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ALBANY BILLIARD BALL COMPANY RECORDS, 1869-1973
#11

(8 cubic feet: 14 DB, 4 (.5) DB, 7 F/O)

by: Robert S. Harding, March 1982


History

The Albany Billiard Ball Company is possibly the earliest successful plastics firm and certainly one of the oldest plastics companies in the world. The business was started in 1868 on Albany, New York’s south end. At present the company is the only major billiard ball firm in the United States. The company was renamed the Albany-Hyatt Billiard Ball Company in September, 1977.

John Wesley Hyatt was one of the company’s founders and the American inventor of celluloid. Celluloid, besides being the base of photographic film, was a substitute for ivory, long the prime substance in billiard ball manufacture. The Hyatt "composition" ball, with a celluloid base, dominated the sport until the 1960s.

Scope & Content

These records are arranged in eight series: 1) ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS, 1912-1972; 2) BOUND VOLUMES, 1875-1918; 3) CORRESPONDENCE, 1882-1973; 4) LEGAL RECORDS, 1873-1974; 5) PATENTS AND TRADEMARKS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS, 1871-1973: Subseries A) Patents, 1887-1973; B) Patent Assignments, 1872-1961; C) Patent and Trademark Certificates, 1871-1970; D) Patent Search, Application and Opposition, 1930-1961;  6) ENGINEERING AND PRODUCTION RELATED DOCUMENTS; 7) PHOTOGRAPHS, 1920s; AND 8) PRINTED MATERIAL. The records include articles of agreement; articles of association; contracts; bills of sale; by-laws; deeds; licenses to manufacture; memoranda; bank books; patents; patent certificates; patent assignments; union contracts; balance sheets; profit and loss accounts; journals and cash books; ledgers; time books; invoices; minutes; photographs; and correspondence to and from the company, 1882-1973.

Provenance

Transferred from the Division of Physical Sciences, April 5, 1983.

Container List

Box         Folder

Series 1: ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS, 1869-1972

1

1

Administrative history and chronology of the company

2

Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Composition Billiard Ball Supply Company, Limited (of London) with Albany Billiard Ball Company

3

Bank books, 1912-1949; Savings account books from several Albany banks

4

By-laws of Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co., circa 1915-1930. Minutes of Stockholders’ and Directors’ Meetings of Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co., circa 1915-1930. (Above items are in one bound volume.) Agreements of stockholders, 1938-1939.

5

License granted to Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Company, by General Bakelite Co., to manufacture products containing Bakelite.

6

General release, 1939, from Friedrich Wilhelm Holland-Letz to Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co.

7

Balance Sheets and Profit and Loss Accounts, 1950-1954; Records for the Bonzoline Manufacturing Co., Limited, 1950-1953, and the Composition Billiard Ball Supply Company, Limited, 1951-1954.

8

Documents relating to product pricing, undated and 1928, 1952-1955.

9

Financial and accounting documents, 1928-1957: includes regulations for management of a company limited by shares, 1928; a stock certificate, 1940; assets and liabilities report for Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co., 1955; invoice for rental of a safe deposit box, 1957.

10

Minutes of Board of Directors of Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co., 1954-1955.

11

Map, 1954. Indicates property owned by Albany Billiard Ball Company in Albany; appraisal of land value of Albany Billiard Ball Company, in 1954.

12

Plat of Albany Billiard Ball Co., and Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co., Inc., 1956(?); appraisal report, 1956; estate of Ronald Kinnear.

13

Union contracts, and related documents, 1969, 1969, 1972. Consists of pay rates, list of benefits; contract between Albany Plastic Corp. (Albany Billiard Ball Division and Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Division) and International Union of District 50, United Mine Workers of America, 1969; agreement between Albany Plastic Company and United Steelworkers of America, 1972; and union contracts regarding company seniority, 1972.

