MEUCCI ORIGINALS INC.
Maker of pool cues from 1975 to 1998 in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and from 1998 to present in Sledge, Mississippi.
ob Meucci was born in Glenview, Illinois, the son of William "Red" Meucci, an Industrial Engineer. "Red" worked as a freelance designer and die maker and holds three patents. The most successful being for the Mutone Duck Call, which Red designed, produced, and marketed in the late 1940s. He also designed the Nydar gun sight, which was used by the U.S. military in World War II, and a weedless fishing lure. Bob was raised around his father´s equipment and his creativity. He learned how to operate the machines in his father´s tool and die shop as a preteen.
By the mid-1960s, Bob was making a few cues and experimenting with new types of construction. He founded B.M.C. to make cues in Glenview around this time. In 1968, he took over management of the cue department at National Chalk Co. One year later, National Chalk moved to Georgia and Bob chose to stay in Chicago. During this time, Bob helped to set up other cuemaking operations such as WICO, the company that made the first blanks for Gus Szamboti. He quickly gained recognition as a talented and creative cuemaker. In the early seventies, Bob was making cues in Memphis, Tennessee.
On March 24, 1975, Bob founded Meucci Originals in Olive Branch, Mississippi, in a newly designed cuemaking facility. The company has grown to become one of the most successful and recognized names in the cuemaking industry. His understanding of woodworking equipment allowed him to make his own machines, capable of turning out very unique cues. For instance, he is one of few cuemakers ever to make cues with mother-of-pearl points. And, he was one of the first to inlay pictures in 14-karat gold. When Bob started making cues, most had points or traditional inlays in the forearm. He was the first modern cuemaker to use the forearm as a canvas, creating theme cues with intricate inlaid scenes on the forearms. In 1998, Bob moved production to a more modern facility in Sledge, Mississippi, about 70 miles from Olive Branch.
Recent Meucci cues are easily identifiable by the Meucci trademark on the butt cap. Cues made before 1990 will have "Meucci Originals" instead. Although Meucci has tried a number of different joints, the 5/16-18 flat-face Implex joint is the one most frequently encountered. Chain links and checkered rings are common on Meucci cues, especially on the joints and butt sleeves. New cues come with finish over the Irish Linen for protection, which players can sand off if they choose to feel the wrap.
Bob was one of the first cuemakers to foresee cues as becoming collectible, and was one of the first to market limited edition cues, and for a time offered special edition cues each month. Limited edition cues can be marked such as SE 1-7, for "Summer Edition," and may also have serial numbers and/or dates on the butt caps. In the early eighties, Meucci made a "Roadrunner" cue featuring inlays of the Roadrunner cartoon character. About a half a dozen of these cues were made at a retail price of approximately $600. Today, a Meucci Roadrunner cue can easily bring thousands.
Meucci has also made some of the most intricate and ornate cues ever built. The Taj Mahal cue featured a bird´s-eye maple forearm with a scene depicting scrimshawed ivory elephants carrying treasures up an Indian ebony winding road. The cue was inlaid with lapis lazuli, bloodstone, and over 3 1/2 ounces of 14-karat gold. The cue took over 350 man-hours of labor to complete. Another famous Meucci cue was "The King James." Originally made for Jim Rempe, this cue was inlaid with gold, ivory, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. It sold new for $22,000, but has sold several times since, each time for more money. It is known to have sold for $40,000 and is rumored to have brought $75,000.
Bob is very proud that Meucci makes all parts except for the Le Pro tips, as opposed to buying them from suppliers. Meucci cues still feature spliced forearms, while many of his competitors now inlay their points with CNC machines. Most of the inlay work on Meucci cues is still done by hand. His wood is processed in his own sawmills and kilns which allows him more control over quality. He prefers to make lighter cues that are balanced further to the rear than most other cues, as he believes they play better.
In 1998, Bob built the "Myth Destroyer," a robot to test deflection in cues. He used this device to develop his "Red Dot" shafts, which are now standard for Meucci and are available for other manufacturers´ cues. Bob has developed a new taper designed to reduce deflection, which he believes to be a primary concern among players. A video that explains the "Myth Destroyer" and the results Bob achieved in testing his Red Dot shafts is available from Meucci Originals, Inc. Now Meucci offers the Black Dot Bullseye Flat Laminated Shaft with 35
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