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Oliver Briggs Pool Table Info

Oliver Briggs Pool Table Info

Does anybody know where I can get some information on old an Oliver Briggs pool table? I am looking for old Oliver Briggs pool table model photos, old Oliver Briggs catalogs or anything of this nature?

Oliver Briggs Pool Table Info

Replies & Comments

  1. ja1724atenra11 on 9/15/2008 6:42:59 AM

    Here is one page of pretty neat Oliver Briggs pool table photos:


  2. ja1724Snap on 10/10/2018 5:04:00 PM

    I have an Oliver Briggs and Son pool table for sale...

  3. ja1724atenra11 on 10/10/2018 5:16:41 PM

    Some info:

    • Oliver L. Briggs, Rules for Billiards and Pool; and an Illustrated Catalogue of Briggs Billiard Tables and Billiard Furnishings (Boston, Oliver L. Briggs & Son, 1893)
    • billiardrestoration.com/antique-pool-tables/oliver-briggs.htm

    And eBay had an 1890 nine foot Oliver Briggs oak pool table for $3900

    I've seen range of $4000 to $7000 for a Briggs table


    Maker of pool cues in Boston, Massachusetts c. 1910.

    Oliver L. Briggs was a manufacturer of pool cues and billiard tables in Boston in the early 1900s. Examples of their cues are extremely rare, and known examples have butterfly splicing. Cues can be identified by the name "OL BRIGGS" stamped into the end of the butt sleeve.

    Briggs Style 27

    Oliver Briggs and J. E. Came were the most prominent of the Boston companies in terms of output and longevity and Briggs left a pretty good paper record of their activities. While Brunswick-Balke-Collender was producing a major full-size catalog every couple years with a dozen or more large etchings of their current line of tables, most of the smaller regional companies were more modest in their advertising, choosing City directories – the 19th century version of the yellow pages. Briggs, however, did put out a series of catalogs, cleverly disguised as rulebooks, to get their products before the public. These were a little larger than pocket-size and in addition to the rules of the game there were advertisements for Briggs tables and accessories such as cloth and balls. Briggs trade-name for their products was “ ELECTRIC” . Their cushions were “Electric Cushions”. There was nothing actually electrified about them. “Electric” just meant fast and modern. Briggs also sold “electric balls” and my favorite, “electric chalk”. The other two words most often used in 19th century advertising were “fancy” and “sanitary”.

    Briggs’ marketing acumen did not seem to extend to the naming of their tables though. While Brunswick was naming their models after evocative places like “Newport”, “Monterrey”, “Saratoga”, and “Rochester”), or powerful names like “The Conqueror”, Briggs named their tables by number. The table you see here is “Style 27” and it shares a catalog with “Style 28” and “Style 29”. Apparently they continued this practice for some time, the highest number I have seen was “style 90”. Still, it is the thing that makes the name, not the other way around, and if you mention “Style 27” to an antique billiard aficionado, you may be surprised to find they know the table to which you refer!

    I first saw an etching of this model several year before I ever saw one in person and it looked so unique in the drawing, that it was one I really hoped to see in person. There are even BBC tables that I have seen only in catalogs. Some models must have been made for only a short time and in small numbers. I have only ever seen two “Style 27’s” in person, including the one here.

    When we first got this table, I told my good friend, Kurt Schmidt, that we had just gotten a really neat table and was sending him a pic. He said, “If you send me a picture, I’ll probably copy it”. When he saw the photo, he said “I’m not copying that! How did they do that?”. Kurt is the 5th generation owner of A. E. Schmidt Co. in St. Louis and I am sure if he put his mind to it he could figure out how to copy the style 27. But the point is that these old-time manufacturers went to great lengths to produce something amazing to look at.

    A few notes about this table in particular:

    The table is shown unrestored with original finish. The wood is Quarter-sawn white oak and should strip and sand very clean and be able to be stained almost any color desired. The color now is from its original orange shellac finish.

    This is a “carom” table – no pockets – commonly called a “billiard table”. Carom tables were very popular when this table was made and many of the tables shown in the old catalogs are the carom versions. Models were made in both “carom” and “pool” versions. We can convert this table to a pocket pool table that will be exactly as it would have been made originally. We have bronze pocket irons cast from originals at a local foundry and cut the rails with mortises and horns exactly as they would have been done in the 1890’s.

    Source: Bankshot Antiques

    The Briggs Style 27 looks like an expensive one, like the Victorian Brunswick pool tables. Maybe $14,000-20,000 and up, for that style.

    Here is another high end Oliver Briggs pool table:

    Oliver Briggs Custom, Boston, Mass., Circa 1890, 24k Gold


    Source: classicbilliards.net/antique-pool-tables-for-sale/24k-gold-custom-oliver-briggs-1890.html

  4. ja1724billiardsforum on 10/10/2018 5:45:49 PM

    @Snap - you should post a few photos of your Briggs pool table. Not much point in posting if you don't put up a few pics.