  Series 2: BOUND VOLUMES, 1875-1918

2

1

Journal, April 28, 1875 - December 30, 1876

2

Journal, January 2, 1877 - December 31, 1878

3

Journal & Cash Book, January 1, 1879 - December 31, 1880

4

Journal & Cash Book, (Journal B), May 1, 1879 - April 30, 1880

3

1

Journal & Cash Book, (Journal C), May 1, 1883 - April 30, 1891

2

Journal & Cash Book, (Journal D), May 1, 1891 - Augsut 31, 1893

4

1

Journal & Cash Book, January 1, 1881 - April 30, 1883

2

Journal & Cash Book, May 1, 1883 - November 30, 1885

3

Journal & Cash Book, December 1, 1885 - April 29, 1889

5

1

Journal & Cash Book, May 1, 1889 - October 31, 1894

2

Journal, October 1, 1898 - December 31, 1902

3

Journal, January 2, 1903 - October 31, 1904

6

1

Journal, November 1, 1904 - October 30, 1909

2

Journal, November 1, 1909 - December 31, 1912

7

1

Journal, January 2, 1913 - June 30, 1914

2

Journal, July 1, 1914 - December 31, 1916

8

1

Journal, January 2, 1917 - December 31, 1918

2

Ledger, 1878-1879

3

Ledger, May 1, 1883-April 30, 1888

9

1

Ledger, May 1, 1895 - October 31, 1904

2

Ledger, July 1, 1902 - July 21, 1906

3

Ledger, November 1, 1904 - October 31, 1909

10

1

Ledger, November 1, 1909 - December 31, 1911

2

Ledger, January 1, 1912 - December 31, 1912

11

1

Ledger, January 1, 1913 - December 31, 1913

2

Cash book, January 1, 1884 - May 1, 1885, August 1, 1902 - October 31, 1902

3

Cash book, November 1, 1905 - October 30, 1909

12

1

Cash book, November 1, 1909 - December 31, 1912

13

1

Cash book, January 1, 1913 - December 31, 1918

2

Payroll Time Book, July 7, 1910 - December 31, 1918, Albany Billiard Ball Co.

14

1

Payroll Time Book, January 1, 1913 - January 1, 1916, Albany Billiard Ball Co.

2

Minute Book of the Board of Trustees, Board of Directors and Stockholders, Albany Billiard Ball Co., May 1, 1875 - November 1, 1911.

15

1

Ledger A, Newark Billiard Ball & Manufacturing Co., October 29, 1907 - April 1, 1908

16

1

Ledger, Newark Billiard Ball & Manufacturing Co., March 1, 1908 - March 27, 1912

17

1

Journal, Ledger, March 1, 1908 - December 18, 1911

18

1

Invoices, Newark Billiard Ball & Manufacturing Co., December 20, 1907 - December 30, 1910

2

Invoices, Newark Billiard Ball & Manufacturing Co., March 31, 1908 - September 30, 1911

18A

Cash book, Newark Billiard Ball & Manufacturing Co., March 1, 1908 - April, 1912

19

1

Sales, Newark Billiard Ball & Manufacturing Co., March 13, 1908 - September 28, 1911

20

1

Checkbook, Newark Billiard Ball & Manufacturing Co., March 28, 1910 - February 27, 1912

Series 3: CORRESPONDENCE, 1882-1973

21

1

Correspondence, 1882-1955, concerning foreign and domestic patents, trademarks and registrations

2

Correspondence, 1956-1971, concerning foreign and domestic patents, trademarks and registrations

3

General correspondence, 1904-1971

4

Correspondence, 1915-1943, particularly between C.E. Leffel of Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Company, Inc., and C.C. Zenk of Otis Elevator Company and with General Bakelite Company.

5

Correspondence, 1932-1941, concerning product orders

6

Correspondence, 1942-1955, concerning product orders

7

Correspondence with Albany International Corp., 1953-1958, 1970-1973, concerning trademarks

8

Correspondence with customers, 1969, concerning price changes

  Series 4: LEGAL DOCUMENTS, 1873-1974

22

1

Legal documents, 1873-1898, includes: chattel mortgage for the sale of Hyatt Billiard Ball Co., 1873; agreement of organization of Hyatt Billiard Ball Co., 1873; Articles of Incorporation for Albany Billiard Ball Company, 1875; bill of sale, 1875, from Hyatt Billiard Ball Co. to Peter Kinnear; articles of agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and J.M. Brunswick and Balke Co., 1877-1884, and related correspondence; memoranda of agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and la Compagnie Generale de Chromolithie, 1883; contract between the J.M. Brunswick and Balke Company and the Albany Billiard Ball Company, 1883; contract between the Albany Billiard Ball Co. and the McConihe and Hubbell Manufacturing Co., 1896; and contracts between Edgar T. Ely of Buenos Aires and Albany Billiard Ball Co., 1898.

2

Legal documents, 1900-1907, includes: agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and McConihe and Hubbell Manufacturing Co., 1902; agreement between the Albany Billiard Ball Co. and the Burt Company, 1904; agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and the McConihe and Hubbell Manufacturing Co., 1904; agreements between the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. and Albany Billiard Ball Co., 1904, and related correspondence; memoranda of agreement between the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co., and George H. Burt, 1905, and related correspondence; and an agreement between Joseph P. O’Mara and John S. Boa and the Albany Billiard Ball Company, 1907.

