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HERMAN RAMBOW Pool Cues

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HERMAN RAMBOW
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HERMAN RAMBOW
Maker of pool cues from approximately 1915 to 1967 in Chicago, Illinois.
Born in Chicago in 1880, Herman Rambow began working for Brunswick as a mail boy at the age of fourteen. Not long after joining Brunswick, Herman was attracted to cuemaking and began working in the cuemaking operation. Herman learned the diverse aspects of cue construction and quickly proved his aptitude as a cuemaker. In the repair department, Herman would customize cues to suit their owners. Eventually, his talents at customizing cues became so well known that he began making custom Brunswick cues for many of the top professionals at the time.
In 1921, Herman left Brunswick to start his own company, the Superior Cue Co. It was during this time that he was awarded a patent for his new balancing system that involved cutting a cue in half near the balance point and inserting a threaded rod of brass or steel. The length and weight of this rod were calculated to ensure the proper weight and balance of the finished cue. Unfortunately, the Superior Cue Co. did not last long. It is commonly believed that the professional players Rambow was counting on to use his cues and services were unable to do business with him because of endorsement contracts with Brunswick.
In 1925, Herman signed over his patent rights to Brunswick. By 1927, Herman was again working for Brunswick, this time as head foreman of cuemaking operations. Brunswick used Herman´s balancing system on a model called the "Hub" cue, which was popular for several years. In the late 1930s, Brunswick and Rambow were developing a full-splice cue that incorporated veneers between the points and the forearm. Despite not being a new concept for Brunswick, this new full-splice cue blank, named the Titlist, became the basis for nearly every Rambow cue made until his death in 1967. Rambow continued to oversee the cuemaking operations at Brunswick while concurrently making a line of his custom cues for the best Brunswick players and customers. It is widely believed that Rambow also built the more exclusive, ebony "Willie Hoppe" model, though there is little evidence to support this belief.
Titlist cues were first introduced to the public in the 1940-1941 Brunswick catalog. Demand for Rambow cues using the Titlist blank increased quickly; Herman began filling orders. These first generation prototypes of Rambow´s cues which used the Titlist blank exhibited ivory joints with black collars, and joint screws (mostly aluminum or steel) that protruded from the shaft and screwed into the butt. Brass was Herman´s material of choice for the joint and screw. However, brass was in limited supply as a result of the second World War. It is not known how many of these original Titlist/Rambow cues were produced, but only a few remain in existence today.
As brass became more widely available, Herman used it for joint screws. He also reconfigured the joint to a piloted mechanism in which the screw protruded from the butt section and screwed into a brass receiver machined into the shaft. Some of these early examples were built using a brown fibrous material as the joint collar, which was quickly replaced by brass. Since that time in the mid- to late 1940s, Herman exclusively used brass for joint collars, pins, and receivers, with few exceptions. In 1950, Rambow was forced to retire from Brunswick. The company offered to let him take some of his cuemaking equipment and materials home with him, as they had no future plans to use them, and he accepted. Once again, Rambow began making cues on his own, only this time his reputation as a great cuemaker drove his business. Rambow established a humble shop at the Keefe & Hamer Co. in downtown Chicago, and soon had so many orders that he needed help. In 1956, Herman hired Steve Bihun as his apprentice and started him o
Many famous players used Herman Rambow cues during the fifties and sixties. The most notable were Willie Hoppe and Willie Mosconi. Hoppe at that time was regarded as the greatest cue man to have ever lived, after having dominated billiards for a half-century. Mosconi was recognized as Hoppe´s counterpart in the pocket billiard world. Mosconi´s favorite cue was a Rambow. Mosconi´s Rambow cue was one of the fanciest cues Herman ever made. It was very similar to the Rambow he used when he ran a record 526 balls in a row in Springfield, Ohio in 1956. In contrast, Hoppe´s cue was simple with no inlay or writing on the cue. Hoppe´s last cue also had a modified joint (per Hoppe´s specifications) with a more shallow depth for the shaft pilot than usual. Rambow also made the cues used by Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason in "The Hustler." By the mid-1960s, Keefe & Hamer was a very busy place. In the final years of Rambow´s career, his cues were so sought after that he and Bih
Today, cues by Herman Rambow are rare and sought after by collectors. Although most are not easily identifiab


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