    @atenra - that 24k gold Oliver Briggs custom table. Wow. Thanks for all of the good info and references.

  5. ja1724atenra11 on 10/10/2018 5:48:50 PM

    I know they did pool tables till at least 1929, but cant yet figure out how they fared in the depression.

    The Briggs Family Home

    449 Beacon is located on the south side of Beacon, between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, with 447 Beacon to the east and 451 Beacon to the west.

    Lot 24′ x 112′ (2,688 sqaure feet)

    449 Beacon was designed by Charles H. Davies and built in 1876 for Daniel Davies, one of four contiguous houses (443-445-447-449 Beacon), three built ca. 1872 and the fourth (449 Beacon) built in 1876.

    Daniel Davies is shown as the owner on the original permit application, dated July 20, 1876, and on the final inspection report, dated December 29, 1876.

    Daniel Davies and his son, Charles, were master carpenters. Daniel Davies’s daughter, Susan, was married to Grenville Temple Winthrop Braman, treasurer of the Boston Water Power Company, which owned much of the land in the northwest portion of the Back Bay, including the land where 443-449 Beacon were built. At the time they were built, they were the farthest west houses built on Beacon Street.

    449 Beacon probably was the last house built and, by 1878, it had become the home of Daniel Davies and his wife, Amity Bacon (Hastings) Davies. They previously had lived at 445 Beacon. Grenville and Susan (Davies) Braman lived at 447 Beacon, and Grenville Braman’s brother, Jarvis D. Braman (who was president of the Boston Water Power Company) and his wife, Amelia (Finnegan) Braman, lived at 443 Beacon.

    Daniel Davis died in June of 1878, and Amity Davies moved soon thereafter.

    449 Beacon was not listed in the 1880 Blue Book.

    By the 1880-1881 winter season, 449 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Anne (Lodge) Dorr, the widow of Alfred Dorr, and their unmarried son, Clarence Alfred Dorr, a stock and note broker.

    They continued to live at 449 Beacon in 1882, but moved soon thereafter to a new home they had built next door, at 451 Beacon.

    By the 1882-1883 winter season, 449 Beacon was the home of Oliver L. Briggs, a billiard table manufacturer, and his wife, Mary (Stone) Briggs. He is shown as the owner on the 1883, 1888, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps.

    Their son and daughter-in-law, Frederick Huntington Briggs and Ada Lena (Langley) Briggs, lived with them. Frederick Briggs was a billiard table manufacturer in his father’s firm and was president of the Boston Penny Savings Bank.

    Mary Briggs died in February of 1903. Oliver Briggs continued to live at 449 Beacon until about 1917, when he moved to Newton.

    Frederick and Ada Briggs continued to live at 449 Beacon. They also maintained a home in Auburndale. In 1920, Ada Briggs’s mother, Mrs. Anna E. (Taylor) Langley, widow of James H. Langley, lived with them.

    Oliver L. Briggs’s Heirs are shown as the owner on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps and were the assessed owners through 1944.

    Frederick Briggs died in February of 1936. Ada Briggs continued to live at 449 Beacon until about 1942, after which she lived at her home in Auburndale.

    449 Beacon was shown as vacant in the 1943-1945 City Directories and was not listed in the 1942-1944 Boston Lists of Residents.

    By 1945, 449 Beacon was owned by Israel Ramler, who was the assessed owner from that year through 1951. He was president of the State Electric and Lock Shop, and lived in Roxbury.

    By 1945, 449 Beacon was the home of Mary E. Henry, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived at 548 Newbury. She continued to live at 449 Beacon until about 1951.

    By 1952, 449 was the home of Mrs. Bertha (Cohen) Miller, the former wife of Eli (Elias/Elijah) Miller, who continued to operate it as a lodging house. She was a social worker with the Massachusetts Department of Welfare, She previously had lived in Brookline. She was the assessed owner of 449 Beacon from 1952.

    In May of 1954, the Joseph Vincent Realty Corporation applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house into ten apartments.

    Notwithstanding the change, Bertha Miller continued to live at 449 Beacon and operate it as a lodging house until about 1957, but moved thereafter to an apartment at 855 Beacon.

    By 1960, 449 Beacon was owned by Ara Barmakian. In September of 1987, Diran Barmakian filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from ten apartments to nine apartments.

    In May of 1988, Ara Barmakian converted the property into nine condominium units, the 449 Beacon Street Condominium.

    The Briggs Family Home:



    Source: backbayhouses.org/449-beacon/

    The Briggs 27 Model











    The Oliver Briggs Logo


    Simply Electric!

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Oliver Briggs Pool Table Info

  • Title: Oliver Briggs Pool Table Info
  • Author: (Jim A)
  • Published: 12/27/2007 10:37:05 AM