3

Legal documents, 1913-1923, includes: a license granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company to manufacture in Albany, 1913; an agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and the Bonzoline Manufacturing Company, 1913; agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and Home Recreations Limited, 1921; and agreements between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and Bonzoline Manufacturing Company, 1923.

4

Legal documents, 1925-1933, includes: deeds of partnership with a German manufacturer of billiard balls, Endolithic Manufacturing Company, 1925; correspondence related to the agreement with Home Recreations Limited, 1928; documents pertaining to a Federal Trade Commission investigation into complaints of unfair methods of competition between Albany Billiard Ball Co. and Portland Billiard Ball Co., 1930; agreement between Bonicot Corporation of America and Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co., 1933; and a contract between H. Wagner & Adler Co. and Albany Billiard Ball Co., 1933.

5

Legal documents, 1935-1944, includes: an agreement between Alexander Thomas Hough and the Composition Billiard Ball Company, 1935; an agreement between Composition Billiard Ball Company and Kenneth Luke Emler, 1935; an agreement between Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Company and the Vitalite Company, 1937; agreements between H. Wagner & Adler Company and Albany Billiard Ball Company, 1937, 1938 and 1939; documents specifying conditions of employment for Dr. Max Koebner, 1938; a release of manufacturing equipment from American Merchandise Company, Inc., to Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Co., and other documents relating to the bankruptcy of American Merchandise, 1939; agreements between the Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Company, and the Ritter-Carlton Company, 1939, and related correspondence, 1940-1941; an indentureship agreement between Friedrich Wilhelm Holland-Letz and Ritter-Carlton Company, 1939; a release form from Friedrich Wilhelm Holland-Letz to the Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Company, 1939; a license from Shaw Insulator Company to Niagara Insul-Bake Specialty Company, 1942; a deed between the Composition Billiard Ball Company and the Vitalite Company, 1943, involving factory land; an agreement between William Barton and the Composition Billiard Ball Company, 1943; and an agreement between the Composition Billiard Ball Company and Dr. Max Koebner, 1943.

6

Legal documents, 1945-1950, includes: a lease between William Barton and the Composition Billiard Ball Company, 1945; a bond and mortgage document between Jean W. Harrig and Albany Billiard Ball Company, 1948; memorandum of insurance, 1948; a lease of a service station with the Tidewater Associated Oil Company, 1949; an option to buy land, given to Albany Billiard Ball Company by Harry Pappalau, 1949; and an agreement between the Albany Billiard Ball Company and the Bakelite Corporation regarding the disclosure of processes for producing billiard balls, 1949.

7

Legal documents, 1948-1950, includes: legal and other related documents pertaining to a dispute with William C. Mason, Engineer.

8

Legal documents, 1951-1969, includes: an agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Company and Jacob Michael, regarding a parcel of land, 1951; official statement made by Ellis M. Faulkner regarding a failed device developed by William Mason, 1951; an official statement made by William Weir regarding the Mason device, 1951; an official statement made by William Ritter regarding the Mason device, 1951; an official statement made by A. R. Van Horne regarding the Mason device, 1951; documents regarding the settlement of the estate of Ronald Kinnear, 1954; a document appointing Thomas W. Leverington attorney of Albany Billiard Ball Company, 1956; an agreement extending the contract with Herman Blattner, 1960, and related correspondence; a memorandum of agreement between Alley Manufacturing Company and Albany Billiard Ball Company, 1962; an agreement between Albany Billiard Ball Company and Ellis M. Faulkner, 1964, regarding employment; a letter relating to Faulkner’s estate, 1969.

9

Legal documents, 1970-1974, includes: a certificate of dissolution of the Albany Plastics Corporation, 1970; Assignment and Agreement, 1970, conveying business from Albany Plastic Corporation to Albany International Corporation, 1970; a secrecy agreement between Schenectady Chemical, Inc. and Albany Plastic, 1970; a secrecy agreement between Albany International and Marblette, 1972; a secrecy agreement between Albany International and John F. Trembley, 1973; an agreement for consulting service between Albany International and John F. Trembley, 1973; an agreement and a lease between Albany International and Questor Corporation, 1974; and an agreement between W.E.S. Realty and Albany International, 1974.

