Sam Blatt, an accomplished cabinetmaker, came to America and started repairing and making cues, ivory balls and ferrules in 1913 New York.
Sam brought his two sons, Maurice and Melvin, together to form Sam Blatt & Sons. It was then a small billiards repair and supply business. The company developed offices in New York City, and Freehold, NJ. The company name evolved into The M. Blatt Billiards Company with additional offices in Trenton, New Jersey.
The New York area housed the largest concentration of pool rooms and billiard companies in the world. Blatt Billiards decided to open its famous and past six-story building on 809 Broadway, New York, location. At first, they concentrated on the distribution of bowling and billiard supplies, as well as servicing the many hundreds of pool rooms and bowling alleys located in Manhattan. By the end of World War II, only a dozen or so billiards companies remained in the area.
After serving two United States’ Army tours, Eric Roeder, a European immigrant looking for work, started working at Blatt Billiards offering custodial services.
Eric’s interest in the billiards industry paired with his growing mechanical skills, and innate acumen in business contributed to what would form Blatt Billiards as we know it today. The company began gathering billiards tables from pool rooms that no longer had the clientele and could no longer afford the space necessary to have a large room. This collection of tables became the focal point and source of the company’s first antique tables, many of them dating back to the 19th Century. They eventually decided to give up the bowling business and concentrate on billiards tables.
Operating the company’s direction for years, Eric, became an official partner with Maurice Blatt’s son, Ron.
Manufacturing in Manhattan, and a large warehouse in Rockland County, NY, the company expanded into the restoration of billiard tables as it further continued to buy tables from private sellers across the country. The time necessary to restore a common or ordinary billiard table can be just as time consuming as a rare or antique model, and the focus quickly became the restoration of ever more unique and elaborate tables in the company’s collection. This is precisely what New York’s upper scale clientele was looking for, and before long the collection included some of the oldest and rarest models ever produced.
Eric’s oldest son, Bruce, joins the company who would soon become one of the company’s main principals, table designers, and head of manufacturing. Soon to follow would be Bruce’s two brothers, Steve, and David. Steve would head the sales and business end of the company, and David, mastered the mechanics, traveling the world to install famed billiards rooms.
Blatt Billiard’s reputation for the highest quality handcrafted custom tables continues to grow. Artists, cabinet makers, marqueteers, carvers, finishers, gilders, polisher, and leather workers are just some of the craftsmen employed. The ancient craft and marquetry once prized by monarchs worldwide, continues to survive at Blatt Billiards and in Europe where so many antiques were commissioned.
Although known for its antique tables, custom tables, and contemporary tables account for more than half the table sales. Tables of every style and description, using every available material and finish, have been custom made for clients and decorators around the world.
Playability continues to drive the company’s focus. At Blatt there is no compromise in the playability of the table, no matter what its style or age. Playability is itself an art and science. Blatt regards the tables as precision instruments first and foremost.
Bruce’s son, Jeff, joins the company. Jeff under some of the world’s finest craftsmen would learn and train to become a master cabinetmaker. Jeff alongside his father, Bruce, run the state-of-the-art workshop today at 350 South Main Street, in Wood-Ridge, NJ. Steve’s son, Brian, joins the company, following his father’s footsteps in sales, and marketing at the newest showroom at 330 West 38th Street, in New York City. Together, alongside long-time employees, the family continues the tradition of craftsmanship, customer service, and billiard industry traditions.
Unlimited choices, and 95 years of experience offer customers, the finest collection of Antique, Custom, and Contemporary pool tables in the world. A visit to one of the showrooms is truly a journey through billiards history.