The Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), formerly known as the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, is a United States based corporation that has been involved in manufacturing a wide variety of products since 1845.
Brunswick was founded by John Moses Brunswick (1819–1886), an energetic man born in Bremgarten, Switzerland who came to the United States at the age of 15. The J.M. Brunswick Manufacturing Company opened for business on 15 September, 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, and decided that making billiard tables would be more lucrative, as the better tables then in use in America were imported from England.
In 1873, the Brunswick company merged with competitor Great Western Billiard Manufactory owned by Julius Balke to become the Brunswick & Balke Company, incorporated with a capital stock of 275,000 U.S. dollars. In 1884, another competitor, H.W. Collender Company of New York, was absorbed to form the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, that year with a capital of $1.5 million.
The company expanded into making a number of other products. Large ornate neo-classical style bars for saloons were a popular product. Bowling balls, pins, and equipment led a growing line of 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; see: Brunswick Records.
After the war Brunswick introduced a line of school furniture. In the 1950s, the Brunswick Mechanical Pinsetter automated resetting bowling alley pins. The decade also saw the introduction of a line of golfing equipment.
As of the early 21st century, the Brunswick Corporation still manufactures their famous sporting and fitness equipment, in addition to boats, marine engines under the Mercury Marine brand name, and the Nortstar Navigation system.
- Brunswick.com corporate website
- mguesto/Billiards detailed history of the company
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