Series 5: PATENTS AND TRADEMARKS, 1870-1973 Subseries A: Patents, 1887-1973  

23

1

Patents, 1887-1905, includes: patent issued to George Phelan for billiard ball, 1887; to George Burt for pool-ball, 1893; issued to George Burt for billiard ball, 1894; to William H. Hoyt for game balls, 1902; to William H. Hoyt for manufacturing of game balls, 1902; to Benjamin Abbott Stevens, for bowling pin, 1903; to Alonzo Burt for his method of manufacturing game balls, 1903; to Joseph P. O’Mara and John S. Boa, for a device for striping and spotting pool balls, 1903; to Alonzo L. Burt for a game ball dyeing apparatus, 1904; to Alonzo L. Burt, for apparatus for making game balls, 1905; to Alonzo L. Burt, for process of making game balls, 1905.

2

Patents, 1906-1916, includes: several patents issued to Leo Baekeland and others. None of these relate to Albany Billiard Ball Co., but were included because they concern plastic composition.

3

Patents, 1917-1936, includes patent issued to Otto Kadzik for a machine for the spherical grinding of billiard balls and other blanks; other patents in this file do not relate to Albany Billiard Ball Co., but they were included because they concern plastic composition.

4

Patents, 1937-1973, includes: patent issued to Wesley R. Thompson for billiard ball and method of manufacture, 1938; to Harold Luth for a method of hardening cast phenolic resin, 1941; to L.F. Kutik for pool balls, 1962; to Earl W. Feddick and Gustane Wassman for a magnetic pool ball, 1973. Other patents in this file do not relate to Albany Billiard Ball Co., but they were included because they concern plastic composition.

Subseries B: Patent Assignments, 1872-1961

5

Patent assignments, 1872-1902: assigned to John A. Bragaw, from Lewis Deitz, B. Wayne and Albern Stone, 1872; to Henry Deitz, from Lewis Deitz, B. Wayne and Albern Stone, 1872; To Lewis Deitz and Benjamin Wayne, from Henry Deitz, 1873; to Lewis Deitz and Benjamin Wayne, from John A. Bragaw, 1873; to Lewis Deitz and Benjamin Wayne, from Albern Stone, 1874; to the Bonsilate Company, Limited, from Charles S. Lockwood, 1882; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company, from the Bonsilate Company, 1882; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from John W. Hyatt, 1883; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from the Bonsilate Company, 1888; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company, from John W. Hyatt, 1889; to the Burt Manufacturing Company, from George H. Burt, 1900; to the Burt Company from William H. Hoyt, 1901; to the Burt Company from Alonzo Burt, 1902; to the Burt Company from Alonzo Burt, 1902; to the Burt Company from Alonzo Burt, 1902; to the Burt Company from Alonzo Burt, 1902; to the Burt Company from Alonzo Burt, 1902.

6

Patent assignments, 1903-1907: assigned to the Burt Company from Alonzo Burt, 1903; to the Burt Company from Alonzo Burt, 1903; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from the Burt Company, 1903; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from the Burt Company, 1905; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from the Burt Company, 1906; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from the Burt Company, 1906; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Joseph P. O’Mara and John S. Boa, 1907; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Joseph P. O’Mara and John S. Boa, 1907; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Joseph P. O’Mara and John S. Boa, 1907.

7

Patent assignments, 1955-1961: assigned to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Ellis M. Faulkner,1955; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Ellis M. Faulkner, 1955; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Ellis M. Faulkner, 1957; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Ellis M. Faulkner, 1959; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Ellis M. Faulkner, 1961; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Ellis M. Faulkner, 1961; to the Albany Billiard Ball Company from Ellis M. Faulkner, 1961.

Subseries C: Patent and Trademark Certificates, 1870-1970

 

8

Patent certificates, 1870-1903: granted to John W. Hyatt, Jr., for improved molding composition to imitate ivory and other substances, 1870; granted to Lewis Deitz, Benjamin P. Wayne and Albern Stone for improvement in the manufacture of billiard balls and other composition articles, 1871; granted to Lewis Deitz and Benjamin P. Wayne for improvement in the manufacturing of pyroxiline and articles therefrom, 1872; granted to Charles S. Lockwood for plastic compositions for the cores of billiard balls and for other purposes, 1882; granted to John W. Hyatt and Charles S. Lockwood for improvement in the process and apparatus for molding plastic material, 1882; granted to George H. Burt for improvement in pool balls, 1893; granted to George H. Burt for billiard balls, 1894; granted to George H. Burt for billiard balls, 1894; granted to George H. Burt for processes of constructing pool balls, 1895; to William H. Hoyt, for game balls, 1902; granted to William H. Hoyt for game balls and methods for making same, 1902; granted to Alonzo L. Burt for methods of manufacturing game balls, 1903; granted to Joseph P. O’Mara for devices for striping and spotting pool balls, 1903.

