The Brunswick Balke-Collender Co.
- Alternate Term
Brunswick Balke-Collender Co.
Brunswick Balke-Collender Co. was founded by John Moses Brunswick who came to the United States from Switzerland at the age of 15. The J. M. Brunswick Manufacturing Company opened for business on September 15, 1845, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally J. M. Brunswick intended his company to be mainly in the business of making carriages, but soon after opening his machine shop, he became fascinated with billiards. Brunswick billiard tables were a commercial success, and the business expanded and opened up the first of what would become many branch offices in Chicago, Illinois in 1848. It was later renamed J. M. Brunswick & Brother by 1871, after a family member came on board, and the company's slogan at this time was: "The oldest and most extensive billiard table manufacturers in the United States." In 1873, the Brunswick company merged with competitor Great Western Billiard Manufactory owned by Julius Balke to become the Brunswick & Balke Company, Inc. In 1884, another competitor, H. W. Collender Company of New York (founded by Hugh W. Collender), was absorbed to form the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company (B.B.C. Company). The company expanded into making large ornate neo-classical style bars for saloons, bowling balls, pins, and equipment and other sporting equipment. It popularized bowling balls of manufactured materials, vulcanized rubber at first; earlier bowling balls had been solid wood. In the early 20th century, Brunswick expanded the product line to include such diverse products as toilet seats, automobile tires, and phonographs. In the late 1910s, they introduced a quickly-popular line of disc phonograph records, under the name Brunswick Records. In 1930, Brunswick sold the control of the record company to Warner Brothers.