Did you know that Greg Peterson, owner of Peters Billiards, is one of the leading experts and collectors of antique billiards tables in the world? I know, it’s impressive. His current collection includes more than 100 antique tables, several of them proudly displayed in store.
I had a few questions about these tables and Greg was happy to answer them. Here is what he had to say:
#1: When did you start collecting antique pool tables?
“When I was about 16 years old. I considered them as used pool tables at the time.”
(Greg taking a shot on his very first pool table that he built from scratch.)
#2: What was it about antiques that made you want to become a collector?
“I loved woodworking and Brunswick built some of the greatest American furniture in the late 19th and early 20th century. The carvings and intricate inlaid woods on the tables are amazing.”
#3: What is the farthest place you’ve gone to find an antique?
“We were able to find all of our tables in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Iowa. The Midwest was a hotbed for antique Brunswick pool tables.”
(Greg in 1974 in front of Peters Billiards old store location on Nicollet Avenue.)
#4: What is the oldest table you’ve ever purchased?
“Oldest American table I have found is from the early 1870s and is also the rarest table I have. Brunswick historians have never even seen the table. Brunswick built prototypes that never reached the floor for production. That table is one of them.”
#5: Do you have a favorite antique pool table?
“When we complete the restoration on a table, it seems like that table becomes my “new” favorite table.”
(Greg with the Monarch table in 1974.)
#6: How long does it take to fix up an antique?
“Very seldom is the restoration process completed in less than 60 hours. Generally it takes from 60 – 200 hours for a complete restoration.”
#7: Any other interesting facts or stories you would like to share about antique pool tables?
“In the late 1960s and early 1970s we were able to acquire some antique pool tables from a couple of the Great Pool Rooms of the 20th century. One room was the Saint Paul Recreation, also known as Harkins. This pool room was half a city block long on one level and had 55 tables and a Barber Shop, a Cigar store, spittoons and a few bullet holes. If those tables could talk…”
(9' Antique Brunswick Brilliant Novelty table on display in-store today.)
It sounds like Greg has acquired quite a bit of history with all of these antiques tables. The craftsman here at Peters Billiards have taken these tables and restored them to their fullest potential. It takes a lot of hard work and painstaking attention to detail, but the end result in simply magnificent. To learn more I encourage you to check out Peters Billiards website.
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