9

Patent certificates, 1904-1970, granted to Alonzo Burt for game ball dyeing apparatus, 1904; granted to Alonzo L. Burt for apparatus for making game balls, 1905; granted to Ronald Kinnear for a combined blade dispenser and razor holder, 1937, granted to Alfred Richard Van Horne, for a pool ball rack, 1950; granted to Ellis Faulkner III, for a method of making a bowling pin, 1957; granted (by Comptroller of Patents, Designs and Trade-marks, Great Britain) to Albany Billiard Ball Company, for bowling pin, 1962; granted (by the Department of the Secretary of State, Patent and Copyright Office, Canada) to Albany Billiard Ball Company, for bowling pin, 1965; granted to Ellis May Faulkner for molded plastic game balls, 1966; granted to Ellis May Faulkner III for bowling pin with wear-resistant insert and interlocking retainer, 1966; and one certificate of renewal, to Albany International Corporation, for patent 278,289, 1970.

10

Trademark registrations, 1937-1949: publication of the trademark "Crystalite", 1937; registered trademark for the name "Gold Diamond".

11

Trademark certificates, 1894-1937: granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the new Hyatt Pool balls, 1894; granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the New Hyatt Billiard and Pool balls, 1896; granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the Triangle Cue Balls, 1926; granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Hyatt pool balls, bagatelle balls, pocket billiard balls and pool balls, 1926; granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the "Hyatt" name, 1927; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Crystalate Billiard, Pool, Snooker and Billiard Balls, 1930; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Vitalite Billiard, Pool, Snooker and Bagatelle balls, 1930; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Resinite Billiard, Pool, Snooker and Bagatelle balls, 1930; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for Hyatt Pocket Billiard Balls, 1937.

12

Trademark certificates, 1946-1956: renewal granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the Triangle Cue Ball, 1946; granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the Triangle Cue Ball, 1948; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Vitalite, 1949; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Hyatt Billiard Balls, Pocket Billiard Balls, and Cue Balls, 1949; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Resinite Billiard Balls, 1949; granted to Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Crystalate, 1949; renewal granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Resinite Billiard, Pool, Snooker and Bagatelle Balls, 1950; renewal granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for Crystalate Billiard, Pool, Snooker and Bagatelle Balls, 1950; granted (by the Republic of Mexico) to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the name "Vitalite", 1954; granted (by the Republic of Mexico) to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the name "Hyatt", 1954; granted to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the name "Vitalite", 1954, granted (by the Republic of Cuba) to the Albany Billiard Ball Company, for a trademark for the name "Hyatt", 1956; granted (by the Republic of Cuba) to the Albany Billiard Ball Company for a trademark for the name"Vitalite", 1956; certificate of registration of trademark (Mexico) for the trademark "Hyatt", 1963; certificate of registration of trademark (Mexico) for the trademark "Vitalite", 1963.

13

Trademarks, 1926 and 1930, for Bakelite and Vitalite.

Subseries D: Patent Search, Application and Opposition, 1930-1961

 

14

Patent application, 1955: by Ellis Faulkner for a patent on improvement in the manufacture of bowling pins, 1955; amendments and related papers, 1955-1965.

15

Patent application, 1961: by Ellis M. Faulkner for a patent of molded plastic game balls.

16

Trademark Search Reports, 1930-1950.

17

Notice of Opposition, 1930: by Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company against Albany Billiard Ball Company, regarding the trademark for the name "Durolite".

18

Miscellaneous papers relating to patents.

Series 6: ENGINEERING AND PRODUCTION

24

1

Engineering and production specifications, 1916; includes specifications for panels and lamp regulators.

2

Artifacts, unidentified, possibly used in bowling pin manufacture.

  Series 7: PHOTOGRAPHS

 

3

Photographs of the manufacturing process. See also, oversize box #25.

25

1

Photographs of the manufacturing process, undated.

2

Photographs of the manufacturing process, undated.

3

Photographs of the manufacturing process, undated.

Series 8: PRINTED MATERIAL

4

4

Articles, printed matter and advertising.

 

Robert S. Harding, March 1982

Robert S. Harding & William R. Massa Jr.,  March 1983

Craig Orr revised, April 1989

Robert S. Harding revised, January & July 1995

Robert S. Harding & Cathy Keen revised, March 1997 & September 2000


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Revised: January 31, 2007