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Maker of pool cues from 1985 to 1994 Corte Madera, California.
Manfred "Fred" Velten was born in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1935. As a young man he fell in love with American Big Band music and enjoyed attending the concerts by the great jazz artists such as Sidney Bechet and Ella Fitzgerald who toured Europe during the 1950s. After serving an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker and taking English lessons at Berlitz he emigrated to Canada in 1958 to seek his fortune. Fred settled in Toronto where he found work first as a carpenter, then refurbishing pianos, and finally as a designer and installation supervisor for a manufacturer of retail display cases. While living in Toronto, he was introduced to some "classy" pool salons and developed a love for billiards that lasted the rest of his life.
In 1968 Fred decided to move to sunny California. He went to Detroit, bought a Ford Mustang, and drove to San Francisco, where he had a cabinetmaker job waiting. A year later he opened his own business, Golden Gate Coins and Stamps, in Marin County. He soon moved the shop to a building he purchased in Corte Madera, and this is the building he later converted to his billiard supply store, Fred´s Cue Shop. This was during the 1980s when Fred was an active player in local tournaments and eight-ball leagues, winning many trophies proudly displayed in his shop. He had taught himself to repair cues, and around 1985 built his first cue. Like everything Fred did, it was meticulously crafted; everything from building the short splice blanks to making the d├ęcor rings was done by hand. Some cues were sold to his friends in the pool leagues, and some were sold in his shop.
Then in 1994, Fred suffered a severe stroke affecting one side of his body, which sadly ended his cue building and pool playing. Not one to be discouraged for long, he adapted to his decreased mobility by remodeling his offices and moving into his shop. He customized his lathe so he could continue to repair cues one-handed, with an occasional extra hand from a friend and fellow cuemaker, Don Lim. He remained cheerful and optimistic even through continued health problems, battling cancer and heart trouble, until he finally succumbed in July of 2004.
Fred Velten cues can be identified by the script "V" logo used on early cues, or the "F" on top of a larger "V" used on later cues.

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