photos on page 2, reply 4, the rails are loosened by inserting a wrench in the slots just under the rail. A hex nut holds an arm under the bed of the table. Each of these nuts must be loosened (not removed) and each arm must be turned 90 degrees so that it is parallel to the rail. Once this is done on all sides of the table, the rails can be removed from the bed - note that the rails come off as a picture frame. After removal, there are screws on the underside of the rails which must be removed separating each of the six rail parts from the rest of the picture frame. This gives access to removal of the rail cloth. The bed cloth is accessable for removal when the picture frame rails are removed. The cloth is glued to the table bed and pulls off fairly easily. Reinstallation is the reversal of the above steps - hope this helps.

  19. guestlucky diamond on 8/13/2009 4:07:38 AM

    Hello everyone. I found this forum when I tried to find some information on a pool table that was given to me. The owner was told it was a solid slate table, thus I was told the same thing. I have a older pool table. Roughly 1969-1972. It is a Fischer Dutchess 7. It has a ball return. I have been playing on it for a while, and noticed it looked like the origional felt, and rails. I ordered the new felt, k66 rails and side pockets. I was extremely shocked when I took off the felt and noticed this honey comb stuff. I thought someone might have took off the slate and recovered it and sold it. If everyone would like I can post some picks along the way. The felt is mostly off right now. From what I get, these tables are very rare. I'm not sure about the honey comb. I would have to say, it not that much different than playing on slate. I actually thought I was.

  20. guestJadenanne on 9/13/2009 6:30:51 PM

    My father has a Fischer Empire pool table for the late 60's. I was wondering how do you get the old chalk out of the red hanger and a new one in. Is there a special way or just a little force?

    Thanks JA

  21. guest18turtle on 9/20/2009 5:28:01 PM

    I have a Fischer Duchess VIII that I have had my entire life. my father's parents bought it when he was young and it's been around ever since. I recently put it into my new house under the agreement i would refurbish it and fix the ball return system. however, being the picky type, i wanted original parts, so i've run into the same dead ends as everyone else. its looking as though original parts are going to be a chore to find.

  22. guest18turtle on 9/27/2009 6:55:43 AM

    any news yet? i keep getting new company names but no leads. I'm guessing that my restoration is going to be like finding a needle in a hastack....for every part i need. No reman. companies out there yet? potential business opportunity?

  23. guestFenwick on 9/27/2009 8:21:09 AM

    Your only problem is finding someone to recover it, correct. If you're still at a dead end the only suggestion I can come up with is visit several pool related web sites. One site has a talk to a mechanic section. I'm not trying to send you away. It might cost more then the average table to cover and you may have to wait to have that person get to your location. I can think of two persons who travel and set up tables. While you're at it you may want to go the full 9 yards if need be. Rebuild, restore the rails and pockets.

    I remember a Table Mechanic being a member here. I also remember the table but never knew it had a steel playing surface. At the time if my memory serves me correctly they were sold at Sears or sporting good stores in the 60's. They cost more then I could afford at the time.

    I post and visit several sites but I always come back here. So if you find the answer please come back and give us a update.

  24. guest18turtle on 9/27/2009 1:05:59 PM

    it may be naive of me, but i'm going to do all the work myself, including the recovering. I was looking for information on the table as far as original parts for mainly the ball return system. I've found several sites that offer a tube style system with pockets and all, which may work better, but if these things are as rare as they're proving to be I would prefer to find some original gutters to repair the return system.

  25. guestFenwick on 9/27/2009 2:29:49 PM

    That's another reason I was suggesting going to the other site. You can find free information for doing it your self. I guess it was naive of me to assume you or the other posters wanted someone else to do the work for you. Jay Helfert and realkingcobra are two names you should or could Google. Hope this helps.

  26. guestguest on 11/4/2009 2:24:35 PM

    Just to put mine out there I have a Fischer Empress 92 Serial 51884. It has a solid 1 piece marble top on it. Great sturdy table. You guys have peaked my curiosity now. Would like to find out more about this table.

    Found a couple nice PDF's you guys might be interested in.

    www.freepatentsonline.com/3330559.pdf and www.freepatentsonline.com/3729192.pdf

    A couple of nice diagrams of the Fischer Empress tables.

  27. guestNutpea on 11/6/2009 12:39:11 PM

    When I moved, I contacted A1 Billiards (in Las Vegas) to move my 1969 Fischer pool table. The table has a one-piece slate on it. The slate was cracked so they wouldn't move it for me (liability reasons). To make a long story short, I got the table moved to my new place. A1 Billiards told me they could find a new piece of slate for me. It took them approximately 3 months but they found a one-piece slate for my table. They delivered it, centered my table, leveled it and recovered it for $575. This was almost 7 years ago. They did and do an awesome job. At the time I asked the guys what they thought it could sell for. I was told approximately $2,500. In my opinion (which doesn't count as much), I believe it is worth more considering Fischer doesn't make them anymore and the age of the table. My table looks exactly like the table pictured on page 2 of this thread. Unless you have experience in refurbishing a pool table, I definitely think it is worth paying the money for someone else to do it. It is an art when it comes to recovering a pool table.

  28. guestdrew1228 on 11/27/2009 11:48:05 PM

    hey guys i seen you all have a fisher table and may i add pretty darn nice one at that i had just baught one and the people i had gotten it from told me it was wood top my first pool table so i wasnt sure but anyway got it home and found out it was 2 peice slate but anyway one side has cracks that all meet and i was wondering if any of you would know if i have to replace both peices or if i can get away with just replacing one and if i can would any of you know where i could order the peice i need cause none of the billards shop around here will order slat they want you to buy a new table from them go figure right any help would be great thanks... ps its a 8 footer and would any of you know about what the slate will run me

  29. guestwillie on 1/25/2010 2:11:12 PM

    What a great site this is.

    I'm the grandson of Ewald Fischer who founded Fischer Mfg. in Tipton, MO.

    I've enjoyed reading and seeing photos of the Fisher Pool Tables my grandpa and dad designed and built. Although grandpa is gone now, I'll have to forward a link to this site to my Dad who is now 77 yrs old (but can still run a table.)

    At holidays we all play on the first 9' Fischer pool table grandpa ever made. I still own the original prototype that was used for all the photos in the brochures and the same table Willie Mosconi would come by the house and play on.

    I get a kick out of reading the stories on your site about the 8-ball water tower which is still standing at the old factory in Tipton, MO. Dad had originally designed the water tower base to be a cue stick but they decided just to leave it white after it was erected. I'll see if dad is interested in joining your site and answering questions about Fischer tables, repairs, or history of the company, now that I see so many on interested in this post.

    Thanks again to the Billiards Forum for putting together such a great site.

    Best wishes,
    Todd

  30. guestthedoorsguy on 2/24/2010 9:59:45 AM

    Check this out for the "World's Biggest 8-ball" which was built as fire protection for the Fischer billiard table factory. It also has info on Ebonite Billiards, formerly Fischer. Apparently, Willie Mosconi was on the Ebonite Billiards pro staff.

    Fischer Manufacturing Company was started in Tipton in 1949 by Ewald L. Fischer. He built his first crude table in his basement with the help of two assistants, an electric drill, a bench saw and other hand tools. As the years passed the table design improved and the company kept growing.

    Seeing his success, other towns offered Fischer a free plant if he would move to their communities. But Ewald Fischer said no. "I was born here," he said, "I'm a Tipton boy and all my friends are here." Companies attempting to buy his business never gave up. It was not until December 1968 that Fischer Manufacturing, the country's largest builder of pool tables at that time, was sold to Spalding Company, a division of Questor. In 1976 Questor sold Fischer Manufacturing to the Ebonite Billiard Co. That sale brought to a close a business which had flourished during the years Ewald was the owner.

    fischer-mfg-9ball-water-tower-tipton-mo.jpg

  31. guestbilliardsforum on 2/28/2010 11:28:56 AM

    Image of Willie Mosconi playing at Ebonite Billiards from eBay:

  32. guestFischemp92 on 3/5/2017 2:58:41 PM

    Just bought a Fischer Billiards Empress Ninety Two (1966 or ealier) and am planning to install new felt and cushions. Anyone know if the E92 uses K55 or U23 cushions?

  33. guestbilliardsforum on 3/5/2017 7:55:39 PM

    FYI, I answered your Fischer Empress 92 cushion profile question answered on your other topic.

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1969 Fischer Duchess Pool Table

  • Title: 1969 Fischer Duchess Pool Table
  • Author:
  • Published: 8/17/2007 1:42:36 AM